Ibanez: How did Bleeding Through come together?
Scott: Bleeding Through came together around the summer of 1999, when Brandan [Schieppati, vocals] and Javier decided to reform this band that we were in called Breakneck with a couple of other dudes from a band called Taken. So we decided to do that, and we had a few member changes, and then decided we weren't happy playing that style of music anymore. We wanted to step it up and start playing more metal stuff. That essentially became Bleeding Through.
Ibanez: Had you played in a lot of other bands before that?
Scott: Actually, yeah I played in a whole lot of bands before that. I mean, none that really went places. I had a couple that put records out, but nothing big. At the time, Brandan was also in Eighteen Visions, playing guitar in that band. Javier was in that band, too. I didn't really have a whole lot going on that was going places.
Ibanez: When did you start playing guitar?
Scott: Oh, boy. I believe I was like 12 or 13 years old. I really should be a lot better for how long I've been playing (laughs). So yeah, I've been playing for quite awhile・maybe a little over 20 years.
Ibanez: Did you take any lessons or have formal training?
Scott: No, I didn't, and that's sort of been a good thing and a bad thing. It's definitely been good in terms of I learned everything myself, so I have a sense of accomplishment with that and developed my own style as a result. But there are definitely things that I could and should have learned along the way, too.
Ibanez: What did you work on to develop your skills?
Scott: Mostly, I just started playing along to records that were a really big influence on me at the time. You know, trying to figure out those bands. And that really kind of jump-started me into getting more serious about playing guitar and actually going out and buying new equipment and everything. That was probably the biggest tool for me, and I would definitely advise that for anybody else.
Ibanez: Who were some of the bands you played along to, and what are some of your other influences?
Scott: When I first started playing guitar, which again was over 20 years ago, it was right around the time the whole thrash metal thing started getting really big・bands like Metallica, Exodus, Slayer, and Megadeth. Granted, when you first start playing, you shouldn't expect to be playing along with that stuff right away. But you know, you just sort of learn and get ideas from that. Even from the very start, I've always been really into making up my own thing, so I took a lot of influence from the records I was listening to and just kinda went along with making my own thing up.
Ibanez: You guys recently released your fourth studio album, The Truth. How do you feel this record compares to your previous releases?
Scott: I would say it's definitely a lot more mature, the musicianship on it is better, the songwriting is better, but it still retains all the qualities that Bleeding Through is known for. Compared to previous releases, it is just way more mature. When we did the other records, from the very beginning, we were into a lot of death metal and I think those records really show what we were listening to at the time・which was a lot of Cannibal Corpse and black metal bands like Emperor and things like that. We just sort of threw as many influences as we could in there, and didn't really know how to bridge them all together like we do now. Now, the transitions are a lot better, they're a lot smoother, and I think each release shows how much better we've gotten at songwriting.
Ibanez: What are some of your favorite tracks on the album?
Scott: My favorite one out of the whole record is definitely "Line in the Sand." It was a challenge for us to try something so drastically different, and I think we pulled it off pretty well. So yeah, I really like "Line in the Sand," and then there are other songs that I really like just because they're fun to play. "Kill to Believe" is a really fun song to play live. "For Love and Failing" is another personal favorite of mine. I really like them all, but I guess those are my three standouts.
Ibanez: What does the band have planned next?
Scott: We actually leave next week for a tour with Senses Fail and Saosin, and I Am The Avalanche is on some of that as well. That's going to be about a month long. Then we come home, take a break for Christmas, and sort of get our heads together for the next year, because we plan on going out and touring our asses off.
Ibanez: A lot of touring for next year?
Scott: Definitely, definitely・a lot of overseas touring next year.
Ibanez: Are you thinking Europe specifically?
Scott: Well, the first plan that we have is to go to Brazil, then afterwards we're going to Europe・possibly Australia after that. But the only things set in stone right now are Brazil and Europe.
Ibanez: Let's talk about your gear. How long have you been playing Ibanez?
Scott: I've been playing Ibanez guitars for about a year and a half now. Technically, I've been playing them longer, because I used to own a couple of Ibanez's a long, long time ago. I just always went through guitars and tried a lot of different ones, and that sort of led me to my custom thing. I've always been a big fan of old Gibson guitars - the really old ones - and when I designed my custom model, I wanted to take all the cool things about a newer Ibanez guitar and sort of throw them in together with a vintage Gibson. And the guitar they built me is just incredible. To this day, it's my favorite guitar I've ever owned.
Ibanez: Can you tell us a little more about that guitar, and what you like best about it?
Scott: Well, it's an RGA, with the arched top, and I basically wanted something that looked and felt, in terms of weight, like an old Gibson Les Paul. I kind of have this thing where the heavier the guitar is, the heavier the tone is. I've always believed that, and it's just been true for me for every guitar I've used. And the custom model I had them build me weighs a ton. It's awesome・it's the most comfortable guitar I've ever owned. It's got the weight behind it, but it's not as bulky as a Les Paul. It has the feel of all the good parts of a newer instrument and the good things of an older instrument, and just took all the bad out of both.
Ibanez: Are you currently using any other models?
Scott: I also have an RGA production model・the 121 in the Violin finish [RGA121VLF]. I really like that a lot, which is weird for me, because I usually don't like bolt-on necks. That one is the only bolt-on neck that I own, and I really like that guitar a lot, too. I also have a couple of RG's. I have the T220 [RGT220], but I had them redo it in matte black, just because I'm not really a big fan of mixing wood grain colors on a guitar. And I also have the 42DX [RGT42DX], and that one is also finished in matte black. That was more of an accident than anything else. I had a spill on stage awhile back and literally almost cracked the bottom horn off・it was just chipped all to hell. So I had to send it back and have them fix it for me, and I was like, you know, let's do it over again in a flat black and see how it looks. And it came out awesome.
Ibanez: Are you currently involved in any other projects?
Scott: Our drummer Derek and I have a side project going called March of the Damned, but we don't really get a lot of whole time to work with it, so not a whole lot has been accomplished yet. But we're definitely working on that and when we get time, we're going to start looking for a label, and just try and do something different・something different than Bleeding Through.
Ibanez: Any idea what direction you guys will want to go in?
Scott: Probably a lot noisier and more chaotic・not so much of a song-type band. I just want to do something angry and chaotic. That's pretty much the avenue we're going to try and explore with that band.