’68 Frontman Explains Why They Don’t Use Setlists
Josh Scogin of ’68, The Chariot and ex-Norma Jean was our guest on a recent episode of The MetalSucks Podcast to discuss ’68’s new record, Give One Take One, the year-long journey of making their animated, hand-drawn video for “Bad Bite,” missing out on a tour opening for Faith No More because of the pandemic, and more.
During our chat, Scogin revealed that he is not a fan of making live setlists for ’68, instead preferring to let the band’s song choices evolve organically from night to night. What’s more, the band tests individual songs out on the road before recording them, letting them evolve compositionally from show to show before finally committing them to tape. He explained:
“We don’t have set lists. Even the songs, they’ll kind of morph and change. Some parts we’ll know, ‘Hey, we’ll just kinda free jam this for a bit,’ but then there’s some parts that just sort of develop into a free jam. It’s hard to explain but it really does just come naturally.
“And so, I think just playing it, every band I know of, they write the songs and they record them. Very rarely do you write a song and get to play it four or five years and then record it. But once you’ve recorded it you play it how ever long your bands last. Four, five, six, seven, 10 years, whatever. So yeah, it’s gonna morph, it’s gonna change just naturally. Just even the bare bones of it.
“But the way we perform songs with the very free floating attitude. Like I said, some parts get longer, some parts get shorter, some parts are purposefully free jam parts and then some sort of develop. Some of them are hard to even — especially from our first record — some of them are very like, ‘Wait, is that the same song as that?’ For the most part, I embrace that.
“Every now and again I’ll actually listen to the album somehow kind of on accident, [and think] ‘Oh wait, I actually miss that part. We should do that. I liked the way that was, let’s go back to that.’ Here we are having played it for a couple years so I’m like, ‘Yeah, people have heard it this way so we’ll do that.’
“For the most part, evolution is great and as we evolve, hopefully in theory, that’s always upwards and onwards. I embrace the changes that come and I really enjoy that process. If you wanted to hear the record, you could go listen to the record, it still exists. But you’re here to see us live so what’s going to happen tonight, that’s a single stamp of time that we are all involved with. For better or for worse, here it comes and it’s something that only we got to enjoy that night. Tomorrow’s crowd will get tomorrow’s show but tonight we have this. I like that part of it.”
You can listen to our full chat with Josh below. Give One Take One is out now; order it here.