Saturday, 3 December 2016

An Interview with Jay Fortin from SCISSORFIGHT

Scissorfight made a name for themselves for their legendary shows and acclaimed albums such as “American Cloven Hoof Blues”, “Mantrapping for Sport and Profit” and Juggernaut. Then in 2006 the band suddenly split up.

Over the years the band have become almost legendary within the underground Stoner/Sludge Metal scene. Fans have been waiting patiently for the band to reform and Scissorfight's reputation has only become stronger since they originally broke up a decade ago.

Fast forward 10 years later and Scissorfight have returned though with two new members – Rick Orcutt and Doug Aubin on Drums and Vocals respectively. Doug had perhaps the biggest challenge in taking over their former vocalist – Ironlung's role. Doug brings his style of expert delivery on their comeback EP – Chaos County (Out now on Salt Of The Earth Records).

Chaos County matches the familiar intensity of Scissorfight's legendary sound and gives it a more modern sounding groove. It's a kick-ass EP that should hopefully see the band create more heavier sounds in the years to come.

I was given the chance to speak to Jay Fortin (Guitars) and this is what we discussed.

Hi Jay. Thanks for doing this interview. Really appreciate this. How are things with you today.

Hey, things are good!

Before we start discussing your excellent new EP. Can you advise what happened when you guys broke-up. You were riding a crest of the wave. Great albums and a fearsome live reputation. What happened.

Yeah things were going pretty good it seemed. The singer quit the band without really letting us know. He just stopped responding to requests about when we would play again and it took a while to figure out that he indeed had no intention of being in the band anymore. 

Did the break-up happen suddenly or was it a build-up of different events.

 It was sudden in a way for us but for him it probably was a build up of things.

Are you still in contact with Ironlung. What are his thoughts on the reunion.

There has been little contact with him over the last 10 years... I'm guessing he doesn't really give a shit about it!

It seems the legend of Scissorfight and calls for a reunion has grown vastly stronger over the last five years or so. Did you notice this yourselves.

Yes we definitely noticed! It seemed that interest in the band never really let up, maybe it got stronger. We noticed from activity on the internet and in our lives... Running into fans all time, old and new, people always asking for merch... Etc etc

When did you decide to reform the band and how did it come about.

We've thought about reforming the band a few times thru the years... With a new singer.. But it didn't happen. Jarvis(bass player) and I have been in other bands in the last 10 years and the last band we were in did a show to support the release of a Scissorfight beer.

We did a few Scissorfight songs and it then that we started thinking about starting up the Scissorfight machine again... We thought "why the fuck not?!

It's our band, we started it, the other guys quit 10 years ago and people want SCISSORFIGHT! " so that's when started plotting and planning...

You have two new members in the line-up now. How did you meet new members Doug and Rick.

We first met Doug at shows that both of our other bands played together... Jarvis was the first to make note of the fact that he would be perfect for the front man of Scissorfight... So we had our eyes on him for a bit! Rick is a local drummer we both knew from shows.. He played in a lot of punk bands including The Queers and The Connection and The Guts. He had contacted us a few times about just jamming and shit... So when it came time to get serious he got the call.

What do Doug and Rick bring to the Scissorfight sound.

 They bring awesomeness! Doug brings a disquieting presence and a strong, more aggressive tone to the vocal sound, which we're very excited about... A harder edge... Rick brings solid, hard hitting big ass drum noises that fit perfect for this shit! Simple, loud as fuck, rock drumming as it should be. And both of these guys are cool as hell, chill, ready to destroy eardrums at anytime! 

How have the live audience taken to the new line-up. Has it all been positive vibes from your fans.

It's been amazing! Audiences have been blown away I think... Every show has people that were a little sceptical about it but were turned around into believers after! Yeah it's been very well received. All positive.

We have to talk about your excellent new EP – Chaos County. Great EP and one that matches your classic earlier sound with a more modern feel. What can people expect from the EP.

Thanks! I think you put it well, they can expect the same classic Scissorfight sound just updated a bit... And we have so many new songs waiting be recorded, heavier, groovier, faster... Expect more heavy ass rock to flip out to!

Was it an easy or hard EP to write and record for.

It was easy as fuck! I've never stopped writing Scissorfight riffs so all the music is coming out very easily. Doug probably had the hardest job and he's proved up to the task.

With this being your first release with the new line-up. Did you feel any extra pressure recording the EP. Were you worried what long-time fans would think of this EP.

There was definitely some pressure and some wondering what fans would think... It's hard to change members in such a established band but it just felt like it could be done... It had to be the right people.. Maybe that's why it took so long... But it was worth the risk... The recording part was easy because it just was sounding bad ass... It was the first few shows that were worrisome.. But it ended up we had nothing to worry about!

Did you try out any of the new songs live in concert before you started recording it. If yes, how was the reception to the new songs being played live.

We did and people were  head banging and rockin out before even knowing what the songs were! People started picking up lyrics from live videos that were posted online and singing choruses before the EP came out!!

The EP is being released by Salt Of The Earth Records. How did you hook up with them.

Salt Of The Earth contacted us right away about putting the return of Scissorfight out and we were stoked! It was really that simple. 

Did you have any offers from other labels.

We did not. Maybe we will, maybe not, we don't care that much cuz we're gonna do what we do regardless.

Scissorfight has such a vast and almost classic back catalogue. What has been your favourite record you’ve released.

Well, the new one of course! But as far as the old stuff probably mantrapping for sport and profit is my favorite. It's hard to say... I like everything except some of those later EP's. 

Are there plans for a full length record or perhaps even a European Tour.

Yes! We have enough times for a full length already so just just gotta record them... And we recently got added to Roadburn in April 2017 so we'll be doing some European touring around that! And we are fuckin stoked to get over there!

Did you ever think when you started the band over twenty years ago that you would still be doing it to this very day. Do you have any personal highlights during that period.

 I never really thought too much about how long is be doing this! I also always had hope that Scissorfight would happen again. It's all highlights! We love this shit. We're excited to create more highlights! For me personally, the highlights are when old fans come up after a show and thank us profusely for coming back and how they love the new line up... And when new fans who never saw the band live the first time... Those are truly awesome moments. Means a lot.

Thanks for doing the interview. All the best with your new EP.

Thank you! And hope to see you at a show!

Words by Steve Howe and Jay Fortin

Thanks to Scott at Salt Of The Earth Records for arranging this interview. Thanks to Jay for taking the time out in doing this interview.

Chaos County is available to buy now via Salt Of The Earth Records.

Scissorfight Links:

Salt Of The Earth Records Links: