Scott Sorry - The Wildhearts / Sorry and the Sinatras Print E-mail
Written by Dom Daley   
Thursday, 29 October 2009 19:19

Scott_Sorry_close_up"Nothing's gonna kill you faster than rock 'n' roll, Jesus christ I don't know what I was thinking" - Sorry and the Sinatras, 2009


Not only has Scott Sorry been involved musically with a number of notorious rock 'n' rollers but, in 2009, has put his name to two of the best albums that have seen release in the past twelve months. To say that Über Röck has a lot of time for Scott would be a gross understatement. When his band Sorry and the Sinatras hit Swansea as part of their UK tour, our man in the field Dom Daley was on hand to quiz the main man....

Are Sorry and the Sinatras a long term project?


Totally. We formed the band to play the kind of music we love and Rags (Roger 'Rags' Segal - bass) and Lenny (Thomas - drums) had to get out of Philly so we needed to get an album recorded. The Wildhearts weren't busy and not playing too many shows so I intended to finish one then have a break and the timing was kinda perfect to give SATS the green light seeing as the guys had to leave Philly for....shall we reasons, so it was all timed well.


Did you have any idea where Barnsley was?


Um, why Barnsley? Yeah, ha ha. Our label put us in contact with a producer called Jason Sanderson and he works out of Barnsley. We decided to do the record with him and it's asscott_sorry_live_1 simple as that really.


It seems an odd place to record, in as much as most bands would gravitate towards London or NYC.

Yeah, honestly if we were in London for a month it is safe to presume we wouldn't have gotten much done. Even in Barnsley we managed to get ourselves in a lot of trouble, let me tell you! The very first fuckin' day, straight off the plane, Lenny and Roger got themselves in a hostage situation at somebody's house - drugs may or may not have been involved; I think we should leave that story to your imagination! Um, ha ha, maybe people can figure that one out. The first fuckin' night - dear god. (Scott then laughed and muttered the word "bastards" with a big grin on his face.)


How many of the songs were finished and just ready to record before you got to Barnsley?


Just about all of them. There were a couple, yeah maybe two, that needed finishing touches, nothing more than changing a few lyrics. For the most part they were all finished and it was only a few lines.


Were they written as a band or are they your songs?


Well, I had the skeletons of the songs written and then the guys would just restructure - nothing more than taking out a verse here or there.


scott_sorry_live_2Is there more material written?


There are two more songs that were recorded during the sessions - I dunno what we're doing with them yet. There are loads more but they were not finished in time for the record - there are more now we've had time to do them.


How difficult has it been to juggle two bands and a family back home?


Yeah, it has been hard with a fiancee and a baby back home and only being there for like six weeks in the last four months, maybe five. It's tough you know, but this band takes me to where I want to take it, it's gonna take a lot of work. Like I said, I thought I had it set up but I guess the way the stars aligned I basically had two fuckin' records come out at the same time and had to try and tour them at the same time. So, it's out with The Wildhearts then home for two weeks then this tour with the SATS - it has been tough.


Scott, would it be fair to say you've worked with some characters so far in your career? The likes of Casey Chaos, Tracii Guns, Ginger.....


Yeah, yeah, they're all fuckin' nuts! I don't think I've been in a band yet without a complete maniac in charge. They're all different kinds of maniacs - yeah, nuts. They all live up to their reputations at one point or another; they've all lived up to the myths.


We then went on to ask about Scott's time in Amen and remembered a gig they did at Cardiff University where the set lasted about fifteen minutes and ended in utter chaos (of the Casey variety) with the drums in bits and him on top of the PA stack singing 'Crazy Train' by Ozzy. Scott laughs, tries to remember, but is of the opinion that it could have been any one of about a hundred shows with Amen. All he can remember of that tour was that it was the time in 2003 that he met Ginger but for the most part was, shall we say, absent from reality.


You played with Rich Jones on that tour and he's since helped out in the studio with The Wildhearts - he seems quite sensible?


Yeah right, don't let him fool you! Ha ha. That fucker can show moments of being the sensible one but he's got me into some serious trouble. We hang out all the time and every time I go home holding my head going "Oooohhhhhh, that fuckin' Rich Jones."



Back to The Wildhearts; I'd say that of all incarnations of the band - and I've seen them all - this line up is really focussed and exciting and writing some superb material.sorryandthesinatras300 Do you, as a band, feel that?


We were a bit worried at first - you know, how was it going to work playing the whole new record live, it was something that made us nervous and excited at the same time. It was something different, it wasn't like we were playing the same old set night after night which would have been fine as we all love those songs, but we wanted to make it fun for the band as well this time and see where it took us. I think that because we love this set of new songs, we could feel on stage that it was the same out there in the crowd. We had such a great time and we were also all taking care of ourselves in the first half of the set.



You got to sing on the new album which was a talking point in the press and amongst the fans - how did that come about?


It wasn't planned as such but myself and Ginger wrote a bunch of songs together and he wanted me to sing the parts I wrote, which was cool. The song 'The Only One', I'd actually written for another band and, as we were short of songs at the time, Ginger said that he knew that I had some knocking around. I played it to the guys and they liked it so it was in. It worked really well and I'm really, really happy with it.



How do you decide which songs to put forward to which band?




Um, it's weird because Ginger has been writing songs for The Wildhearts for like twenty years, so I wouldn't write something with the intention of using it for The Wildhearts - I wouldn't do that, but now Ginger has asked me to and we're writing together so I've been writing and in the back of my mind started to wonder if it would fit The Wildhearts. Seeing how well the new record has been accepted maybe it's given me a bit more confidence to write for the band. But I think I just write and when it's done maybe Ginger will like it and it would work there or maybe the Sinatras would use it - I dunno really, I guess the best answer is I just write!



Are you somebody that writes all the time?


Yeah, writing on the road is tough, at the moment we're in a tiny van so it's hard to get the time. I like to write by myself so it's not really the place.



Do you find it hard going from the relative luxury of The Wildhearts tour bus and nice hotels to a bunch of guys in a beat-up van?


It seems like it would be weird going from a bus to a van and all that goes with it but I've done the van thing for so long, I love it and it seems more comfortable for me. Obviously the bus and the hotels are nice but the van thing is comfortable. I look at the bus as the vacation and the van is the day job and the hard work is to get to the bus status - I'm cool with that, start at the basement and work up.



Do you find it weird going from playing the bass in a band to playing guitar and fronting a band in such a short space of time?


Um, thats a good question! I don't know, let me think about that. Uh no, obviously I like 'em both but it is a chance to express two totally different things. When I play the bass I get to jump around and just get into it.



Doing both jobs, do you find you compare how you'd do it to say how Rags does the playing in SATS, or are there times you hear different things in The Wildhearts that you'd play differently?


Nah, Ginger would give me a complete demo but I'd change maybe how the bass should go sometimes, if need be. I wouldn't do it if what he did was right. He is open to how a song goes - it's not a closed door and the others in the band do get their input; that's cool.



Amen_0Going back to other musician's you've worked with, they all seem to be, shall we say, massive personalities. Did you ever have an input into the writings with any of them? Start with Amen and Casey Chaos....




A bit like a dictatorship then? It was his band?




A good dictatorship to work for?


Nope. (much laughter breaks out)


Any good stories you have from the Amen days? It can't have been all bad times?


Um, God there are too many crazy stories from Amen - in the nicest possible way, the guy was fuckin' nuts.


Do you speak or know where he is?


Um, Ginger said he saw him maybe two months ago in LA and said he's like a hippy now. The guy gave in and went into rehab and has now cleaned up and you can tell because he's grown his hair real long and is into Buddism and love and peace - ha ha, Casey Chaos, what the...... ha ha.


I then asked about recording the videos for Amen songs like 'California's Bleeding' and playing some of the TV stuff that's on You Tube, like The Rollins Show, but Scott didn't look suprised at some of the nuts things that went on and said it was like that 24/7.


What about your time in Brides Of Destruction with Tracii Guns? He has something ofBRIDES2 a reputation.


Well yeah, Tracii's nuts as well, but a totally different kinda nuts. He's not like, um, Tracii's just really intense, he's funny as shit but he's a little bulldog.


Did you find him easy to work with?


Yeah I did, I found him easy to work with but I can see what others find difficult....but I found him good. Maybe at the time it wasn't so much Tracii but me - I don't think I was particularly easy to work with. I was a real dick doing a couple of different things at the time and it was me; I was kinda a mess. I could jump on the bandwagon and say we ended up not getting along because of him but it was probably just as much, if not more, my fault in honesty.


Do you speak to him these days? He passed through the UK only a few weeks ago?


Yeah, we were supposed to meet up - I think it was when we (The Wildhearts) played Brighton and they weren't far off on the same day, but it never happened. There's no bad blood or anything, but I was having a really hard time at the time of the Brides.



wildhearts-3Onto Ginger. On this last tour he seemed to be in a really good place and raring to go, making the most of every song and it was infectious.


Yeah, totally. How well everything went was a total blast and we all fed off that. He gets bummed out playing in the same grind, which is why he does so many things. He's another intense guy, and he doesn't sleep a lot, but a sober Ginger is a great guy and  with a funny as fuck sense of humour.



The Wildhearts have never been afraid of taking chances and playing the entire new album on tour was still evidence of this.


It was kinda a fun thing about it, it wasn't safe, you know. We wrote this record we were really1chutzpah proud of and we thought, "fuck it, let's roll the dice and play it all, fuck it." It felt great.



You then went straight off that tour to this SATS tour - what next?


I go home for maybe a month then it's a Scandinavian tour. I meet up with The Wildhearts in Stockholm, then a couple of shows back in the UK before Christmas.



Scott_blueWhat about Sorry And The Sinatras?


Well yeah, we're going to do another tour here again in probably March, hopefully some dates in the States, but we're waiting to see on that one, then right back in the studio.



Was it ever considered for SATS to go out on the European tour with The Wildhearts?


We batted the idea 'round but I wanted it as a separate thing. I don't want people to think I'm riding on the coat tails of The Wildhearts because it's a totally seperate thing, which is kinda hard to say because I'm already associated with The Wildhearts, but they are different and SATS isn't a spin off or a solo record from someone in another band - it's not like a solo project at all.



Who are you listening to at the moment that you'd recommend?


I love The Bronx at the moment and they're kinda my favourite band and have been for a few years. God, they are good, aren't they? I tend to go through phases though, like all I want to listen to is old LA punk, then get a bit sick of that so I listen to Echo and the Bunnymen or thrash,  jazz - I love a bit of everything, I definately like everything.



highballrollerIf I said that the 'Highball Roller' album is in the same vein as other classic old school punk bands like Social Distortion, Roger Miret & the Disasters or The Bones, or even a bit of Rancid in there, it's good company to be in, would you agree?


Yeah totally. Social D and Mike Ness is where my roots are, that's my passion right there. With 'Highball...' I wasn't about making anything different, I just wanted a great record as a sort of nod to my heroes. This is a record I wanted to make when I was sixteen years old, it just took me a bit longer to get there, ha ha. Hopefully it sounds a little better than it would had I done it back then. The next one maybe more branched off, who knows, maybe a jazz solo.


Maybe not, eh?!


Nah, maybe not jazz then, but we'll try and mix it up. I don't want every album to sound the same - a band has to grow and the Sinatras aren't any different in that respect, otherwise there's no point. It's still rock 'n' roll - it has to be played with love.



The name Sorry. Are you a big fan of the UK TV sitcom starring Ronnie Corbett andscott_sorry the ultimate homage was to change your name and get it tattooed on your neck?


No, ha ha ha. I'd gone to the Coffee Bean in LA after a proper night out and my phone was exploding with furious ex-friends of mine and my buddie was like "you should just get 'sorry' tattooed on your neck" and I was like, you know.....ta-da, there it is and from there on everyone called me Scott Sorry.



It was there that we called a halt and let Scott go off to sound check with the rest of the band. Bass player, guitarist, singer songwriter - legend.  Do yourself a favour and check out Sorry And The Sinatras - you won't regret it. 2009 has been a blinder of a year for great album releases and Scott has had more than a hand in two of them.  Hats off.