Interview with Dan and Dave of Scum Giant and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
Dan: Sludgy, doomy, stoner horror metal.
Dave: That works.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
Dan: Born and raised in Illinois. My parents put an acoustic guitar in my hands on my 8th birthday. So that mixed with my brother’s love of Black Sabbath started me on my musical path. Then I met Dave in college. We’ve worked together before, so this is pretty natural.
Dave: Nowadays I’m way less likely to have a temper tantrum if you don’t like one of my ideas, though. I grew up close to Dan. I started playing piano, then guitar, then bass, and then drums. ADHD FTW! The tough part was always getting the sound from my head on to a recording, so I’ve really gone the deepest with engineering and production.
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
Dan: My love of metal music and classic horror films have guided me into what has become Scum Giant. Everything I’ve been into since I was a kid.
Dave: I grew up a metalhead too, and in Chicago you couldn’t swing a singing drummer without hitting a Trouble or Zoetrope fan so the doomy stuff runs deep. My favorite part is the production, so I’m as inspired by Steve Albini and Skrillex as I am with Meshuggah and new bands like Cybercrime. The new Lil Yachty album Let’s Start Here is amazing too – no joke. Totally unexpected.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
Dan: Everyone in the metal community supports each other musically, as well as mentally. My goal is just to help keep that vibe alive and well by creating and sharing our stuff with the community.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
Dan: I don’t really have one particular proud moment in my music career. I’m proud of the Cerebral Compression album I did with Dave, I’m proud of the Fuzznukl stuff I do with my buddy Matt Block, and I’m super proud of the new Scum Giant EP.
Dave: I’m thrilled to be playing music and recording with friends. I hope Scum Giant can create something that outlasts a song I made for fun with my daughter about 5 years ago called No-No Square that went viral on its own over the pandemic. It’s at over 115 million plays. We’ll follow this up in my answer about “what we think about the music industry.”
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
Dan: Getting our stuff out there is somewhat challenging, but then you actually have to get people to listen…cuz you know it’s cool stuff and you totally wanna share it with everyone. I think one thing that makes Scum Giant stand out is the artwork that Luna does for us. It’s absolutely amazing. I remember being a kid, going into record stores, and being drawn to listen to stuff just cuz the artwork was so cool. I think that’s an important part of the process. It’s like the first step in getting to know the band and what they’re about. The art becomes part of the music for me.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
Dan: I’ve gone from being a one-man band to now having Dave in the mix, but that’s it. There’s no performances planned.
Dave: I’m working on prying him out of Joliet for a few select shows.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
Dan: I personally prefer physical media. Again, holding that artwork in your hands while you immerse yourself in the music…there’s just nothing like that. On the other hand, digital is way more convenient. And if it helps more people hear what metal musicians are putting out there, then so be it.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Dan: Anything off the first six Black Sabbath albums, cuz….obviously.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
Dan: I don’t like anything about the music industry.
Dave: One of my favorite things about Dan: he’s one of the most talented metal songwriters and guitarists on the planet, no joke. And he only does it if he likes it and it’s fun. The big problem in 2023 is that there are an infinite number of people that aren’t doing it because they love it…they want to be the next internet star. So the big streaming companies have all the ears, and the advantage of paying whatever they want, which is WAY less than musicians made even 20 years ago. The royalty structure is totally different, and totally in favor of the streaming companies. That song I mentioned earlier, with over 110 million plays – mostly on TikTok – has earned about $3600 total. SiriusXM Satellite Radio pays up to $44 per play! 110 thousand plays on SiriusXM can be life-changing money. 110 million plays on TikTok barely pays for a new amp.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
Dan: The amount of fun we had working on Space Vampire caught us both by surprise, so we’re knee deep in writing the next release. Space Vampire was kind of from the hip. The next one is going to be even more thoughtful.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
Dan: We’re on all the streamers, plus you can connect directly with us at https://scumgiant.bandcamp.com/
Digital music is up there now, with merch in the works.
Scum Giant links:
Band/Artist location – Joliet, IL and Los Angeles, CA
Facebook – Soundcloud – Bandcamp –
Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer –
Check our page for Scum Giant