Heavy Metal Spiked Right Outta Texas
By Abbe Davis, December 2, 2020
On this day, I had the opportunity to speak with Ven Scott, lead vocalist of Runescarred. Dynamic and intense on-stage. Off-stage....personable, intellectual, motivated in life.
TRR: So let’s begin here, one of my favorite songs you guys have done is, "THIS IS MINE", I love everything about the video, your expressions, how the camera zooms in on you and it is so natural, like how most musicians feel in production or the process of recording tunes, it’s like “Man, we need to get this shit out, I need to be patient here, and…I’m trying.” Is that accurate, is that how you were feeling in 2018 when you guys were a year into this, or am I completely off about it?
VS: Not too far off! Tim and I had just come off the heels of Dead Earth Politics and we didn’t want to lose steam. We wanted to start showing off the direction we had been wanting to go. With our limitations shed we started pouring out music and lyrics. Patience, honestly, did NOT come into play with “We Are”, LOL.
TRR: LOL. Ok, so, Runescarred means markings or certain tells, that you are from a certain region in the world. What does your band name mean to you guys and how did you get that name? How is your band unique do you feel? What are your influences?
VS: “Runescarred” In our sense is about deriving power and strength from your scars. Persevering in spite of your wounds and this plays into the band’s origins as well. I feel like we embody all of our influences pretty seamlessly, which makes us different. There isn’t a “Nevermore” part here, or an “Iron Maiden” bit there. Both live in the same song or riff simultaneously along with the “Pantera” progression and the “Muse” bits!
TRR: Perfect explanation of our style. Lets also draw in your name, I want to do a play on words thing, since your name is uncommon: First, what is that short for? Second, a VENN diagram kind of thing, if I were to create three circles out of you, what would they be, and what would be the common thread joining the three circles ?
VS: Ha! Interesting! Never been asked this! My moniker is short for “Devon” as in “Devonshire”… or “Devin the Dude”, LOL. I would say my “circles” would be “Motivated”, “Self Questioning” and “Fuck It”. LOL
TRR: LOL. Very cool! Those three things make a band's longevity. "Inviting Rivers" a Preaching vocal, “you are an ocean of ghosts” what are you saying in this dramatic song?
VS: It is simply a callback to “Ghost Ocean” from the previous album! The song, (though open to interpretation) to me, was written with mass control in mind. Easily malleable crowds and people.
TRR: Very interesting is the mercurial nature of being out there with your music. I love "Being God," layers of melody, counterpoint with bass, guitar lines, and drums. Everyone is playing a counter melodic line in the verses, and then they join at the chorus. A lot of your songs are this way, so who begins writing this, or do you guys come up with it while jamming?
VS: Tim carries that burden, ha, I have never known anyone as prolific with their art as Tim. Generally it starts with him, then he and Payton will hammer some shit out, clean things up. Skunk will hop in with Josh, adjust harmonies, and make further suggestions and adjustments. Then I hop in and fuck it all up!
TRR: LOL. Nooo. You add the feel and drama to it all. Do you feel that the human condition has hope or is broken into pieces?
VS: The best answer to this question is “Yes”.
TRR: Mmhm. It all goes together. Got it. I liked the tune, "Twisting Flesh", and how your voice screams out. So tell me about how you guys met up and what works for you as a band.
VS: Thanks. Well, Tim and I started off together in Dead Earth Politics and we are the founding members. Payton had played several shows in Southern Front sharing the stage with DEP and reached out when we announced changes being made. The very best thing that works for us is flexibility, and a full understanding of our shared goals. Plans of attack, roles… all of these definitions must be in place, otherwise, some of us (usually myself) will get pissy or annoyed if things aren’t going how we (i.e., “me”) expect.
TRR: A..ha. So you want to be the only one frustrated, eh? Yah, I mean, all bands have to go through the ups and downs, I hear that about going with the flow. "The Distant Infinite," a beautiful instrumental song, classic sound. "Hexit" is a hot metal song, love the energy of it!!
VS: Thanks, man! I’m biased but I love ‘em both! “Distant” kinda reminds me of “The Division Bell” by Pink Floyd.
TRR: Oh, wow, yes, PF, that's it. How many gigs have you guys done as a band, since 2017?
VS: Only 39! We were hoping to tour this year, but… you know. 2020 happened.
TRR: Tell me about one of your wildest, strangest shows that you have played? Also, any crazy audience stories along with that?
VS: Nothing too crazy just yet, and, so far my favorite show was opening for Death Angel at Come & Take It Live in Austin! Hoping the Symphony X show we are booked for in June 2021 is as bad ass and also…. Hoping it actually happens.
TRR: Oh, wow, we do, too! Cool! What are your goals coming up for 2021 and with dealing with COVID and more? Do you guys get together and jam and where do you live and where is this happening? Any shows?
VS: Only show right now is that aforementioned Symphony X show, but once things start settling down we will probably start trying to rebuild the network with venues that are still around; put together a tour or something. At the very least, opening for touring acts in Austin and perhaps hopping over to Louisiana, Colorado, New Mexico or Oklahoma. We are, however, recording – finishing up – reimagined acoustic versions of some of our songs. Will also be releasing an Elton John cover as well so we have definitely been doing stuff! And things!
TRR: Whoa! Can't way to hear the Elton, too. Huge fan of his and Bernie's songwriting. Also, hit us up with the new tunes when you guys are releasing them. Looking forward to hearing 'em. Thanks so much for being with us.
VS: Thank you, we definitely will, and thanks to everyone supporting us.
Editor/Music Jounalist, TRR
Abbe Davis has written for various publications in NYC and Boston. She is also the lead singer/songwriter for Hard Rock band, Sordid Fable. Abbe has performed alongside of Buddy Guy on the blues circuit, and enjoys promoting bands and musicians; with a passion for Rock music and all music.