Menu

Backstage News, Front Row Pics

Get to Know Joe Scorsone of Flintface in His Own Words

Joe Scorsone ~ Photo by Chris Gabello

Joe Scorsone ~ Photo by Chris Gabello


We threw a whole bunch of questions about a lot of different topics at Joe and asked him to choose the ones he’d most like to answer ~ and here are his choices and his answers!

FlashWounds Interview Header


FW: Which do you find more difficult/intimidating ~ performing for a comparatively small audience (especially one that you know includes family and/or friends) in a more intimate venue or for a huge [faceless/anonymous] crowd at an enormous stadium?

Flintface: The smaller crowds used to intimidate me, then the large crowds made me feel very exposed… I’m at a point now where I’ve lost so much that I’m not afraid of the crowd. I’m not afraid of rejection. I just sing the words I wrote and I sing them because I mean them.

FW: Worst injury you have ever suffered onstage?

Flintface: I currently have a cracked tooth from my guitar…Can’t explain…I’m in a different world on stage, I worry about clean up after I’m done  [Chuckles]

FW: If you ever decided to do an entire album of covers, which songs would make the cut?

Flintface:  “These Things Shall Pass” by Johnny Cash, “If It’s In My Mind, It’s on My Face” by Seal

FW: Are there any causes/organizations that are particularly close to your hearts and that you would encourage the public to support?

Flintface: I’m a big advocate of the little free counseling services providing mental health services for suicide and abuse. Also the little food banks and shelters…. I’ve been a part of many and there’s no glory or reward for these small charities… No TV commercials or celebrities… Just beautiful humanity at its best.

smileFW: Do you [pardon the phrase] have the balls to do what the Red Hot Chili Peppers did and perform wearing just tube socks? 

Flintface: Eh… HUGE FAN of the Peppers! But doesn’t really fit my style. Although it would be nice not having to search for a matching pair [Laughs]

FW: What’s the one local place ~ restaurant, dive, pool hall, tattoo parlor, etc. ~ that you HAVE to visit ever time you’re back home?

Flintface: Italian Market in Philadelphia. And in this order: Sarcone’s, Cannuli’s, Claudio’s, Fante’s

FW: How difficult is it to come up with album names?

Flintface: Usually there’s a name that works for me and then there’s the name that translates better for the listener. The listener is always main focus for me, not my own gratification.

FW: When you see a band that was huge in, say, the 80s, and that you really loved, make a bid for a comeback today, do you hope they’ll have kept their original style/playlist or do you want to see more mature band with new material?

Flintface: Hard to say, when I heard Soundgarden’s (90s) new album I was so happy to hear that sound I’ve always loved. I respect an artist’s right to expand and grow and I hope the artist would always respect the listeners that made them.

FW: Personal pet peeve ~ musicians who can play their instruments really well and know how to break down/assemble their own drums, replace their own strings, etc., but always seem to rely on the one tech whiz in the band to deal with all the rest of the technical elements…any advice on the importance of everyone knowing how to use/fix/read every piece of equipment the band uses?

Flintface: Even as a solo artist I have a pretty consistent touring band. (Hope we all grow old together :) ) I did ask at one rehearsal that we not play but rather go around the room and have each person explain their set up, tear down and preferences. It felt a little silly in its classroom style presentation process and I doubt we retained all the info, but it gave everyone a greater appreciation for the other, improved set up and tear down time and helped with on the spot problem solving.

FW: Most important lesson you’ve learned from being in the music industry?

Flintface: The song is everything. Who you align yourself with is crucial and be able to accept and consider criticism. You have to know who you are and what you believe but at the same time we’re not always right and we can always learn something new from anybody or any situation.

FW: Most impressive/worthwhile (from your perspective, not the public’s) music industry event (awards show, NAMM, etc.) you’ve ever attended?

Flintface: The Grammy song writer concert. To hear the people who actually wrote the classics perform them and explain their process touched my heart, inspired me and reinforced what all this music stuff is really about. The song and connecting with people.

FW: Where do you come from, musically speaking?  Have you been a musician/in a band since you were a kid?  Did you take lessons or are you self-taught?

Flint

Flintface: I started drum lessons at 8 with a little Jewish woman named Mrs. Watts. Incredible woman and drummer that would bop me on the head when I messed up :) Started playing cut time, gospel beats in my dad’s inner-city Philadelphia church on a practice pad stomping on a mic stand for a kick. Started Flintface in 2001 as drummer/singer. It was 2 piece metal band with my little bro. Became Flintface the solo artist in 2006 and now I’m talking to FlashWounds [Smiles]

FW: Is there a code of ethics/conduct amongst professional musicians who are on the same bill…and even in the same band?  Always acknowledging the band that played before you and the ones who come later on the bill, making sure to introduce each member of your own band, not touching/moving other bands’ gear, etc.? 

Flintface: Yeah, I think you’ve named a few of the basics and any other common courtesies and plain being respectful to others.

FW: Are you ever surprised when the track on your album that you assumed would be your fans’ favorite turns out not to be, or have you gotten to the point of no longer trying to second guess what the public’s taste will be?

Flintface: I think most artists who are trying to feed themselves from the art consider that but I think a good producer will help you articulate your songs in a way the public can receive it best and a good marketing team can help you make the best guess at what will be a hit. But yeah, ultimately the public decides.

FW: If you could have been involved in the soundtrack to one film, which film would you have chosen?

Flintface: LORD OF THE RINGS! Although I think In Flames would probably be cooler for that one [Smiles]

FW: What’s the strangest gift any fan has given…or tried to give…you?

Flintface: Nothing strange, but fan gifts are very humbling.

FW: Any friendly sports team rivalries among band members?

Flintface:  I don’t know, I can’t catch a ball.

RejectsFW: Which generally comes first in your songwriting process, lyrics or instrumentals?  Or does it vary so much that there is no “generally?”

Flintface: Usually the music, then a phrase based on a picture the music paints in my mind, then the lyrics.

Speaking of songwriting, Flintface just released their first single single, “Army of Rejects,” now available on iTunes!

FW: As an accomplished musician you don’t just know music, you know what makes for good  lighting, sound, set design, etc. ~ So can you go to a show ~ whether small and local or a huge festival ~ and just enjoy, or do find yourself almost subconsciously looking for flaws in all those elements?

Flintface: I’m sure when I was a young and cocky musician I was looking for others’ flaws so I could feel better about my own. After life’s kicked my butt pretty good I appreciate what others bring, try and learn from them but mainly just keep my head down and focus on what I need to do.

FW: Do you have, for lack of a better word, understudies who could take over for various members of the band in a truly last minute emergency when it’s already too late to cancel a show?  If your bassist breaks his or her wrist during a set, is the bass tech able to jump in?

Flintface: Again, as a solo that has to hire musicians having backups is a huge priority.

FW: Now this question has resulted in some pretty serious finger-pointing and name calling ~ Is it cool to wear the T-shirt of a band you’re going to see or is it totally lame?

Flintface: Hey, to each his own… I do love that scene in Can’t Hardly Wait, though [Smiles]

FW: Better to burn out than fade away?

Flintface: I’ll let you know [Grins]

FW: If you had to write a song that was an ode to an inanimate object, what would it be?

Flintface: Coffee.  (My friends, THIS is a man after my own heart.)

FW: How important is the choice of producer for your albums?

Flintface: Incredibly important! They can make or break your record. This topic is too big to fit in this interview, but yes, extremely important!

FW:  Aside from a tragic reason like the death or illness of someone you love, is there anything that can happen before a show that will distract you from playing your best?

Flintface: Usually my own brain…

FW: Do you ever wear any of your own merch?

Flintface: Yes, to paint in… Only the old stuff though.

FW:  Not to get political, but ~ thoughts on music classes being offered in every school?

Flintface: Yes and of course.

Man, he's not kidding ~ this pic was the topic of Flintface's May 1 Twitter posts!

He’s not kidding ~ this pic was the sole topic of Flintface’s May 1 Twitter posts!

FW:  Any of your songs that you think would be perfect for a TV commercial ~ and for what product/service/etc.?

Flintface: Dunkin Donuts, but that’s purely for selfish motives.

FW: Is there any non-music industry person who’d render you completely starstruck if you met him or her?

Flintface: There’s a huge list of stand-up comedians that would get me all blushy.  (And now that he, a grown, masculine male, has used the word “blushy,” it’s official…I’m in love!)

FW: Recording process ~ long, torturous hours that are a necessary means to an end or something that you enjoy/treat as a learning experience each time, no matter how many albums you’ve recorded?

Flintface: I was very blessed to have Ross Hogarth as my producer. He not only became a close friend and mentor but brought along a cast of A-list musicians to perform on my upcoming album HOPE. This particular record was all about learning and about new standards. 

The band performing "Hope" ~ Photo courtesy of Suzanne Perry

The band performing “Hope” off their upcoming album of the same name ~ Photo courtesy of Suzanne Perry


FW: When the band tours, should audiences expect slightly different versions of the songs from what’s on the album or do you try to duplicate the sound of the album as closely as possible?

Flintface: We try to choose key elements to perform live mainly focusing on the 3 part harmonies. I like when live is different from the record. I can spin the record all day but to see that artist live is a rare experience.

FW: Do you have a go-to band, current or past, that you listen to for musical inspiration?  One that always gets your creative juices flowing?

Flintface: No, that’s ever changing.

FW: One person whom you would really like to see you perform?

Flintface: If I have to pick one for the sake of the question…. Seal or David Crosby [Smiles]

FW: You know what you’re like to deal with…would you ever want the job of managing/repping your band ~ or even another?

Flintface: I manage myself at the moment but I have a great team supporting me. No, I would never want to be a manager… It’s a very difficult job.

FW: What would the authorized biography of you/your band be titled?

Flintface: Hit the Bottom Hard Enough and You Bounce or The Beautiful Thing About Losing It All Is There’s Nothing Left to Lose at All.

******

 

I don’t know about you all, but talking with Joe and really listening to what he had to say made me respect him as an artist and a person…and also made me want to know more about him and get my hands on more of his music.  If you feel similarly, please visit the sites below and keep in mind that Flintface’s new album Hope comes out on July 22.

Flint new album

 

flintface.com

facebook.com/FLINTFACE

twitter.com/theflintface



Special thanks to Dana Gordon