Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Scarred “We’ve worked harder and longer than ever before on this album”

In Issue 29 of RAMzine we gave the new album from Luxembourg based metal outfit Scarred the once over in our review section. Now we’ve had the chance to catch up with the band and chat about not only the new record but their current and future plans, their unique sound and the elephant in the room, the impact of Covid.

The new release, the first with new vocalist Yann Dalscheid, follows four years after their last effort and is self-titled in order to reflect the band’s personal journey in the time between albums, accompanied by eye-catching artwork by Drazen Medakovic. While billed as a concept album it, by all means, can be listened to individually and loses nothing if not consumed in one sitting. Designed to reflect the same journey the band has taken themselves, including all the ups and downs, strife and joy that has led them to this point in their career.

First off, how was your 2020 and how is 2021 going for you so far?

It’s a mixed feeling. Of course, we miss playing live and everything it entails: being on the road, meeting new people, feeding off the energy of a crowd, the vibrations of a stage… But at the same time, we decided right away that we wouldn’t let the pandemic bring us down and have been as productive as ever as a band. We’ve released an album, an acoustic version of our song ‘Psychogenesis’, a cover of ‘Enjoy’ by Björk, shot and produced a music video for each song of the new album, did a lot of promotional work, shot some live sessions that will be released soon, worked on a new live show…. and we’ve already gathered more than enough ideas for our next album! But of course, we would rather be on the road right now!

Was the recording of your new record impacted by Covid at all?

The recording no, but the release date yes. The recording work was already finished and we initially intended to release the album in 2020. But when the pandemic struck we decided to postpone and see how things would pan out. Once it was clear that the virus wasn’t going anywhere we decided to release the album, with or without the possibility to play live. We’ve worked harder and longer than ever before on this album, there was just no way we would sit on it another two years.

How would you describe your sound to someone who may be unfamiliar with your work?
To this day I still can’t give a short answer to this question! I guess you can say that we are rooted in death metal with a groovy backbone, but we explore so many genres (melodic, atmospheric, psychedelic, progressive, rock, classical….) that it is hard to put a label on what we do, which seems to irritate some people to the highest point! But that’s how we like to do music, no limitations, no compromise.

We’re not the same people we were when we recorded our first two albums

This is the first record with new singer Yann Dalscheid who suits the band perfectly, how was it for Yann to record with a new band for your first release?
Intense! We put the bar very high in the studio and are extremely maniacal. But Yann has incredible range and great technique, so he was up for it. We had done a lot of
preproduction work to integrate him into the band and explore all the new possibilities procured by his voice before hitting the studio, so he (kind of) knew what was coming his way.

This album is described as a concept album, what is the driving theme behind the record, is it all drawn from your own experiences as a group?

The central theme is transformation and it is entirely inspired by the events in and around the band since the release of our previous album Gaia-Medea. We realised midway through the song writing process that we were actually trying to work out some very difficult times we had as individuals and as a band, so decided to put the album in chronological order of events. That way the listener can travel the same road we have, from the initial disaggregation, up and down, to the final liberation.

The record has very striking and unique album art, is there a story behind this?

The artwork was created by our friend Drazen Medakovic, a childhood friend of Diogo and an amazing artist who has been taking care of our visuals since the Gaia-Medea album. He knows us and understands our music. All we did was sit down with him, hand over the tracks and the lyrics and talk about what we had been through in our lives and how it connected with the different songs. He did the rest. The album cover is actually the first and only try he did! It perfectly summarises the sound, the lyrical content and even the production process of the album in one painting. We loved it right away.

What is the metal scene like in your homeland of Luxembourg?
It is bigger than you would expect for such a small country. There are a lot of great bands that have been around for a while and a lot of interesting newcomers. You should definitely check out Abstract Rapture, Cosmogon, Desdemonia, Heartbeat Parade or Kitshickers to name just a few.

We’ve worked harder and longer than ever before on this album, there was just no way we would sit on it another two years.

How are you promoting the album without the ability to tour?
Like I mentioned before, we’ve used the off time to produce a lot of video content that we are progressively releasing now. We’ve been on radio shows, podcasts, magazines… but mostly we’ve been active on social media, discussing the new album with our fans and trying to get more and more people interested in our music.

You explore a wide range of styles on the record, all mainly rooted in death metal but there are, as you said, elements of psychedelic, groove, melo-death and atmospheric metal blended in, was the plan also to expand the record across these different stylings?

It wasn’t as much a plan as a need to explore new sounds and to evolve as musicians. We’re not the same people we were when we recorded our first two albums and there was a profound craving for new experiences, which ultimately resulted with us parting ways with our former singer. Once Yann joined the band, nothing was off the table psychedelic, melodic, symphonic, rock, pop, acoustic, instrumental, keyboards, horns, strings, electronics, choirs, you name it! Whatever we felt like doing, we did.

Is there anywhere local to you that is looking likely to have live music again soon and if so do you have any plans to book shows?

Luxembourg actually does allow some shows with severe restrictions, but having musicians from different countries in the band currently makes rehearsing impossible. So as much as we would like to go back on stage, we’ll have to wait until the situation clears up a bit across the map.

What plans do you have as a band going forward, post-covid? Are there any ideas for new records already formed?

We’ve had a lot of time to work on new stuff and have basically enough material for an album by now. All we need to do is put the bits together and let the whole thing mature a bit and we’ll be ready to go back to the recording studio. Of course, if touring becomes possible again we might spend some time on the road first.

Finally, where can people find out more about you and pick up a copy of the new record?

You can visit our homepage scarredofficial.com which features all the links to our different social media, our Bandcamp and an online shop or you can use this link to access our music on all the major platforms. Thanks to you for the interview and to your readers!

Jay Brown
Assistant Editor of RAMzine - Raised on Motown and Rock, now with a deep love for all things metal and heavy rock. Veteran gig goer, favorite bands include Slayer, Mastodon, Dopelord & Power Trip among many others. Explorer of subgenres, collector of whiskey.

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