Scattered Hamlet is:
Adam Joad - Vocals, Harmonica, Guitar
Jake Delling Le Bas - Drums
Richard Erwin - Bass, Vocals
Adam Newell - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Jake Delling Le Bas - Drums
Richard Erwin - Bass, Vocals
Adam Newell - Lead Guitar, Vocals
BOOTLEG METAL: So let’s get things started with the name. Who came up with the name and what’s behind it?
SCATTERED HAMLET: It’s the title of a chapter of a civil war book I was reading. It’s a term for small communities, rural or mountain communities – little places called hamlets. So I named the band that. It fits the band, but at the same time, most people don’t get it. So, in hindsight, I probably should have done something more obvious. (Laughs). People are like ‘Is that a Shakespeare reference?’ No, not at all. It is what it is. There are better band names and there are far worse ones. BOOTLEG METAL: Yeah man, what I would have expected but very cool none the less.
BOOTLEG METAL: Where is the band from?
SCATTERED HAMLET:We tour out of Southwestern PA on the PA/West Virginia border. We all were in Southern California and met there at one point. None of us currently live in the same state.
BOOTLEG METAL: Is this the original line up and how did you guys find yourselves in the same band ?
SCATTERED HAMLET: There really isn’t an “original lineup” for the band. Ari M, current Otep guitarist and myself hatched the concept for this band in his studio in Iowa. Once we had the original concept and demos for the band I went back to Southern California to find the right group of guys. Clay Davies produced the early SH stuff after Ari and I hatched the scheme and both full lengths were produced by Jason Donaghy, Jake Rodenhouse and Scattered Hamlet. We’ve had the same core lineup for a while. Of course Jake had a terrible accident in the fall so that changed things. We also sometimes use extra musicians. Sometimes we go three guitars, we’ve used a hype man, and we’ve used a piano player too. It just depends on how we want to set up the show.
BOOTLEG METAL: How long has (the band) been around and how long after your first rehearsal was it before the first show?
SCATTERED HAMLET: We’ve been road warriors for quite a few years just out there doing our thing. We really didn’t follow the typical “hash out songs” rehearsal set up and then do the local scene. The tunes were crafted in a studio set up, we got some folks together - played a few local shows and then started touring almost right away. There was some buzz around the band and we all had been involved in the industry before so it wasn’t like starting from scratch.
BOOTLEG METAL: Does everyone contribute to the writing process or does someone generally write the lyrics and/or music?
SCATTERED HAMLET: There’s no set writing process. Typically I write all the lyrics and I do the bulk of the music too. The guys contributed a lot of great ideas to Swamp Rebel Machine though that we worked from. Good songs are good songs, we get them how we can.
BOOTLEG METAL: What are your songs about? Fact? Fiction? Personal experiences?
SCATTERED HAMLET: The songs are almost all about personal experiences on some level. It’s not straight storytelling but usually a mix of personal experience, observations and sometimes some Appalachian folk lore. It really just depends on the song.
BOOTLEG METAL: What genre do you feel (the band) fit’s in the best and what influenced your writing to get you there?
SCATTERED HAMLET: There’s a lot of emphasis on genre and I’m not sure why. We sometimes get lumped into the metal scene and I don’t think that’s very accurate. The band basically is somewhere between Motorhead and Skynyrd. So hard southern rock maybe? Honky Tonk Metal? I’m not sure.
BOOTLEG METAL: What was your latest gig?
SCATTERED HAMLET: We’re on tour right now. We just finished up a stretch of Warped Tour dates and we just did Rockfest in Wisconsin. BOOTLEG METAL: Very nice.
BOOTLEG METAL: Where have you played live this year?
SCATTERED HAMLET: All over the country.
BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a favorite cover that always finds it’s way on your set list and is there a story behind it?
SCATTERED HAMLET: We usually do a new cover for each tour. Currently we have a video for Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry” We’re touring on as a tribute to our drummer. I don’t really want to rehash the whole story, it’s not easy to talk about. There’s a lot of information out there on it online if people want to know. Anyway, Dee give us his approval and blessing on that cover and we’ve been playing it this entire tour. SH Adam Newell is also filling in on some dates as Dee’s guitar player in Europe this August. BOOTLEG METAL: Yeah man, very cool.
BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a past show that stands out from the rest?
SCATTERED HAMLET: All the shows this tour have been really great. We’ve been having some issues with the brakes on our Sprinter so we had to cancel 2 dates. That sucks but we’re set to be in Ohio tomorrow.
BOOTLEG METAL: So what’s in the works for (the band)?
SCATTERED HAMLET: We’re finishing this tour up and then headed to Sturgis. We’ll be playing the Buffalo Chip mainstage with Kid Rock and Lita Ford this year so that’s pretty badass. We’re looking forward to that.
BOOTLEG METAL: What are your thoughts on your local music scene?
SCATTERED HAMLET: We’re not really part of any local music scene. SH really didn’t come out of a scene like that. When I was young in Southwestern PA there was a really cool underground punk scene. That’s where I learned how to be in a band and the DIY work ethic we still use today. We meet a lot of really cool local bands on the road and that’s always refreshing. Some of these folks I’ve made life long friends with and we’ve even used some of them on stage with SH for fill ins etc. There’s quite a few I’d like to take on tour as well if we get in a position where we can help them. On the other end of the spectrum, we also meet a lot of jabroni local bands who leave after their set, don’t promote the show, bring out their 3 girlfriends only, play shitty music and scare away any audience members on the fence about sticking around and who do zero work but still ask us for help or take them on tour... those situations suck and I’m sure those kind of people are around in every industry. If you don’t even watch our set, don’t hit me up on social media the next day asking for me to do something for you.
BOOTLEG METAL: Is there a recent album/EP release you’d like to tell us about and where can we get it?
SCATTERED HAMLET: We just released the single for “Stay Hungry.” It’s available for downloading and streaming just about everywhere. You can get hard copies of our albums from STORE for people in the U.S. and if you’re overseas go to CD Baby and they do international shipping.
BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have merchandise for sale?
SCATTERED HAMLET: It’s a must for bands in this day and age. So yeah, you can get everything here: S.H. STORE
BOOTLEG METAL: Where can you be found online?
SCATTERED HAMLET: We have an official website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.... just Google Scattered Hamlet, you can find everything you need to know about. Probably even some stuff you didn’t want to know ha ha.
BOOTLEG METAL: As far as videos, sites, merch, ect. Are you guys more of a DIY band or do you hire out?
SCATTERED HAMLET: We’re punk rockers at heart so we try to do as much as we can ourselves. There’s a reason people are professionals though so we do hire out the stuff we can’t do ourselves on the quality level we want.
BOOTLEG METAL: Do you have or are you looking for a label/manager?
SCATTERED HAMLET: SH is managed by 10 and 8 Management, we are booked by Artery Global and we released Swamp Rebel Machine under Buck Moon Productions. We haven’t selected a label for the new album to be released under yet. We always like to work with new folks who have new ideas. If your idea is to turn us into generic hillbilly radio rock then we don’t want to work with you.
BOOTLEG METAL: One question I like to ask. What song (if any) by another artist do you wish you wrote?
SCATTERED HAMLET: I wished I wrote “Mr. Devil and the Black Widow Women” by Beitthemeans. Josh rips on slide and it’s a great song writer. I also wish I wrote Zepplin’s “Over The HIlls and Far Away.”
BOOTLEG METAL: Is there another artist or band that is totally not your genre that you listen to?
SCATTERED HAMLET: About 90% of the music I listen to is not from our genre. I listen to a lot of classic rock, 80’s pop, classic R&B, outlaw country and even some 90’s prime country. I’m huge fans of Mike Ness’s work in Social Distortion and Bruce Springsteen is incredible.
BOOTLEG METAL: If you could pick, past or present, would there be a dream collaborator (artist/producer) you would like to work with?
SCATTERED HAMLET: I’d love to work with Rick Rubin or Mutt Lange if I could pick a producer. Writing collaborations are trickier. There’s plenty of folks I’d like to try to write with but let’s be honest, some of the collaborations with two great artists end up being less than stellar. Have you ever heard Ebony and Ivory by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder? Two legends came up with that mess.
BOOTLEG METAL: Any Spinal Tap moments you can share?
SCATTERED HAMLET: Our stage show is kind of like hillbilly spinal tap every night. You never know what’s going to happen. BOOTLEG METAL: (laughs) Fair enough. Such is life.
Bootleg Metal: I see you guys hit the Rocklahoma stage on two well deserved occasions. Must’ve been some added pressure. Anything you’d like to share?
SCATTERED HAMLET: Rocklahoma was cool both times we played it. I like festivals like that. I don’t really consider that pressure. It’s what we do, I don’t have stage fright or anything like that. I became an entertainer to entertain, so big stages give me the chance to entertain more people. That’s the goal, it’s humbling and killer, that doesn’t give me anxiety though. Put me on an LA freeway in rush hour, that gives me anxiety.
Bootleg Metal: I checked out a bunch of songs but I’ll stay with the most current. So Stonewall Jackson. Kinda like a slow moving truck just barreling over anything in it’s path. Great, great song. Any story behind the song itself and/or the video?
SCATTERED HAMLET: Thank you, yeah that songs is a about crossing the Mason Dixon line by Blacksville, West Virginia. There was a “haunted” cemetery legend out there where we used to hide and try to duck the law. There was an old trailer out there on the WV side where we used to get our weed and stuff. When I go back there all those memories coming flooding back to me. Some of those things and people are still there, some aren’t anymore. That’s the “chasing ghosts” part of the song. BOOTLEG METAL: F*ck that (laughs), anything haunted aint for me but great tune.
BOOTLEG METAL: Sorry to hear about your drummer. I hope he’s doing better. I thought it was a great offering to a fallen brother doing Stay Hungry. Awesome job on that one. How was filming that video with all that’s behind it?
SCATTERED HAMLET: We appreciate that. I haven’t heard our brother Jake’s voice since September before his accident. His brother shot the video and his best friend Jay produced the song. It was a very emotional experience. Some days I’m ok and other days I’m messed up about it. Today honestly it’s been bothering me and I really don’t want to talk about it right now.
BOOTLEG METAL: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us and answering the questions. Is there anything you’d like to add?
SCATTERED HAMLET: Thank you, we appreciate you wanting to get know us better and helping us get the word out there. We’re all in this together and anytime someone wants to talk with us its humbling.