There are three basic reasons to start a hard rock band.
First, theres ego. Thats always in there somewhere. Second, theres a desire to create a lasting type of performance art. And third, theres what one downtown video rental store cleverly terms romance. At least thats what it says on that sign above the locked door.
To hear Scozz, the drummer for up-and-coming Georgia bad boys The Backseat Superstars tell it, his group is probably equally driven by all three.
One of the last truly raunchy hard rock bands left in that metropolis (or one of the first of a brand-new revival, depending on who you ask), the group pledges allegiance to the glory days of sex, drugs, rock and roll, and swimming pools. Its an ethos thats become known as part of the Decline of Western Civilization.
Scozz says his group is doing whatever they can to combat the rising tide of conformity that has threatened to kill off American hard rock for over a decade. Their group was formed in 2003 out of what he terms extreme frustration.
We were primarily fed up with the nu-metal scene and cookie-cutter bands, he says. Its so hard to tell the difference between bands these days, ya know? Bands these past few years really have no identity. There is so much angst and anger in music these days... but what happened to the fun? Rock and roll is supposed to be fun. Its a release. Why do you want to try and remind yourself that life is so bad? Grow up.
He acknowledges that given the state of the music industry today, his group and others like them have their work cut out for them but theyre not stopping.
We are not out to start a revolution. We would just like to show kids there is an alternative alternative! Were all about having a good time. If the Industry takes note, than so be it. Theres a market out there for what we play, thats for sure.
And yet, despite their aversion to what the groups promotional materials decry as corporate rock, there are many pop culture scholars who would quickly point
out that the style of vaguely glam hair metal that The Backseat Superstars put forth is notorious for representing some of the most crass corporate marketing in the history of the music business.
This irony is not entirely lost on Scozz.
Yeah, it is kinda an oxymoron when you think of it, he acknowledges. What we are now is the underground. That really trips me out. We took out the loan in the late 80s and early 90s and were more than willing to pay it back!
The group currently rehearses a couple of days a week, but they are likely intense practices, as they are an extremely impressive and tight unit. Scozz describes everyone in the band as true professionals, and says the best part about all the members having secure careers outside of music as being a real boon to their development.
When it comes to signing a record deal, he proclaims, We have nothing but time.
Another one of his personal goals will be realized in just a few weeks, when his band plays at a charity benefit called CrueFest at the famous Whiskey A-Go-Go in Los Angeles. Theyll appear with several other up-and-coming acts from around the world, all of whom are devoted fans of metal legends Motley Crue.
I have been waiting twenty-some odd years to play the Whiskey and it will be a highlight of all of our careers, he gushes.
Scozz is around the same age as Crues famed drummer Tommy Lee whos still on of his musical heroes.
It is hard work doing what we do when you get into your late 30s and early
40s. You have to work that much harder. I am 42 years old and can still kick ass, so bring it on, junior.
The Backseat Superstars play an 18+ show at The Jinx on Saturday night. ASG and Misfortune 500 appear as well.