College Times

Scott Lucas on Grizzly Lyrics, Metal Bands, Johnny Cash

By Ana Anguiano • College Times

Published: Friday, June 22, 2012

Updated: Friday, June 22, 2012

Scott Lucas has no problem dipping into the dark and morbid side of life. The Chicago musician is best known as half of the band Local H, but Lucas is not one to settle for a single musical outlet. His second band, Scott Lucas and the Married Men, released its sophomore album, Blood Half Moon, earlier this year and is a no-nonsense beast of a record. His six-piece accompanying band includes a violin, organ and accordion and these days it seems they can’t be tamed. Lucas recently chatted with College Times about grizzly lyrics, metal bands and Johnny Cash.

College Times: Your new album, Blood Half Moon, is pretty different from your first album (George Lassos the Moon). Why did you choose to go in a different direction with this album?

Scott Lucas: I think more than anything it was playing live. As we were playing the first record [live] it started getting louder and kind of decided to go with it. We started writing things in minor keys and it just felt natural to go that way and we didn’t stop it.

The subject matter of these songs is pretty dark. How do you balance out such dark, sometimes morbid lyrics?

Say on a song like “There You Are,” you know the song is bright with two-part harmonies and it’s very sort of upbeat type of sounding songs, and we juxtaposed that with lyrics about being in a grave and having maggots eating brains. It’s that juxtaposition that keeps it from being morbid. It’s like this thing where you don’t go too far over into either side. 

For the “Blood Half Moon” video you recorded it in the Grand Canyon. How does the desert fit in with that song?

It was cool. The song sort of lends its self to be a driving type of song. I just drove around and listened to the song and shot stuff. It made sense just like listening to music helps you guide the shots and the movement of the camera and things like that.

And for the “Heavy Lidded Love” video you’re giving your fans sort of a challenge this tour.

Right, so we’re just having them shoot with their phones. I mean, everyone’s got one so we figured people can shoot it and send it to the email on our website and we can edit it all together. I’m curious to see how they see us. Maybe it will all be unusable. Who knows?

The tag line that you’ve created for the band is “Country-ish alt-rock for people who like metal.” So who fits the bill?

Basically someone like me; I listen to whatever. I love all these different kinds of things. When I hear something, I would respond to country-ish type of things, and I also respond to really loud guitar solos stuff. I feel like somebody like that would be interested in trying different things. There are no rules.

What metal bands influenced the record?

One of the things I was most excited about with this record was the fact that there are five songs on side one and three songs on side two. So it was a lot like Powerslave by Iron Maiden – it’s one of my favorite records.

Why did you choose to cover Johnny Cash’s version of "There Ain't No Grave (Gonna Hold My Body Down)"?

It really got under my skin and there was just something about it not being released until a couple years after he was dead. There was sort of him speaking from beyond the grave thing that really freaked me out and made a huge impression on me. It was really something to hear that.

A lot of people have a hard time talking about death.

You know, I find that the older I get, the more I think about it. I’m pretty sure that a younger me wouldn’t be making records about that. It seems to me you don’t think about it that much, but you get to the point where you see more people dying and you realize it’s going to happen. There’s no way to get around it and you start thinking about the finality of it. It’s a hard thing to face, but you can’t do anything about it, so why push it out of your mind?

What song do you want to be played at your funeral?

The live version of “Free Bird” would be pretty good. Just sort of twist the knife so people would have listen to it one more time.

Scott Lucas and the Married Men (of Local H) w/Black Carl, Saddles, The Rhythm Room, June 27, 8 p.m., $8 adv, $10 dos

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