DoubleView of Scattered Hamlet
at Rocklahoma 2014
All the band members of Scattered Hamlet—Adam Joad, Redd, Jake Delling La Bas, Adam Newell, and Rich Erwin—sport strange nicknames: the Old Kentucky Bastard, the Appalachian Apostle, Missouri Madman, the Chicago Bootlegger, Irish Thunder, and Bean Dip.
This crazy quintet is one part rock band and one part traveling frat party. In fact, as I was excitedly informed, the band had managed to consume two hundred and seventy-two beers, a bottle of whiskey, and some Moonshine in less than twenty-four hours.
“We are doing excellent…we are pretty tipsy but it’s good,” stated Missouri Madman in slurred speech. “Well, it’s like this,” began the Old Kentucky Bastard, “You can’t hang with us.”
At this juncture—only about 1 minute into the interview—I began to question whether these men were even functional. The Appalachian Apostle explained to me that they “probably aren’t going to live very long and might just burn out real fast,” which did nothing to reassure me that they were able to perform the rudimentary functions required to live. “We’re gonna do it as long as we can,” Bean Dip added. “At this rate, we’ll make it another thirty years,” the Missouri Madman declares proudly. The Chicago Bootlegger retorts, “You ain’t got another thirty years!” “SHUT UP!” is Missouri Madman’s only response.
Their party lifestyle is mirrored on stage. In fact, the Appalachian Apostle told an entertaining story:
“So last night we got off the stage and the sound guy comes over and he goes, ‘that’s an interesting like shtick that you guys have.’ And I was just like, ‘What you talkin’ about?’ He was like, ‘You know, the gimmick that you guys have out there.’ [I was] like, ‘buddy it’s been eight hours [of partying], we just get forty minutes on stage and play instruments.’”
Immediately after, the Missouri Madman began shouting at Texas Hippie Coalition who was in the middle of an interview across the media tent: “Wooo! Big Daddy!”
Kindly, the Appalachian Apostle intervened: “Our friend here has more questions, SHUT UP!”
However, the interference did absolutely nothing to end the intense ADD Missouri Madman and Bean Dip had acquired as a consequence of consuming unhealthily large quantities of liquor. In fact, the Old Kentucky Bastard reckoned that their blood alcohol level was at, “a one point oh. One hundred percent. There is no blood. There is only alcohol.” Bean Dip added (or attempted to add) with, “there is only the amount of blood that makes me function; other than that I don’t have any blood. It’s only alcohol."
The Appalachian Apostle then mentioned that there were eight of them on stage, which was a very vexing statement to me seeing as how there were only five members of the band. So, I asked, “Why do you have eight people on stage?” Of course, his response was, “Why don’t you have eight people on stage?” Oh so helpful.
Thankfully, he elaborated, although it was still a bit confusing. “Five is the minimum. Six is where we try and go. After that, seven, eight, nine, ten.” The Old Kentucky Bastard added, “Eleven, twelve, thirteen, make it a baker’s dozen.”
I’m sure you all are wondering exactly what I was: What do all these people do on the stage? “Well, we give ‘em different jobs,” the Appalachian Apostle begins. “Sometimes their job is just to drink whiskey. Crash has an important job: our six-man. His job is to sing back-up vocals, drink whiskey, and carry a tire around. He’s passed out, he’s not here, so we’re riding his motorcycle.”
Back to the interview…after I heard that Scattered Hamlet was riding Crash’s infamous General Lee motorcycle, I again became concerned for their safety. Appalachian Apostle reassured me somewhat, saying, “We are the only ones riding the motorcycle so we aren’t hurting anyone but ourselves.” His logic was more than somewhat flawed, but I just rolled with it (pun intended).
Apparently, earlier in the day Bean Dip was trying to ride General Lee but after falling off twice in the process of trying to mount the vehicle, was persuaded to give up for his own personal safety’s sake (which surprised me because until that point I generally assumed that they didn’t care at all about their health).
“These boys in Texas Hippie Coalition,” the Appalachian Apostle begins, clearly deciding to tell another story, “we’ve been on tour with them before this and we couldn’t eat or anything and they always opened up, they feed us, they take really good care of us. So, that’s why you hear us yellin’ to ‘em and stuff. We got much respect…they helped us out.”
It took Scattered Hamlet a very long time to pay off the debt because they have a philosophy as to how they will acquire money. “We pay our own way,” says the Appalachian Apostle. “We don’t ask anyone for help…no kick starter campaigns, no indie-gogos, none of that bulls**t. We make the money ourselves…That’s okay if someone else wants to do that, but that’s not how we roll.”
On stage, they party, they drink, and they have a great time. The audience cannot help but fall in love with the band’s infectious stage presence and good humor. Scattered Hamlet is fun through and through.
Zoe Adler is a music journalist from Long Beach, California. Besides her website, which is her pride and joy, she works with the GRAMMY Foundation and the Long Beach Independent. Additionally, Ms. Adler is a musician, spending half of her time playing the flute, piccolo, trombone, and marching baritone. She has been with TeenView Music since the very start and hopes to make something of it in the future.