10 Minutes With... Josh Scogin

Even though the Atlanta duo only formed in 2013, ‘68 have managed to achieve a lot in such a short time. This year, the pair – former The Chariot frontman Josh Scogin (guitar/vocals) and Michael McClellan (drums) – have toured the UK and Europe twice, visited Russia and Israel in support of their debut album, In Humor And Sadness. Here, Josh looks back on a year which has racked up an impressive amount of airmiles and several mind-boggling videos…

Hello Josh, how was your year?

“It was a pretty busy year for us. It was exciting to release our album and go on so many tours. There were lot of brand new things and fresh events for us. We came to the UK twice, so we were stoked on that.”

What sort of new experiences did you enjoy?

“I’ve been touring for quite a while, but with ’68 part of the challenge was to take something as comfortable as touring was, and make it fresh, new and different. With ’68, there’s a lot of perks to being a two-piece rather than a five piece. Coming over to Europe is so different when there’s only two guys.”

Being a duo bring must bring its own challenges, though?

“There’s pros and cons, definitely. There’s more room in the van. But we still have quite a bit of equipment, so we have to carry all of that between the two of us. That can be taxing at times!”

When you formed ’68 and decided to play guitar, were you concerned you’d be restricted on stage? But then again, we saw you climbing around the amps…

“It was a challenge. I enjoy the freedom and expression of being able to move around onstage, but I wasn’t out to do the Chariot Part II. For me, I took the fact I was playing guitar and thought, ‘What can I do with what I’ve got now?’ I still find myself trying to go full-force every night. It moves you. Whether that’s five guys going bonkers on stage or two guys holding their own and rooted to the spot. There’s many ways to present passion. Part of the fun is feeling every night differently and letting it evolve naturally.”

’68 shows are imbued with a sense of chaos. Do you even have a setlist?

“We completely wing it. We have no ideas or setlists. I hang out and watch the bands before we play, and get a feel for the night. The last couple of years of The Chariot, we never had setlists. We don’t want to have a cookie cutter performance with pre-planned ideas. Every single night is so different.”

’68’s videos are very innovative. Are these all your own ideas?

Track 2 and Track 5 were ideas I’d had that came with the songs. Track 1 was shot by my friend Daniel Davison, who played drums when I was in Norma Jean. He had some ideas and it was great to go with it. There was a lot of trust on my part, because he made the video interesting in post [production]. We performed in a warehouse and he made it all glitchy. I have a lot of respect for him and knew he’d make something great.”

What’s been your most memorable moment of the year?

“I don’t know if I could pinpoint just one. Being able to come to Europe with ’68 for the first time was amazing. Much more the second time. Russia was amazing. We’re going to Israel soon. Obviously, it’s such a blessing to be able to go to these places once, let alone twice.”

What are your ambitions for 2015?

“I know we’ll be touring a lot. We have some stuff lined up which is exciting and we hope to cross the ocean to Australia and places we’ve not been this year, like Japan and South East Asia. We love playing shows. That’s why we started the band.”

**Any New Year’s resolutions, Josh? **

“I’m not a fan of them myself. If you want to lose weight or something, why stick to a tradition? Just start today. Having said that, I know some people who do them and for the month of January, so that’s got to be healthy in some way. I don’t really have any resolutions.”

Simon Young

Born in 1976 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Simon Young has been a music journalist for over twenty years. His fanzine, Hit A Guy With Glasses, enjoyed a one-issue run before he secured a job at Kerrang! in 1999. His writing has also appeared in Classic RockMetal HammerProg, and Planet Rock. His first book, So Much For The 30 Year Plan: Therapy? — The Authorised Biography is available via Jawbone Press.