This week Los Angeles based rap-rock miscreants, Hollywood Undead released their third studio album, “Notes From the Underground“. Twisted mister, Charlie Scene stopped by to give us a look under the hood of the band’s new sonic vehicle.
Scene (vocals, lead guitar) along with Da Kurlzz (drums, screams) , J-Dog (bass, keys, synth, guitar), Johnny 3 Tears (vocals, screams) and Funny Man (vocals) in 2005. Former member, Deuce, parted ways in 2009 and was replaced by Danny Murillo, aka Danny (vocals, guitar).
The band released its acclaimed debut, “Swan Songs” in 2008, followed by “American Tragedy” in 2011. With “Notes From the Underground” the band continues to stretch while also returning to the roots of its debut album.
“With every new album we kind of evolve and change,” offered Scene. “We never wanted to be one of those bands that just comes out with the same-sounding record every time they release something. I think that this is a whole new chapter and we’re super stoked about it.”
“The label was off our back this time. They trusted us. We knew what we were doing when we went to the studio. We totally have our sound now. We started writing some of the stuff on tour, and we just got the ball rolling right when we got home.”
Scene is also the band’s principal guitarist, and on the new record Rob Zombie and former Marilyn Manson guitarist, John 5 laid down some fretwork for the new album. That’s a lot of talent to have to replicate live:
“I know, and he’s so much better than me too. (laughs) It’s gonna be hard. I’ll have to practice my chops a little bit. He got involved because our producer, Griffin Boyce, did some Rob Zombie songs and he was working with john 5 on his record. So we got him. he was interested in laying down some of the guitar. He came in one day and did guitar on about six tracks, and added his touch to it. That was just an honor to have him on the record.”
“That’s another band we look up to, Slipknot,” stated Scene. “We couldn’t believe how passionate and excited he was. He individually called each of us before we shot it. We talked on the phone for an hour about the video, and just about life and music. He wanted to get to know each one of us individually and put all that together in a music video. It was just awesome working with him. he’s such a cool guy.”
Working with John 5 and Slipknot are just a couple of reasons why Hollywood Undead, despite being primarily a rock-edged, hip-hop, rap band keeps getting thrown into the metal whirlwind, enjoying tours with StoneSour, Avenged Sevenfold, Asking Alexandria and many others. I asked him why he thought the band keeps ending up in metal circles.
“Honestly, that’s one of those things that I wonder too. Cause we’re not metal, but we’re always put on tour with these metal bands. It’s weird because we have that hip-hop vibe but when we play shows there are people moshing to it and beating the hell out of each other. So I don’t know. I have no idea what that is, but it’s a perfect fit for some reason and I think that’s awesome.”
Charlie also talked about setting a stranger on fire, his warped fascination with death, horror movies and serial killers, and much more. Listen to the full interview below, then pick up, “Notes From the Underground“.