Scattered Hamlet’s Appalachian Apostle, Adam Joad, talks “Stay Hungry,” the Band’s Tribute to Jake Delling Le Bas, and MUCH MORE.
By Kristin Welcome
I sat down with Scattered Hamlet’s Appalachian Apostle, Adam Joad, to reminisce over the phone, about what the band has been doing since the untimely accident of Jake Delling Le Bas, to find out how Jake is doing, and to hear what the band has been up too. For those who do not know, Jake Delling Le Bas, suffered a traumatic head injury from the result of a fall, in September of 2017. Scattered Hamlet chose the song, “Stay Hungry,” by Twisted Sister, as a tribute song for Jake.
I asked Joad about the song choice, and he elaborated, “Yeah, it was kind of something we knew we wanted to do, since we could not really finish touring on the album cycle, at the time. We wanted to at the time pick a song, and we wanted his brother to do the video, and his best friend Jay to produce it. We knew that. We had to pick a song; we had trouble agreeing on songs to just cover live. We cover songs live, and we just have trouble agreeing, so we put it out to social media and had people come up with ideas, and we started demoing songs, some sounded like things we would do, and some were everywhere in between, and we just ended up with “Stay Hungry”.
Viewers can watch the Scattered Hamlet video for “Stay Hungry” on both the band’s Facebook page, and YouTube. (It is also featured here.) I can recall when Scattered Hamlet was looking for song suggestions; you could certainly feel the love that not only the band members, but the fans had for Jake. This is not just another band, with a group of fans, in many ways this is a family. That outpouring of love for Jake, and that energy can truly be felt in the band’s rendition of the song. It is no wonder that Scattered Hamlet earned the recognition of Twisted Sister’s, Dee Snider, himself.
Scattered Hamlet did not do a straight cover of the song, but included their own twist with more slide guitar and wah pedal elements, bringing in a Honky Tonk twist, that fans have come to love from the band.
I asked Joad about the inspiration Twisted Sister had on the decision to cover the song, and he shared with me, “I watched the Twisted Sister documentary, and saw all the struggle those guys overcame. You know, my brother came from Long Island, and used to watch Twisted Sister back in the day, so we ended up with Twisted Sister, and it all made sense. It reflected where we were at that point.”
When asked about the feedback from Dee Snider Joad responded, “That was cool, we did not expect that. We reached out to their team and we never talked to Dee directly, Adam (Newell, guitarist) actually now will be doing some dates, playing guitar, with Dee’s solo project. Pretty soon, we looked at Twitter, Dee checked it out, (the video) and he said some awesome and supportive things. He said we did a great version of it, so the feedback has been pretty good so far.” Snider posted on his Twitter that he will be praying for Jake.
I asked Joad how Jake has been doing since the accident, and where he is in his recovery. Joad struggled to speak about Jake, and shared that it will be a long recovery. He shared that, “Jake does open his eyes, but does not talk yet. The recovery is real slow, and he has a traumatic brain injury. He is not in the rehab facility full time anymore. A lot of people (will ask) “did he wake up”, and I had to learn a lot about this, with traumatic brain injury consciousness is not an on and off switch, it is not like in the movies. When someone is in a comma they just do not wake up and be normal again, it can be a long, slow process. Jake, that we know is not there yet, it does not mean that he won’t be, but the recovery is very slow, and it is a lot for his family and his friends.” Jake has been diagnosed with a DAI or Diffuse Axonal Injury, which is similar to soldiers who have suffered I.E.D attacks.
At Outlaw Review we continue to keep Jake Delling Le Bas, in our thoughts and prayers, and the entire Delling Le Bas, and Scattered Hamlet family.
Scattered Hamlet has made the decision to continue touring and writing music. Scattered Hamlet after long talks went back on the road, in April of 2018, with the blessing of Jake’s family. With Dave Vandigitty, from Diamond Lane, filling in on drums, Scattered Hamlet recorded “Stay Hungry” They later added Grant Jenkins, for the tour, a drummer out of Nashville, Tennessee.
When asked about the new tour Joad reflected on Jenkins, “you know, he stepped into a very weird situation, and he understands it, and all the people who like us, and he brings new things to the table; and it’s kind of a new era. We just have to approach it this way. The last tour was weird, but it was important to get back on the horse.”
Since then Scattered Hamlet has been invited to perform on Warped Tour, Rockfest, Jesco White’s birthday party, and the main stage at Sturgis, with Kid Rock. The tour starts in July, and goes through August.
I spoke to Joad about the chance to perform with Kid Rock, on the main stage of Sturgis, he thought about it, and said, “Yeah, I haven’t really processed it yet. It has been a strange experience for me particularly. I guess everybody has aha moments, but I remember sitting in a field, and in an outdoor venue, outside of Pittsburg; it’s called Starlight Amphitheatre, and I remember watching Run- D.M.C, and Aerosmith, and Kid Rock all play together, and I remember looking up and going, “that’s what I want to do”, now I am doing that with Kid Rock in a month, and it’s just kind of God willing, life is weird, but a surreal experience. Also Lita Ford is on that bill as well. I was in grade school and one of my cool, older relatives, took me to a Lita Ford and Poison concert, so it’s kind of a weird, full circle experience for myself personally, being on that kind of stage. Of course Sturgis is legendary.”
Joad also shared with me that Scattered Hamlet recently signed with a new booking agency Artery Global, which books acts from Powerman 5000 to Texas Hippie Coalition, and shared the bands excitement to be able to broaden their touring area. I asked Joad of the summer tour, besides Sturgis, which I know is a major highlight for the band, where else he will enjoy going to. Joad reflected and said, “There are so many cool venues like Top Fuel in Braidwood, Illinois, or Lifers in Algona, Iowa; we like to play there; Jesco White from The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, it’s a private show but getting to play his birthday bash, he is one of the OG Outlaws of Appalachia. Getting a nod from him, and getting to play his private party, is a huge nod for folks from where I am from, and a pretty cool acknowledgement. So I am looking forward to it all, if anything all the crap that has happened in the past year, it gives you the perspective to sit back and enjoy every bit of stuff. Every time we get to play it is a blessing.”
Pondering Joad’s statement, and the fact that just a few days prior to speaking with him the Metal Community was shocked to learn of legendary drummer, Vinnie Paul Abbott’s passing (Pantera/Damageplan/HellYeah) I decided to ask Joad to share his feelings on the loss of Vinnie Paul. Joad said, “That is a hard one to wrap the brain around, Vinnie Paul was a larger than life person, I never actually have spoken to Vinnie, but I have been in the same room as him, and he is a person who was larger than life. He had a mythological quality. When you are in a room with, and I don’t like to use the word Rock Star, but when you are in a room of Rock Stars, and you stand higher than the other Rock Stars, if you will, you know there is a lot of big heads in rooms like that, myself included. When you watch someone walk into a room like that, and have that status above the other people, it’s cool. That was Vinnie Paul, and it is part of him as a person and his contribution to music. It is just impressive, and he was only 54 years old, and was with extremely successful bands, and it is just upsetting on so many levels, and I obviously feel for his family the most, but for the rest of us that was just a shock.”
We reminisced on the many bands that have formed from the inspiration of Pantera, and Vinnie Paul’s influence. His loss will be unmistakably felt in the Metal community. Talk then drifted back to Scattered Hamlet, and when they might release a new album. Joad shared that the focus remains right now on finishing out the summer tour. Joad did share, “ I have probably sixty to seventy percent of a new album demoed and ready, and it still needs..., and I am sure the other guys have ideas to bring to the table, but if somebody came around and we had to get an album done we have the material ready to do it. It is just picking the right timing. The industry is a weird place right now, they are always like, “We need this, we need that,” and I am not a content generator. I don’t put out a new album every year. I put out a new album when we have one ready, when people have spent enough time with the other one. We go forward like that. We have material, but we want to make sure we put it out, and put it out right.”
Listening to Joad you can tell he takes pride in his music, and the craftsmanship of making it. Scattered Hamlet remains a predominately touring band, who focuses on getting to know their fans first hand, and creating a family atmosphere with their followers. In some ways reminding us of the bands of yesteryear; where touring was the main focus, before the advent of fast paced technology and social media. However, Joad did laugh, and assure me an album would be out soon enough. Joad also said, “The thing is we tour all the time, there is always going to be a live show, we are first and foremost a touring band, and so we will be playing live.” Joad shared his excitement on the opportunities to come, and said, “I am excited about the new stuff and the direction, we are going in, and the kind of stuff we have together. I don’t feel we will surprise anyone, we do what we do, but there are certain things that we have gotten better at, and that we are attracted to more than others.” We talked about the evolution of Scattered Hamlet’s music, and Joad’s creative direction. Joad shared his opinion, “I like songwriting, and I like things that are accessible and well put together. That is my take on musical direction.”
Joad in his lyrics becomes a storyteller, and he writes from what he knows. He spoke about artist’s like Mike Ness of Social Distortion, and Outlaw Country singers, and said, “that’s why those guys are so good at showing emotions whether or not you like how they deliver it, what they can capture in a few words is incredible and that is something that I always inspire to be better at, and can’t even come close to those guys.” Joad is a true artist, and prides himself on what’s important. Joad’s somewhat traditional approach does not mean that he has missed out on social media as a tool, in fact Joad will be working on a web series after the tour, and the band often makes use of social media to get to know, and connect with their fans. Often Scattered Hamlet uses Facebook to go live, and interact in real time with fans.
However, no Scattered Hamlet experience quite compares to the delivery of a live show. If you have not yet had the opportunity now is the time to catch Scattered Hamlet live; as the ability to share the Stage with the likes of Kid Rock and Lita Ford, will certainly be what Scattered Hamlet needs to propel them to the next level in their career.