CVLT Nation Interviews: Scott Kelly
Hi Scott, and many thanks for taking the time to do this interview with CVLT Nation. It seems like you have a lot of projects going on this year, so let’s touch on a few of them.
How was the latest tour with The Road Home? How did the addition of Jay Munly impact on affairs? How is the songwriting for the next TRH record coming along?
It was a great tour; with the addition of Munly, the songs have a life to them that Noah and I previously never dreamed of. Munly is such a unique individual and his talent is unparalleled. We have currently begun work on new recordings.
Unlike with Neurosis, with The Road Home you are able to tour more and to a wider variety of places. I saw you in the small port city of La Coruña, Spain last year, a place where appearances of international bands are quite rare. What’s been the most memorable city you have visited?
Man, I don’t know. I love being able to see the world. La Coruña is beautiful. Mexico City was amazing. I love Porto, Martigny…there are so many. I am lucky and I know it.
You got into Townes Van Zandt in the late 90’s, which seems to have significantly influenced your solo output, and to a lesser extent your work with Neurosis. Are there any other artists you’ve discovered in the last five to ten years who have influenced your songwriting?
Munly. Truly he’s the only one.
Could you tell us about the new project with Sanford Parker, Mirrors for Psychic Warfare? You guys seem to have hit it off after first collaborating with Corrections House.
We work really easily together. M.P.W. is something that I came up with initially on my own and then brought Sanford in on when it reached critical mass and I realized that I needed someone to collaborate with on the material. It’s strange music, industrial tinged acoustic-ish, and of course, dark.
How was convening with the rest of Neurosis in February to do some songwriting? How does it differ from when you guys were in your early 20’s?
It’s been really good. We are well on our way to having a new record written. Writing for us is an experimental process that takes total focus and dedication. It’s really no different then it ever has been.
Watching Neurosis live is an emotionally taxing and an incredibly powerful experience, so I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like on stage. How do you and your bandmates feel after two hours of playing this music, and what’s the atmosphere like backstage after?
It depends entirely upon the night. We are always exhausted, we let it all go every night.
Tell us a little about Rivers of Madness. You must be excited about working with Nate Hall in particular? What can we expect from the band?
It’s coming together really nicely. I love working with Nate; he’s a genius. Brett Netson is also involved in this with us, so the three guitar approach will be very unique. Richard Kirby and Scott Thomas are a fantastic rhythm section. This record will be different.
Musically speaking, the last eight years have been the most productive and diverse of your career, with six full lengths from four different projects, your contribution to the Townes Van Zandt tribute album, and a few live albums and 7” records. What do you attribute this to?
Are those numbers right? To be completely straight with you, I’m crazy. I have manic depression and other issues that leave me constantly creating and destroying. I am lucky to have supportive people in my personal and creative life that stand by me. I love my Family.
Does the environment in which you write songs differ much between projects?
I write anywhere and everywhere; it’s ever-changing. It’s a constant process.