Jake Scherer of New Medicine Talks Avenged Sevenfold and Stone Sour Tour and "Rich Kids"
Mon, 10 Jan 2011 07:11:55
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Some things will never change.
A heavy riff and a solid chorus will always make for memorable hard rock. New Medicine pay heed to that classic notion on their debut album, Race You to the Bottom. At the same time, the Minneapolis quartet goes much deeper. Vocalist Jake Scherer pens vivid lyrics that bring each song to life in cinematic form. He can make you feel heartbreak with a hook on "Little Sister" or comment on the state of affairs with "End of the World." New Medicine's songwriting remains unparalleled by their peers, and their style could cure hard rock for good.
The band's about to embark on The Nightmare After Christmas tour with Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, and Hollywood Undead, and they're bound to shine on stage every night.
New Medicine singer Jake Scherer sat down for an exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about touring with Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, and Hollywood Undead, the meaning behind "Rich Kids," and so much more!
How did The Nightmare After Christmas tour come together?
We made friends with Stone Sour and Avenged Sevenfold on Uproar, and it was really cool to get the call saying, "Hey, we want you to come back out again!" That meant a lot to us. To be part of this tour is a big deal. I know so many bands would dream of that. We were one of eight bands on Uproar, and it was a great experience. On this run, we're one of four. It's going to be great! I'm really excited to see Hollywood Undead too.
Do you remember the first time you heard Stone Sour, Slipknot, or Avenged Sevenfold?
I was with Dan [Garland, Lead Guitar] when we were in high school, and we had his mom take us out to Los Angeles because we wanted to look at recording schools. We saw that Avenged Sevenfold was playing at The Gibson Amphitheatre, and City of Evil had recently dropped. We thought it'd be a cool show to check out because we were fans of the record. It was sold out though. These kids were trying to make fun of us because we didn't have tickets outside. Then this lady at the box office said, "These two people just gave up their tickets to upgrade for second row seats. Do you want them? They're 40 bucks." We were like, "Yeah!" After we saw Avenged, Dan and I looked at each other like, "We've got to start a band and do this!" That changed things. Avenged was a huge inspiration, and Slipknot are one of the biggest metal bands in the world. They're from the Midwest too. I was a little star-struck when I met Corey Taylor for the first time. He's such a nice guy, and he's so down-to-earth, genuine, and funny. I'm a huge fan of Stone Sour and Avenged Sevenfold. I'm going on tour with people I looked up to. When we started this band, we dreamed of being like them. It's a bit surreal. It's been such a cool ride, and it's great to see where it's gone. I can't wait to see where it goes next.
Do the songs change at all live?
Yeah! We've added a few songs too. We don't want to play the same set the same way every time. On the last tour, we decided to switch the set up. There are little intros you can add on to songs on stage. We've grown as a live band, and we have some cool plans for the Avenged tour. We want to step our game up even more.
Which songs get the biggest crowd reactions?
People recognize "Laid" because they hear it on the radio. Fans will come up to me after the show and say "Little Sister" meant something to them as well. That one definitely gets a lot of responses from any crowd. It hits people. People also tend to dig "Rich Kids."
What's the story behind "Rich Kids?"
I grew up in a neighborhood where there was a lot of money. There were a lot of very rich kids, and then there were the normal kids. As a result there was a big disparity between the two at my school. It was weird because a lot of my friends lived a whole different lifestyle than I did. I didn't understand it. They would turn 16 and get a Beamer [Laughs]. It was hard to grasp. The older you get, the easier it is to understand what's going on. I grew up with a lot of people who had more than me. As a kid, if you don't have the coolest shoes on the playground, you're not cool. Everybody is getting the sweet new jacket. I came from more of a middle class family and couldn't afford that stuff. There were some things about all of it that bothered me, and I wanted to say something. Just because you grow up rich and everything is handed to you, it doesn't mean you're going to go far in life. It gave me a fire and an inspiration. I came from the middle class, and I had to save up for my guitar. I had to do everything the hard way. It's inspiring to me. It's like, "I'm going to prove to these people that I can do something great. I don't need my parents to pay for it and buy my way into anything. I'm going to do it myself. I'm going to do it the genuine way." I'm not a rich kid, I ain't got shit, but I got this far. I had to work to get here. I grew up with so many kids that got things handed to them. I think people relate to it because they see that around them. That's what the song is about.
What are you listening to right now?
I've been jamming to the new My Chemical Romance record, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. They definitely reinvented themselves, and I really like it. It's a cool record! I love Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge and The Black Parade as well. I've been listening to the Hollywood Undead record, Swan Songs, a lot. I've also been cranking The Wallflowers' Bringing Down the Horse. I really like that Skillet song "Awake," and I've been listening to their album. I really like the new Kanye West album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy too. I listen to everything. I bought the new Taylor Swift record, Speak Now. She's a great songwriter. She writes good pop songs. I got really into that Stone Sour album, Audio Secrecy. "Say You'll Haunt Me" is one of my favorite Stone Sour songs. It's amazing. They're so good live.
Watch New Medicine perform "Little Sister" acoustically here!
Have you heard New Medicine yet? Will you be seeing them with Avenged Sevenfold, Hollywood Undead, and Stone Sour?
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