Interview with Scott Sargeant
February 2007 - Interview by Sjouke Bakker for www.sod-mod.com
Last year, in March 2006, I did my first interview with Scott Sargeant. When I got it back, I wasn't sure what to think about it... Was he kidding? Was he serious? Was he still in M.O.D.?
We're almost a year further now. And yes, Scott is still in M.O.D.! He, a new drummer and Billy Milano just recorded the new album. The mixing of that album will start on March 4th and it will probably be released before this summer!
Anyway, when I watched a recording session on Billy's webcam on Yahoo, Scott and I spoke also about a few things, including my last interview with him. He said if I wanted to do another one, I could send him some questions and he would try not to be too smart this time.
Well, let's see...
So, you’re done recording the new M.O.D. album. Happy? All went well?
Scott: Man... I'm so happy with how everything has gone in the studio. Working with Tim Gerron has been an absolute pleasure, as with Billy. Lots of laughs and great sounds.
Where was the album recorded and which studio did you use?
Scott: We recorded the album in our new home town of Austin, Texas and did the actual recording at a studio called Music Lab.
Can you give us an idea of how things went in the studio?
Scott: Well.... we went in on the 22nd of January to start basic tracking and finished those basics on February 10th. The days were long, anywhere between 10 and 14 hours a day. We all just really busted ass and got it done.
What will be the title of this new cd?
Scott: We're still trying to figure this out as we speak. We've got some cool ideas, but nothing is set in stone as of yet.
I read that the mixing of the cd will start next month, on March 4th. Who will mix and produce the album?
Scott: Yeah, we start mixing on March 4th. I think that the mixing of this album will be very easy, in the sense that it was recorded very well and the tones are already really close to what they'll be in the final mix. Never try to fix things in the mix. Just get them done in basics and you will save yourself alot of grief. Tim, Billy and I will all be mixing this record. Tim is a great engineer, and Billy and I produce really well together. Apples and oranges make for a really good fruit salad sometimes.
And after that, everything will be done, I assume? Do you know when the cd will be released?
Scott: I think the record company is looking for a May release. But you never know for sure. There are alot of variables that have to line up to make those perspectives happen.
Since Nuclear Blast did not much to promote the previous M.O.D. album, I guess another label will release this record. What label will it be on?
Scott: Nuclear Blast did NOTHING!!!! to promote that record. The only thing they did was bury it. What a waste that was. And a true sign of disrespect for Billy. I hate that fuckin label. Aaahhh.... got me fired up with that one Sjouke. Hahaha. This record will be coming out on INDEX ENTERTAINMENT. The head of the label, Marty (who I call Friedman) seems like he is going to do everything in his means to push the shyt out of this record. Which is the way all labels should.
You’re in M.O.D. since 2003, right? You toured with M.O.D. for ‘The Rebel You Love To Hate’ but you didn’t play on that album. So, this is actually the first time you recorded with M.O.D… What was it like for you personally?
Scott: Yep....This is the first time I've actually recorded with Billy. Some years ago I almost joined M.O.D., I think before Rhythm Of Fear. But I didn't want to move to New York, and he didn't want to fly me out all the time (cheap cunt) so that of course didn't happen.... But I always told him that we would work very well together and create some awesome shyt and now we have. To be honest with you, I'm glad it happened on this record more than any of the others. This record kicks much ass, and is in the vein of what I love.... old school hardcore and metal.
I got the chance to see some action in the studio through Billy’s webcam. That was an awesome experience! Thanks for that! It seemed to me that everybody was having great fun during the recording.
Scott: An amazingly easy and fun cd to record. By far the most fun I've ever had in the studio. No stress, great tunes, and lots of laughs. Of which were mostly at Billy's expense.
M.O.D. is Billy’s band. So, I guess he wrote most of the album. Did you (co-) write any material that will be on the new album?
Scott: Well.... Billy is M.O.D., you know that. But the really cool thing was that he not only let me interject my opinions and thoughts, but also let me write some parts as well. Like I've said to him, I think that the flexability he showed with the writing and arranging was a true honor for me. It makes me feel good that he values my opinion and respects me enough to do so. And the fact that he's putting my song first on the record shows he's very smart. Hahaha.
We'll see... Haha. What does the new album sound like? It isn't a continuation of the style we heard on ‘The Rebel You Love To Hate’. I already heard snippets of 3 new tracks and they sound indeed very different, very old school hardcore to me.
Scott: I think this is no where near 'Rebel...' in the sense that this record is much more hardcore and 'Rebel' was more rockin'. 'Rebel' had an entirerly different feeling and style than this one. It seems to me, that Billy really went back to his roots for this record, with the riffs, subtle satire, and overall direction.
How many songs have been recorded? And how many will be on the actual cd? Could you also tell us a little about a couple of songs, for example: ‘Balls On Bread’, ‘The Big It’, Jose Can You See’, ‘Hardcore Harry’, ‘Red, White and Screwed’, ‘Get Up And Fight’, ‘Greatest Lie Ever Told’, …?
Scott: I think we recorded a total of 14 songs. 13 of which will be on the record, and a bonus track for certain other territories. As far as what you can expect musically..... very basic and to the point hardcore and metal. And if you want to know about the lyrical side of things... ask Billy that. All I know, is that a camels ass explodes and hardcore fuckin' rules.
What’s your favourite track on the new record and why?
Scott: Actually I have more than a few. But if I had to break it down to one..... I'd have to say, 'Alphabet City Stomp'. I just think it is all there in this song. Great riffs, good tempo and very cool lyrics. It's definatly homage to the scene back in the day.
The last time we did an interview, almost a year ago now, you weren’t very positive about M.O.D. fans and bassplayers at all. You said about playing bass for M.O.D.: “… I was sick of playing two strings. M.O.D. bass lines are like stone wheels.... very basic and dumb.” And about interacting with the fans: “I really just couldn't stand them for the most part. I felt that I would become a stupider man if I hung out to much.” You even said you didn’t know if you were in M.O.D. anymore, but here you are and you’ve just recorded a new album with Billy Milano and drummer Derek ‘Lennon’ Lopez. What happened in the meantime?
Scott: First off...... I would like to say to the people that read that interview and didn't get it...... SUCKERS!!!!!! Hahahaha. I can't believe some of the flack I got from that. Anyone that really knows me could have seen right thru that shit. I was being the subtle smart ass I am at times. I just like to fuck with people and see what kind of reaction I'll get from them. Little that I knew, I would be threatend physical harm from a certain someone (Gary Bradford) that I like and have hung out with, more than a few times. Take it easy on the weed Gary. Haha.
It was a weird interview... I didn’t know what to think after I got back from you. I thought you were kidding, but I wasn’t sure...
Scott: Like I said...... I live for that shit.
Well, I didn’t mind, really. That interview was even the reason I got in contact with former M.O.D. bassist Rob Moschetti. Which leads me to the following question: I know that you were talking about Rob doing the bass again on the new M.O.D. record. But in the end that didn’t happen. Billy did the bass himself. Can you tell us why?
Scott: Well, it really just came down to timing. It would have been great to do this with Rob. But at the end of the day...... it worked out the way it did.
Sjouke: How is Billy as a bassplayer? ;-)
Scott: Billy is pretty solid in the bass department. And the 3 bass lines he knows and uses in every song at some point are great. Lol, lmao, ttyl, haha.
In an interview I did with Billy last October, he told me that he might play some bass and would mostly handle rhythm guitars again with some other guitars performed by you. Now that Billy had to do bass himself on all tracks, did he still also handle rhythm guitars, or did you do all guitars?
Scott: Well, after a call I gave him at 3 in the morning one night and asked him and or basically told him that I want to play guitars on the album. He said that if that's what I wanted.... than that's what we'll do. I just felt a strong need to be on this record as a guitar player. I will say this though, one stipulation of me playing guitar on the record was that I had to play the cowbell on a song as well. And cowbell I did play, he held me to it. Fuckin dick!!!
Haha. You're multi-talented. Hahaha. Okay. About the new drummer now... We already mentioned Derek ‘Lennon’ Lopez. How and when did he become the drummer of M.O.D.? Danny Burkhardt played on the last album and toured for ‘The Rebel…’ and Mike Bennet played drums for M.O.D. during the ‘Killith Fair’ tour in 2005. Why another new drummer for this album?
Scott: Lennon (Derek) is local and he shreds. Danny was amazing and Mike as well. But the fact is that both of them don't live here and we really needed someone to be here and work things out with.
So, this is a complete new line-up. Is M.O.D. going to tour with this new line-up? If so, who will play bass live? Billy? Danny Lilker? That would be great BTW. Or maybe Rob Moschetti?
Scott: Don't quite know that yet. We're workin on some ideas. Billy had mentioned Billy Sheehan, but I'm thinking more along the lines of Wolfgang van Halen. I hear he shreds and maybe I could get his dad to tech for me. Hahaha...... ok, send your hate mail to Scott Sargeant c/o..... haha. I think I need to kick my own ass after that statement.
I read on Billy’s forum that M.O.D. is planning to do weekend gigs until the new album comes out. And after that? Will there be a real tour? Will M.O.D. come to Europe for example?
Scott: We are going to start doing random gigs asap. I hear there are talks of some festivals in Europe and maybe some tours. But like I said... its just talk at this point. I have learned over the years of my music career that until the contracts are signed.... you aint doin' shit.
I noticed that there were some guests in the studio to contribute to one or more songs. I saw Billy’s good friend Jason Z. and some other vocalists. You also did backing vocals, right? Can you tell us who – besides yourselves – are singing on the new record?
Scott: Yeah I did backups, as well as a slew of great dudes and one dudette. Let's see... Ben from Goatwhore, Looney from the Oklahomos, his wife Thypanee from the Blue Flames, Ben from Born To Lose, Jason Z. as you said from Bomber Z., and even Tim Gerron got in on it.
Well , I just can’t wait for this album to be released. I’m really excited that there will be another M.O.D. cd. And from what I heard already, it’s gonna be a great one. I hope it will!
Scott: I not only think you will love it, but all the fans of M.O.D. will too.
You’re not only playing guitars in M.O.D., you’re in another band as well called ‘Anthem’, also with Billy Milano on bass and Derek ‘Lennon’ Lopez on drums. M.O.D. is probably your priority now, but what are the plans for ‘Anthem’ in the (near) future?
Scott: Well... this is what the deal is on this. M.O.D. is something that we all agreed would be the stepping stone to further our Anthem dream. In the sense that it gave us all a chance to see how we can all work together on a production level, and see if we have the chemistry to take Anthem where we all want it go. Doing the M.O.D. record definatley proved to us that we have no problems working at that level together.
What kind of band is Anthem? And in what way is it a different band than M.O.D.?
Scott: Well one way it's different is that its a bit more complex.... it's definatley more metal than M.O.D., and we will have a different vocalist on it. This is a really hard question to answer in detail. I think I'll just shut up now and let it speak for itself, when were done writing for it.
And if 2 bands aren’t enough already, there’s also a third band called ‘Star 45’. I read on the MySpace bandprofile of Star 45 that this is a project you started about 5 years ago, so even before you were in M.O.D. and that it’s a stoner rock/southern style metal band. Where do you find the time to do these 3 bands? Are you going to record and tour with Star 45 sometime? What if Star 45 becomes bigger than M.O.D. or Anthem? Aren’t you afraid that Billy will kick you out of the band like James Hetfield in a way did with Jason Newsted, if Star 45 becomes very succesfull? Hahaha.
Scott: Oh look..... Sjouke made a funny. Haha. Basically, Star 45 is something I've been workin' on for a long time now. I just came to realize that I want to finish it and release the material I have written. It's something that was done solely for myself, and made me get back to my roots... the real early roots and influenes that made me the player I am. It's fuckin' rock straight up. I grew up with Page, Iommi, Hendrix and Roth. Just to mention a few. These are the guys that got to me first. The guys that made me want to be a guitar player. If something at some point happens for Star 45 that requires me to devote more time to it.... well I will cross that bridge when I get there. And I do know that Billy will support me in any decision I make. That's one thing about our relationship. We're not just band mates..... we're friends first and foremost. And we'll help, guide and do whatever we can to make the other do what makes them happy.... and who knows, if Star 45 gets big...... Billy will always have a job playing cowbell in MY band. Hahaha, lol, lmao, ttyl.
Hahaha. Well, first we have to wait until the release of the new M.O.D. album. Where and when can people see M.O.D. in the meantime?
Scott: Like I said, that's yet to be determined. But as soon as we have something... you'll be the first to know Sjouke.
Thanks. I hope 2007 will be a great year for M.O.D.!
Scott: Me too...... not just for me but for Billy, Lennon, and everybody else that truly deserves it.
Anything I forgot to ask?
Scott: Shit....... don't think so..... I suppose I should thank you for asking me to do another one after that last one huh..... well here you go, THANK YOU.
Haha. No problem. Thank YOU for doing this interview.
M.O.D.: Scott (guitars) - Billy (bass and vocals) - Lennon (drums)
www.billymilano.com (new website is coming soon);
M.O.D. on MySpace;
Billy Milano on MySpace;
Scott Sargeant on MySpace;
Derek ‘Lennon’ Lopez on MySpace;
Anthem on MySpace;
Star 45 on MySpace.
© Sjouke Bakker, February 2007
For more interviews, click here.