Weirdness From New Hampshire
CoC talks to Ironlung of Scissorfight
by: Adrian Bromley
Whoever wrote that rock 'n' roll and heavy music was about rebellion, partying and scaring the hell out of parents with the music blaring from the speaker must have had New Hampshire heavies Scissorfight in mind when they penned that. But not only are Scissorfight a reckless group of individuals, they also have a real bizarre style/sound that is beyond comparison, really. For sure, you need to hear this band so you can really understand the mentality going into their weird-o-rama release _Mantrapping for Sport and Profit_ on Tortuga. In a review that I wrote recently for the band, I said, "If you like beer, cheap women, bar fights, hunting, giving the middle finger, dirty sex, camping, pissing in the woods, Ted Nugent, gross humour, swearing, biker gangs, leather, brass knuckles, Motorhead, ignoring authority, facial hair, poor hygiene, Clutch, driving long highway stretches, drugs, tattoos and loud music, then New Hampshire's shit-kicking, heavy rock act Scissorfight is just what you need." Indeed this band is in a class of their own. So this burly bearded CoC scribe tracked down the burly bearded singer known as "Ironlung" via e-mail to discuss the band, the sound and maybe pick up some hunting tips.

CoC: The one thing that I find really invigorating about Scissorfight is the reckless, fun-like atmosphere of the music. What is the studio experience like when the band records? It must get bonkers in the studio? Beer spilling and just crazy shenanigans? Am I right?

Ironlung: Yes, the short time we [the band is rounded out by guitarist Octocock, bassist Jarvis and drummer Kevin -- Adrian] spend in the studio is chaotic, to say the least. There are only hazy memories. Thick smoke and many beers, riot gear and crates of dynamite to provide tension.

CoC: Having been familiar with past Scissorfight work, there has definitely been some growth -- do you see/hear it? If so, where and have these changes been planned or just happen?

I: If anything, it's about getting the sound you always wanted, each excursion to studio land provides the experience to get what you want. There is still an element of banging everything out which captures the live sound. This record was written under different conditions where not everything had been performed as a band yet, so there are elements of that to work with, a spontaneity, a shade of the unknown.

CoC: What have been the influences of Scissorfight since day one -- and can you still hear them today?

I: There was never any set influence on us other than the weather. You can hear elements of stuff we grew up listening to -- AC/DC, Black Flag, etc.. If anything, it was to do the rock in our own style the way we wanted to, for our own personal amusement.

CoC: Is this a full-time job for you? I believe Jerry (of Warm and Fuzzy PR) mentioned you were attending university/college? If so, what are you studying and is the band more hobby then?

I: Everyone has a day job to pay the bills. There is no money in underground rock. I'm writing my master's thesis (on the drug LSD, no less) and working as a commercial fisherman. To do this realistically you must be able to wear many hats at once, which is a good thing.

CoC: What makes you happy about being in the music business? And mad or sad?

I: Our situation is different. We just do whatever the fuck we want. We put out records on an underground label for that reason. We have total control and a great opportunity for an expressive outlet, that is the only way to look at it.

CoC: Describe to me a Scissorfight show. I can only imagine bar fights and lots of drunk bums mulling around.

I: We get a lot of Travis Bickle ("Taxi Driver") types, the most alienated and fucked up dirt bags society has to offer, which is a good thing.

CoC: Music has changed so much over the years, i.e. it has become very corporate. How did your band avoid from going in that direction and just staying true to the spirit of rock 'n' roll?

I: Because we are totally selfish in that we do. This is to get our rocks off. We don't give a fuck where it goes our how it gets there. And no corporate flunky would come near us with a ten-foot pole.

CoC: Can you tell me about the writing of _Mantrapping for Sport and Profit_? Any specific song stands out as a favourite one?

I: I dig all of them; "Hazard to Navigation" is pretty cool. Mostly half of the lyrics were written while working on the fishing boat staring out at the ocean.

CoC: Who'd win in a wrestling match -- you or a bear? I think I could take on a bear cub, but not a mama bear. I am a burly guy with a beard too, so I think we'd make a great tagteam if there ever was need for one. Anyway, who'd win? Would you fight dirty?

I: I once wrote an article for a magazine about bear attacks and how to prevent a bear from mauling your ass. I would kick an attacking bear in the nuts first, and then I would go "cave man" style on it and break my foot off in its ass!

CoC: Just curious, and playing off the title of album, how much does one caught man fetch you (or other bandmembers) during the hunting season?

I: Mantrapping is taken from survivalist guru Ragnar Benson's books on capturing the most dangerous game. It is important to learn, as he says, to keep your ass out of someone else's sling.

(article submitted 12/4/2002)


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