Scar the Martyr
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
A music artist and auteur filmmaker with shrewd insight and unlimited vision, Rob Zombie has continuously challenged audiences as he stretches the boundaries of film, music and publishing. He’s not happy merely sporting a single creative hat; instead, he submerges himself fully in each artistic endeavor, rolling up his sleeves and immersing his hands completely in each project. That’s the long and short of the artist known as Rob Zombie.
But perhaps the arena in which Rob Zombie is best known and most celebrated for is his music. He is a 7 time Grammy-nominated recording artist, having sold over fifteen million albums worldwide to date. Late 2009 brought Zombie’s long awaited Hellbilly Deluxe 2. The demons were let loose on Hellbilly Deluxe 2, which comes a dozen years after its predecessor, Hellbilly Deluxe, the album that established Zombie as a solo artist in his own right following the demise of White Zombie. That album also yielded a string of successful radio singles, namely “Dragula” and “Living Dead Girl,” both of which dominated the airwaves in 1998 and 1999, closing out the decade, Zombie style.
Not content to merely arrest the world with his delightfully nefarious tunes, Rob Zombie directed the second edition of the Halloween franchise, Halloween 2 for Dimension Films, which came out in August 2009. It was his fifth time writing and directing a feature film. Zombie had also interpreted John Carpenter’s original cult horror film Halloween in 2007; that film premiered at #1 at the box office, breaking all Labor Day Weekend 2007 records and grossing an estimated 80 million dollars worldwide. His efforts on rebooting and reinventing this beloved franchise earned him two nominations from Spike TV’s Scream Awards, for Best Director and Best Remake; he picked up the award for the latter. His previous films include 2004’s House of 1000 Corpses and 2005’s critically acclaimed The Devil’s Rejects also a Spike Award winner. Zombie also added a sick and twisted animated, R-rated feature to his roster, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto.
For the past two decades Zombie has directed dozens of videos, having lensed tracks for fellow metal superstar Ozzy Osbourne, among others. He contributes material to soundtracks and isn’t afraid to push boundaries and ignore the parameters when it comes to the both the audio and visual mediums. He won the 1995 MTV Music Video Award for White Zombie’s ‘More Human Than Human,’ making history by becoming the first self-directed artist to pick up the award.
Zombie has dominated the touring world in 2010, blowing away audiences on the road with Korn on the Mayhem tour. He’s also been the subject of glowing reviews, terrifying audiences as he teams up with horror-rock legend, Alice Cooper as “The Gruesome Twosome Tour”. He continues to tour with his longtime bandmates: guitarist John 5, bassist Piggy D and drummer Joey Jordison (of Slipknot and Murderdolls fame).
When it comes to any artistic feat or endeavor, leave it to Rob Zombie to accomplish what appears on paper to be nearly impossible. Armed with Hellbilly Deluxe 2, this artist is once again about to swoop down and capture the hearts of hard rockers the world over.
Scar the Martyr
Heavy music has long provided a sanctuary for restless creative spirits. As drummer and songwriting mainstay for US metal titans Slipknot, Joey Jordison has earned himself a fearsome reputation as one of the most prolific and artistically driven figures in modern music. Now, after many years of side-projects and collaborations, he has formed a new band that boldly encapsulates his unique creative personality. A full-blooded and fully-formed sonic beast that brings Joey together with some of the most talented musicians in the rock world, Scar The Martyr are starting as they intend to continue: as an unstoppable force.
“I was working on new Slipknot material but I had to shelve it and wait until we all know we’re getting back together,” Joey explains. “But I couldn’t stop writing! I stayed in the studio because I had so many ideas and I decided to put another band together. I wanted to really challenge myself and come up with some material that worked on a more intellectual level and that wasn’t just a standard metal project. I had to do stuff that was challenging, something I’d never done before, and take it seriously. I needed to keep the integrity of Slipknot but branch out into some areas and I've never visited before and wanted to try. The result was way beyond what I expected. It was fun because it was a learning process. I was constantly challenged to make these songs better and take it in the different directions that I wanted to explore, and that’s what made this record so fun.”
Pieced together by Jordison and his new comrades over the last couple of years, Scar The Martyr’s debut album is both a celebration of one man’s unique vision and a potent collision between diverse but effortlessly compatible musicians. Although Joey plays guitars, bass and drums on the record, the contributions of lead guitarists Jed Simon (ex-Strapping Young Lad) and Kris Norris (Darkest Hour), vocalist Henry Derek and keyboard scientist Chris Vrenna (Nine Inch Nails) are not to be underestimated.
“I did the core of the music myself, but Henry did all the vocals and wrote all the lyrics, and Chris Vrenna from NIN did all the keys,” Joey states. “I had a bunch of vocalists in mind when I started this but I didn’t want someone from a known band and Henry blew everyone else away. Chris Vrenna was amazing too. He’s a visionary. It’s really hard to find great people to do programming and keyboard work and take the heaviness aspect and really transform it, so it’s more than just metal. I gave Chris total freedom and he did a perfect job. When he does keys it really adds to the actual song. It’s a very musical part of the compositions.”
“As far as the bulk of the songwriting, with all the extra flavours I wanted to bring in, I wanted to get not just friends but people who understood what I wanted to do,” Joey continues. “And they got it, man! Jed Simon came in and I didn’t have to tell him anything. I didn’t have to tell Kris Norris anything either. It was really weird. Me and Jed share the bond of a lot of 70s bands, and a lot of his style comes from that era. On Kris’ side, the influence comes more from the early metal stuff, which I love too. They helped out the songs so much. A lot of leads are just put in to break up a vocal and show off a guitar player, but you can sing these leads and I love that, plus they are great live players and songwriters.”
A dark, powerful and wildly inventive blend of punishing hard rock riffs, eerie keys and atmospherics, towering melodies and seething metallic aggression, Scar The Martyr represents a seamless blending of Joey’s influences into a warped but mesmerising whole. From the turbulent refrains and thunderous pulse of Soul Disintegration and Cruel Ocean to the driving, soulful thrust of Never Forgive Never Forget, My Retribution’s brooding riff attack and the slamming industrial crunch of Blood Host, it is a compelling maelstrom of smart ideas and massive hooks that recalls everything from Alice In Chains and Faith No More to Ministry and Neurosis while never once sounding remotely derivative. Mixed by legendary producer and sound sculptor Rhys Fulber (Fear Factory/Paradise Lost) Scar The Martyr is a mercurial meeting of minds, custom designed for maximum impact.
“When I listen to it, it doesn’t sound like anything,” says Joey. “That’s when I really know, regardless of what anyone else thinks, that I met my goal. The songs are fucking great. I’m happy with every aspect of the record and usually I’m not! That’s very new for me. It’s weird. I’m ultra-critical and I still am with this record, but with this one I took a lot of care over this. I made sure I got everything right. I committed to it. I think you can tell from the sound that it’s a real band. Even when some projects are good, you can tell they’re not real bands. But this is real.”
Despite being a member of one of the biggest metal bands on the planet while possessing a resume that includes stints with Korn, Satyricon, Ministry and Rob Zombie, not to mention two acclaimed albums with zombie punk crew Murderdolls, Joey Jordison still has more energy and ideas than virtually anyone else in heavy music today. Scar The Martyr is a brave and exhilarating bolt from the blue that promises to delight music fans from all points along the sonic spectrum. Once the album hits the streets, Joey and his new band will be hitting the road with full force, proving that not only is Scar The Martyr a bona fide band of brothers but also that this music is built to last and to leave us all with scars to cherish.
"If I'm going to do anything at this point in my career it's got to be a proper band. It has to be, otherwise I'm wasting my time. I've had a blast with all the bands I've had the pleasure of working with. If I was going to step outside of Slipknot, I wanted to expose myself fully, all in, all out, no compromises, in a creative and soul spilling way. It would have to be full on, an exorcism of sorts, take no prisoners, no shortcuts, everything constructed to the fullest and the best it could be. Everyone involved with this album stepped up to the plate, and put their hearts and souls into this. I can't wait for all of the fans to hear this and deliver this to them live. See you on tour!"