(from the archives) Saliva interview from 9/24/04

Here’s another one from the archives.  Back when I worked at the Zone, we took every interview opportunity that was offered, but aired only a fraction of those conversations (the logic behind that strategy is a subject for a different post).  Here’s another example–a “phoner” with Saliva frontman Josey Scott.  I hated the idea of doing an interview for no clear reason, so I took the time to transcribe and post it on the Zone’s website.  Few people saw it back then, and though posting it here won’t do much to change those stats, I thought I’d offer it up as another “lost interview.”  What follows is the complete transcript, warts and all, of what originally appeared online in 2004.  Note the conversation about Dimebag Darryl in the present tense.

JVO – Just before Survival of the Sickest came out, you promised that it would be six-pack
of American whoop-ass. What about your fans that’d hoped for a keg?

 JS – (Laughs)

 JVO – The first three songs off the disc, “Rock and
Roll Revolution”, “Bait and Switch”, “One Night Only,” are, by and large, about
the trappings of fame and success. That’s kind of a tricky thing to write
about, and for people to relate to. I’m assuming you were in an interesting
spot when you were writing these songs.

 JS – Yeah, I think that this is a personal record,
but I think it’s a relatable record. I’m talkin’ about the trappings of fame
and success, but I’m talkin’ about ‘em (with) a point of view, from where I came
from. (A) blue collar point of view, a southern boy that came from nothin’ and
doesn’t even have a high school diploma’s, point of view. You know, growin’ up
poor, not knowing where my next meal was coming from, like the rest of the guys
in the band. And then getting a little taste of this and that, and what you do
next is more of what the record is about, being hurled into the vortex of not
being able to attract flies to shit and then havin’ it all. I think that’s
relatable. I think that people will somehow identify with that. I think the
whole thing is a life lesson, because I’m not saying, “hey I’m all right, look at
me.” I’m at the dance, and it’s not about the dance. It’s about your friends
and your family, and people that love you, and the people that care about you.
It’s not about cars and houses and p**** and stuff like that.

 JVO – Although all of the above are fantastic.

 JS – (Laughs) Although all of the above are fantastic,
I agree.

 JVO – You wrote about 20 songs for the disc. Where did
the ones that didn’t make it end up? Will we see them eventually?

 JS – Yeah. They’ll be in movie soundtracks and video
games, stuff like that. We really hate it when we don’t get to use all songs,
cause they’re like your little kids, you know. You want all of ‘em to make the
cut; but, unfortunately, there’s only so much room on a record, so you use the
rest of ‘em for other opportunities.

 JVO – “Click, Click, Boom” almost didn’t end up on Every
Six Seconds
, that was a last
minute thing. Were there any similar experiences with Survival

 JS – That’s a good question. I think on that record
and during that time period, we had a little taste of, a little bit of, success
and we had to go hog wild. I call it, being friends with Nikki Sixx, we had to
act like Motley Crue for a while. We had to do all the drugs, and be with all
the girls, and drink all the alcohol, and just see how far our human bodies
could go. You know, how long we could teeter on the edge before we fell off. I
think on this record we learned from that experience. I think we took more time
to get in the back of the bus with an acoustic guitar and an old Wal-Mart tape
recorder and really beat this album out, and we were prepared when we walked in
the studio. We were ready.

 JVO – I like “Razors Edge”, which is good
old-fashioned, southern-fried, rock and roll. You’ve got Brad from 3 Doors Down
on it. Where did that song come from?

 JS – That song was…the whole album is, about some
things that I was goin’ though at the time. I was in a really bad relationship
for a long time, one of those relationships that you kinda just get stuck in
and you’re not really in love, but you’re not strong enough to let go. There’s
a song called “Open Eyes,” its kind of a ballad. It’s about me finally having
the strength to let that relationship go, and cut it loose, and there’s another
song that expresses the anger that I felt from that relationship, it’s called
“Carry On” and then there’s “Razor’s Edge.” (It’s) more about me finding
somebody else. Really finding the someone that was meant for me and falling in
love again, and I say that I will hold on to forever, then walk right through
this open door. I think that’s what I’ve done.

 JVO – You’ve been through a lot recently. You’ve
stopped taking drugs. You got married in Graceland earlier this year. How often
does the past of Saliva, the “Motley Crue” Saliva, collide with the current
model of Josey Scott?

 JS -Every once in awhile, you gotta let your hair
down and show your ass, I guess. I think we’ve tamed that beast. I think we’ve
learned enough lessons from that, and we’ve realized that we don’t have to act
like Nikki Sixx all the time…just some of the time. (laughs)

 JVO – I know you used to hang out with Dimebag Darryl
(Pantera, Damage Plan), and if you’re hanging out with Dimebag Darryl, that
means there’re a lot of strip clubs involved. Still true?

 JS – That is absolutely true. We were just discussing
that the other day (laughs). We were talking about, come over to Saliva’s bus
and we’re watchin’ movies and laughin’ and getting ready to go on stage or…or
hanging out. And you will have Damage Plan or whatever, parked behind us, and
they’ll be falling out of the bus, breaking Jack Daniel’s bottles, trashing
guitars…you’d think that they’d probably do that in front of fans, or they
would do that on stage, but their doin’ that backstage where there’s nobody
lookin’ (laughs). You know, they’re just stumbling off their own bus, trashing
their own guitars, breaking their own whiskey bottles for each other’s
entertainment. Its true rock and roll indulgence. It’s fun to watch, and fun to
be a part of.

 JVO – I’m getting the image of you guys watching
movies on the bus, and maybe sharing some popcorn.

 JS – That’s a lovely image. (laughs)

 JVO – It’s a folksy image, but you look at Saliva and
you think “Man…here’s a band I never want to get into a bar fight with.”
In truth, you guys are just a bunch of southern gentlemen, yes?

 JS – Yeah, absolutely. We’ve always prided ourselves
in being southern gentlemen. We’ve always prided ourselves in extending a hand
and a smile. When I got signed, my mother told me, “son, there’s enough
ass***** in the world to go around. You don’t have to be one.” And so I pride myself in always being a gentleman. I’ve always been nice to fans, I’ve always signed
autographs, and been a sweetheart. But we will, when our kindness is taken for
weakness, whoop your ass (laughs). Ain’t no doubt about it. It’s just the way it
goes, I guess. When your kindness is met with somebody who’s a d***, I guess
you have to retaliate.

 JVO – Tell me about some of your other interests. I
know that you have an interest in acting.

 JS – mmmmhhmmmm…

 JVO – How far do you want to take that?

 JS – I really love acting. I’m going to take it as
far as far as I can. I think it’s an extension on my creativity. It keeps me
busy, and I do a lot of painting, as well. I write a lot of poetry. I try to
keep my creative juices flowing. I think, like Elvis Presley said one time,
“it’s not from me, it’s through me. I just have the best seat in the house.”

 JVO – Since you grew up poor, what was one or your big
indulgences, when you did start making some money?

 JS – Oh, cars. Definitely.

 JVO – If we were to pull into your warehouse, or
garage space, what would be that one car that would just make our jaws drop?

 JS – Probably Elvis’ ’69 Cadillac limousine. The one
that’d probably make your jaw drop right away probably the Smokey and the
Bandit Edition ’79 Trans-Am’s pretty hot. It’s just like the one the Bandit
drove in the movies, so…

 JVO -A lot of bands that broke around the same time as
Saliva aren’t still around, and they’re not really thriving in the
same way that Saliva is. You’ve had the luxury to build pretty estimable
catalog. What’s the secret to your endurance?

 JS – I think it’s honesty, and integrity to our
writing. I think that we honestly tried to keep it interesting, to bring our
fans what they enjoy most from us, but to throw ‘em a curve ball, you know to
continue to throw a creative curve ball. To not write the same hit songs over
and over and over again. With Every Six Seconds
, it was Hip-Hop influenced, because that’s where
we’re from. Back In Your System

had a little alternative influence, cause that’s where we’re from. And now,
we’re in (the) era of Survival of the Sickest
, and it’s, like I said, (a) true straight-up,
six-pack of American whoop ass, and that’s where we’re from. They all have the
common denominator of honestly being a part of us, but we try to keep it
interesting, we try to keep it fresh and we try to continue to raise the bar
and we try to continue to be creative and push ourselves to the next level.

JVO – What do you think of when you think of Chicago?

JS – I’ve always loved Chicago. I’ve played there
ever since they had the Thirsty Whale!

JVO – Yeah!

JS – I don’t know if anyone remembers that, back in
the old late ‘80’s when we used to come up there, we were in another band
called Blackbone. We used to come up and play the Avalon Club, Thirsty Whale,
The Vic Theater. We got a little bit of history in Chicago. It’s only 6 or 7
hours from Memphis depending on how fast you’re driving, so we definitely
jetted up there and spent some time.

JVO – Now that we know how long it takes you to get
here, no excuses. You should come visit more often.

JS – (laughs) No doubt, brother. And when we come see
you live, we’re gonna bring the kegs, baby.





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