Scorpion Child: Fear and Loathing in Austin, Texas
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Scorpion Child is a band that revitalises a bygone era. The young Texan five-piece don’t just make classic rock n’ roll, but they live and breathe classic rock n’ roll. The motley crew of vocalist Aryn Black, guitarist Christopher Cowart, bassist Alec Padron, drummer Jon “Charn” Rice and keyboardist AJ Vincent embodies the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll lifestyle, so much so that they named their brand new concept album Acid Roulette. And if you don’t know what acid roulette is, Aryn’s on-hand to help you out. “You cut up a sheet of acid into little squares and then you cut up a sheet of paper into little squares,” the singer smiles. “You put all the pieces into a jar and then you shake it up. Then everybody takes five pieces of paper, so you have no idea if you’ve got five hits of acid or one with four placebos. It’s quite brilliant: a lot of people get significantly more fucked up than others.” And Scorpion Child have found a way to work their unique pastime into the story of the album, in which a man is wrongly imprisoned for murder and ends up losing his family. “It symbolises escape in the story. The man has such a horrible experience losing his wife and children to another man in the false conviction of murder. He found out that she was leaving him while he was away, so he has to go through a grieving process. “And he remembered when he was a teenager going out into the desert with his friends, playing acid roulette, which he brought into the prison walls to offer him an escape and a little bit of joy. He plays it with the other inmates and watches the guards just lose their minds. So it’s the X factor, the release from dealing with the pain of human emotion.” The unpredictable and enigmatic nature of Scorpion Child also presents itself in the album’s recording, which – like the band’s 2013 debut – was heralded by producer Chris “Frenchie” Smith. “The first album was such a process to make: there was so much conflict. We tried suing each other afterwards but then came back just to realise that we’re like best buds. The idea of making another record together, it sounded pretty incredible. We said to each other ‘Yo! Let’s just make another record together,’ then we went ahead and did it. He’s crazy, I’m crazy: it just works! “I think everybody’s just insane enough to let this happen again and I feel like we’ve made something even more incredible this time around, because of the ups and downs with Frenchie. He’s a wonderful person. We went from loving him to hating him to loving him even more. We always support one another’s endeavours.” Scorpion Child’s self-titled debut was a hit both critically and commercially, which inherently places a lot of pressure on the follow-up, Acid Roulette. “If you focus on the pressure that they like to put on you while you’re doing it, then I can see it being quite difficult. I just kind of ignored all that: ‘Yeah yeah yeah, I get it! It’s gotta be good, I get it!’ But we focused more on one another to see how we could get this one out and it actually worked quite well.” But despite this, the band’s die-hard fans are proving to be greatly optimistic for the new album. “We released [‘She Sings, I Kill’] as a sample, a teaser. It was a rough mix of that song, like a demo. We’re gonna have a single for ‘Reaper’s Danse’ and an animated music video to accompany it. It should be coming out in a couple of days.
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