Please give your name and duties in the band.
My name is Josh Scoggin, and I’m the singer for The Chariot.
The Chariot has been around since 2003. Can you give us a quick history lesson on The Chariot?
The quick version? In approximately 2004, we released our first record. We’ve played several shows and toured a lot. We’ve been through like a million different members, and all for different reasons (marriage, joining other bands, etc). 5 albums later in 2012, we released One Wing. Still loving it and still doing it!
What is the meaning (if any) behind the name “The Chariot”?
Where I got it from to even call the band with that name was the story of a chariot of fire who comes down to pick up a man and take him to Heaven (Story of Elijah). It’s a biblical story, whether you buy stock into that or not, it’s about someone who is already in such another world that their body transitions to where their mind already is. I wasn’t raised up in the church or a Christian household, but the imagery really stuck with me from my childhood. When it came time to name the band, the name fell into place and I really liked it.
What is the number one priority/purpose of the band?
It’s not really a band task, but as a Christian and believer anything I’d do would be to glorify the Lord. I know that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and that’s fine.
You’ve recently released “One Wing”. What kind of feedback have you received from you fans & your peers?
It’s been going very well. Seems a lot of people can hang on to some of the weird things we do. I think The Chariot has a very smart audience, unlike some other bands. I feel like that’s a great place for us to be. They always want something new and something fresh, not the same album over and over. As artist, we always push ourselves to exceed, and with One Wing it seem to have worked out well.
Why the Charlie Chaplin speech in the song “Cheek”?
Have you heard that speech before? Why not have it! I mean, it was written so long ago and it’s more applicable today than ever. It’s funny, because he has no idea of the inventions that are coming, like computers and internet. We are a band who truly believes a lot of the things that he says in that speech. With recording process now we have so many technologies and inventions involved, like Auto-tune for example. Art is easier and cheaper to do, now even in your own home. You don’t need a label to say “We accept you” to make music now. And yet, many instead of using for a greater good, are using those technologies to dehumanize music. I heard his speech ages ago, and was floored by it. I mean, we had to go through a lot of hoops to get the rights to use it, and we/the label really fought hard for it to work We could have written our own speech for the song, but that would have been our opinions in 2012!
What was the inspiration for “One Wing”?
Inspiration is everything. We are always writing, from the moment our last record was released until this album was finished. Like I said before, I am a believer but that is just one aspect of my life. I’ll take inspiration from many places, whether is a family member passing away or a beautiful sunset. Sometimes it’s not something you can foresee, but when you look back it make lots of sense.
What sort of music do you find lets you ‘worship’ God the best, or bring you closest?
Something that feels real, something with passion. I’m not here to judge anyone’s heart, but in this industry you obviously get to know people and sometimes when you get to know them you’re like “Oh?”. You can often feel someone’s passion or know if they are putting on a facade. Maybe they aren’t pitch perfect or a copy/paste guitar riff, but that’s when you really get to see God’s work shining through. It doesn’t matter the quality of recording, it really matter how genuine it seems.
With the rise of your popularity in recent years, how do you stay close to God and not get sucked into worldly desires?
That’s a very loaded question, but at the end of the day I’m a very grateful human being who has observed death and been near death before. For myself, I’d be kidding myself if I ever denied there was a Lord, because I’ve lived through many situations that are obvious proof of his existence. I know I can’t force my beliefs on others, but at the end of the day I know where I’m at, and I need to stay true to myself.
Any news on “A Rose By Any Other Name”?
I actually recently recorded two songs. Don’t know when they’ll come out, maybe I’ll do a 7-inch or something. It’s a very slow going process for sure. Follow me on Twitter (@thejoshscogin) for more updates.
What is the meaning behind you continually saying “Be Free” from the stage?
I think freedom can mean a lot of things. As an artist, not being censored or held back while on stage is certainly a freedom. In any context, I would hope there would be positive aspects to it, a message of hope.
Does the band have any limits on what is acceptably crazy and what goes too far?
I don’t know. Maybe? We really don’t talk about all the crazy things we will do on stage, it’s more spontaneous than anything else. Thank God we’ve only had a few very minor injuries from it. We try to keep it safe. Oh, and contrary to popular belief, we don’t break anything that isn’t our own!
Who are 3 active current bands/artists you’d like to tour with?
We’ve toured with so many people that we genuinely love. I’d love to tour with Deftones. I don’t think it would go very well, but I’d love to tour with Radiohead so I could watch them every night. We’d love to tour with Converge, we did do a 10-day festival tour with them before and it was amazing.
What is one major positive and one major negative aspect about the current state of the music industry?
Jeeze! Music industry sucks these days, man! It can suck you dry. If you stick to the live shows and let everything else pan out, it’ll tend to work out in the end. People coming up to me and talking after shows is all I need. If CDs sell, that’s cool. If not, whatever. You can’t be a dinosaur and freak out if CD sales numbers are down. People will always come to live shows.
Thanks for taking the time to stay in touch with your fans at Indie Vision Music. Is there anything else you’d like to add to this interview?
Thank you so much for support us over these last few years and don’t forget to check us out whenever you have a chance.