Interview with Cold guitarist & vocalist Scooter Ward

- Jan 12, 2010 at 11:04AM
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Cold fans rejoice. The alternative/hard rock band is back and and will be releasing their newest offering Epic in January 2010. The band has sold over one million albums and has two Gold records under their belt. They are currently on the road and plan on spending the majority of 2010 touring in support of Epic. I recently chatted by phone with guitarist and vocalist Scooter Ward about Epic and the bands plans for the upcoming year.

How is the tour going so far?
Scooter: It's going well. I believe we have the best fans that any band could hope for.

Your brand new CD titled tentatively titled Epic is set for release in early 2010. Now that it is complete how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Scooter: With each record I believe Cold advances and tries to bring new things to the music and the feeling throughout the songs. I think as we mature the songwriting progresses also and it shines through on the new record. We have some of the biggest songs we have ever created on this one. Hence the title Epic.

What was the writing process like for this CD? Did you guys all write together? How long did it take?
Scooter: We were pressed for time on this one with tour setup for this year so the pressure to create was unlike any other Cold record. I wrote most of the music within two weeks. When writing it usually goes as follows. I will come up with a riff and then Sam will sit with me and create the beats which then changes the mood a little and we play off of that to create bridges and then structure the riff better. Our new guitarist Zac had a couple of riffs that we turned into songs also on this one. I believe as we are rehearsing these songs that we all add our personal touch to each song giving it that Cold vibe. Lyrics on this record were less personal to me. We called the record Epic because of the content of the lyrics. I stayed away from drama as much as I could and basically just wrote ten epic stories for each song. It's kind of like storytellers for Cold.

When you began to put this album together were you concerned at all about commercial success?
Scooter: I'm pretty sure every artist wants to be successful when they create something, but Cold has always written from the heart and doesn’t follow certain trends or sound patterns to fit a certain format at radio. I don’t listen to music at all and I am very picky about an artist that I choose to accept. I thought this may be just a phase about four years ago but it's still with me today. I don’t follow or listen to rock music at all and am pretty much consumed by writing and I just like to create new things when I feel it.

How much roadwork do you have planned for 2010?
Scooter: Starting in February we begin a five week run with Nonpoint throughout America. It will be a year of touring for Cold to help promote the new album, so no rest for us next year.

I am sure “Stupid Girl” is still a big hit, but what are some of the other songs you get the best audience response to?
Scooter: We find that the lineup of songs we choose to play on a tour basically sets a mood and the response for each song is great. Our fans take a lot from each song and the range of songs we play tend to move the audience throughout the show.

Do you think the band is getting more respect now as opposed to ten years ago?
Scooter: Yes.

What kind of preparation went into your live show?
Scooter: Set list is very important to us and creating the right environment to express the songs is very important to us. The light show has always been important to us to create the right vibe. We usually fly everyone in about 2 weeks before tour and get together to discuss and rehearse. If the set moves us during rehearsal then we feel we have accomplished the right mix of light and sound.

All of that passion that you play with must be tough on you physically. How do you prepare for the physical demands of a tour?
Scooter: I have been playing with the same passion since we began creating. It used to take it toll on me physically but after years of maturing I find I can deliver the same emotion without it draining me. But every now and then a song will bring it all back to me and it just comes through me on stage. I think I’m the only one who notices now though so I just keep it inside.

Are the rigors of touring taking more of a toll on you as you get older?
Scooter: It's definitely harder. I don’t party at all like I used to so it's not as hard to perform as it was back in the day. Also I have my label SonicStar records and it doesn’t give me as much free time as I would like. It's all business now. Everyday I look for new ways to promote Cold and am always trying to find new ways to use Cold so the band benefits from all their hard work. So physically it's not harder, but mentally it is.

How is the current economic slump affecting your band?
Scooter: The industry is feeling the affects on all corners so are all of the bands. In the last few years everyone has experienced the crunch of the economy with ticket sales and merch. Luckily we have a loyal fan base and can always generate profit at our shows to keep everything moving along. I wish it was easier for new bands out there right now. I think they are the ones who will suffer most from all of this. Majors are only giving some of their artist a few weeks at radio before dropping them as opposed to when Cold got signed there was artist development and people who seemed to care. I am curious to see what will happen in the future to indie artist and bands that may not have a chance at radio. It's sad really.

In a hundred years from now what will the music history books say about your band?
Scooter: They have music history books? I think it would say what critics have always said and then underneath, in the post by fans, in the stories they tell of how the music helped them. That’s where you find what Cold was really about.

Any Closing words?
Scooter: VIVA LA COLD!!!!!!!!  [ END ]
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