Josh Scogin is a creative genius and was the founding member of Hardcore band ‘Norma Jean‘ in 1997 which is still going strong to this day even thought he left in 2002. At that point he felt it was time to change his focus and from there created the Metalcore band ‘The Chariot‘ who was a more extreme outlet for Josh. I saw these guys and photographed them about 10 years back and they are still by far the craziest live show I have ever experienced. Usually such an extreme show would have a potentially violent pit and this was no exception, but I would rather be in that pit than on stage with the band, these guys were throwing their equipment around like rag dolls which was absolute chaos. It was the most fun id seen a band have on stage, it felt pure and that they put their all into this one performance showing that Josh and his band members believed in the music and the scene they had freshly created as there was no one else like this around. If you have seen Dillinger Escape Plan live then you have a slight idea of what these guys were capable of, except these guys kept switching instruments and playing each others whilst jumping in the crowd whilst the bass player was hanging upside down above the crowd from the rafters. It was as if the mental hospital let them out for one performance only and it will stay with me for the rest of my life. Josh describes their live show as “Destruction” but I believe it created a loyal (perhaps cult) fan base and faith in the Metal scene which is why Josh Scogin has remained so important throughout his career.
After 10 years Josh ended The Chariot and within a week had teased his new venture ’68 with friend Michael McClellan. The charisma and chemistry these two have on stage is powerful and engaging. Its difficult to take your eyes of either of them as they are always doing something interesting on stage and making up songs on the spot. Josh has admitted they like the live performance to be as live and unique as possible so they turn up with no idea what songs to play and they tend to jam together and create something new which is a talent in itself and then they find a song and play what feels right at that moment. This unusual way to create a live performance is refreshing and always fun and they continue the unusual themes in their music videos as The Chariot had done previously buy thinking outside of the box. One of their earlier videos were two separate videos you had to play together correctly synced to hear properly as one video was Josh in a room on his own playing guitar and the other video was Michael in a room only playing the drums so neither made sense until you played them together, the thought was that music wouldn’t be easily accessible and throw away with todays generation of short attention spans but that you would take you phone/lap top etc to a friends house and play together making it a more immersive experience, a conversation piece and more enjoyable to feel part of it.
These guys are incredible live. After being a fan of their first album I saw them for the first time last year support Every Time I Die. They are all old friends who have run in similar circles previously as well as the new ETID drummer Daniel Davison originating from Josh’s first band Norma Jean. I photographed them here and they have since used my photos on many of their posters for tours and in their album sleeve of their new album Two Parts Viper. Thank you Josh & Michael and Carl from Good Fight Entertainment. Also Stencil Magazine in Issue 43 published 4 of my photos of the band live in a very cool Interview they did with Josh. Check out the publication here, photos are on page 80-83.
Since then I saw them last week at The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch and had some time to hang out with the guys as well. As I hoped they were absolute gentlemen, very friendly and sincere.