Interview with The New York Times Music Critic Nat Hentoff with Dr. Heathen Scum Regarding New Solo Album "Lady Killer"

 


New York Times Music Critic Nat Hentoff Interviews Dr. Heathen Scum of the Mentors, and Church of El Duce


Duce News Network : August 2008

 

Hentoff : Scum, Music Fans around the world are excited to hear your new release. Your previous solo albums, El Magnifico Musicione, Mans Way to Relax, and Top Notch Rock were pretty good and considered classics. What took you so long to do another one?

Scum : Well, working with Mentors and the Mantors was a major distraction from my solo efforts. The last Mentors album, Over the Top took a long time to write and record, since we had all kinds of problems, especially with the studio were started out. In the mddle off the recording the engineer/owner had a mental breakdown and decided he couldnt produce Rape Rock and so we had to hire the Mafia to kill him and get our Pro Tools files back from him.

Also, getting high and fucking were a major distraction. When you have as much money as I do, every day, you wake up and say, well what do i want to do today? Fuck, and when I say fuck I mean serious fucking, really perverted long sex sessiones. Rough sex.

The other choice is getting high. Fortunately you can get high and make music. in fact this is a good combination. But you really cant fuck and make music.

Hentoff : Really? Well at least you have your priorities thought through. Please tell em about thhe album Ladies Man and how it came to be recorded, and the songs

Scum : Well, this all started when I hooked up again with Marc Mad Dog DeLeon from Bakersfield. He is about 15 years younger than me, and when Duce was alive we played Bakersfield all the time and hung out with Marc a lot cause his band Hossbruten opened for us a lot. Marc worshipped Duce and had even run away from home to find Duce in Hollywood at the Ivar Theatre. Marc in the years since Duce died was caught up in the Bakersfield Nu Metal Genre but finally realized he had to get back to doing Rape Rock for life. So he formed the Mantors, and band a lot like Mentors.

I heard about them, and emailed them, not knowing this was my old friend . So next think you know Im driving up to Bakersfield in the pouring Rain from Riverside and jamming with him.

There is a killer studio there called that is run by this nice lady who also plays smoking keyboards.

So I holed up in that studio and wrote and recorded the entire album with the three of us. It took about four months off and on to do it. Every time I make a record I always think it is the best one I ever did, so you know only time will tell really how good it is But right now, I think it is fucking smoking.

It has some killer tracks, like 5 Years Old, which is about screwing little girls (which of course I think is wrong, lets not get the wrong idea here Mentors Fans), and Always Praising Him, which is a Church hymn to our Lord El Duce, and a shit pile more.

The big change for me was heavy use of the Hammond Organ. The lady, that runs the studio has a B3 with a Leslie and when she fires that thing up it sounds like you are in Heaven. So I tried to write the songs around that sound.

I got so into it I bought my own hammond for my own studio, a M100.

They are really the best keyboard instruments ever made, but you have to use the old ones. I wish I could live forever, cause there is a lot of more sounds I want to incorporate, like horn sections, and Black Chick backup singers, and stuff like that. Hopefullly Duce willing, I will get to do that one day also.

 

Hentoff : Your legacy is the Mentors, a band on par with Beatles, so all these side projectds are cool, and sound good, but they are like the Traveling Wilburys, right? In the final analysis maybe not that important?

Scum : Well yes I can understand that and intellectdualize it. Furhtermore the other problem you have is the best work, regardless of fields is usually done by young people. and Im far from that. I just turned 50. When I listen to our olde stuff with Duce and Sickie, it just blows me away, it is so good. I think, how did we do that? But life does go on, and I still love to get high and play music History will have to be the judge as to if my later output is as good as the early. I think especially on this album, I have some songs on there that was be listened to until the sun burns out. Givne the test of time, I think maybe except for this, in temrs of my solo work, Top Notch Rock is the pinnacle. The songs and emotional feeling captured there is so intense.

Hentoff : how do you balance the drugs and luxury lifestyle against he creativity and spirituality required for timeless music?

Scum : Nat, that is a one hell of a question. If you look at musiciains like Sly Stone, who wrote absolutely some of the best music of all time,ever, and then his otuput droppped to zero, becuase of the drugs. I leanred, stay away from coke and heroin and stuff like that. It just stops you dead in your tracks. Rock music, and all music is a a continium, and very little it completely originallly. the key is insipiration. You have to be excited by this music you are making and listening too. Joe Perry said, when he was straight and a kid, listineing to rock music gave him hte first hit in the morning feeling. Just listening stone sober to great rock music, if its Little Richard, or Chuck Berry, or Muddy Waters, does that for me still. And im still figuring out new chords and how do to it better. Im rich yes But my lifestyle hasnt changed at all. I have a shitty car, whcih I dont hardly drive. most of the time I drive my bike with a cassette deck on the back to listen to my tapes. I smoke my week, drink my whiskey and beer and thats about it it Mabye a valium here and there.

Cuase final analysis, the most high you ever feel is hearing hte music of the godz in your head. It is really spiratual and I dont wanna fuck that up with hard drugs and speed and shit like that.

hentoff : What is your relationship iwht Sickie. You and he are the sole remaiing members of what is potentionally the greattest rock band ever.

Heathen : there is a lot of love and respect. When we get togehter, it is llike we are both 13 years old again and listening and learning to music together. He was always the better musician than me. He taught me so much.about music.

But we found our own paths in life. His songs, the wones he wrote, are just killer tunes. Very deep msucially. And I sitll appreciate it. The problem is whenyou get oldler, and this happens to every band with more than one writer, the writers become less intrested in colllaboration. Writing songs is pleasureable and unforuntaly also it is an ego trip. So you become naturally less tolerant of the other guys style. You just want to hear your own stuff recorded nice. We went throught that phase, and it wasnt cause we werent friends or didnt respect each other. It is just the way life is. That was what made our band unique in that we had three guys with a parallel, but not identical musical vision. So we were like a monster. Each guy was a super good writer and had a lot of creative input. It made for just some killer stuff. Most of your bands are really a solo project with one guy calling all the shots. That narrows the sound, limits the scope, the expansiveness of the project. Thats also what made the Beatles so good. Same concept.

He is one of the greatest, if not the greatest electric guitarist of all time. Maybe only Hendrix is in his league. I look forward to playing with him in Mentors and making more records and playing more shows.



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