Scott H. Biram: "I Can Yodel, I Can Even Hambone."
He stomps. He hollers. He yodels and howls. Scott H. Biram also plays guitar, shakes tambourines and basically, utilizing various effects, makes more of a racket on stage then one man should be allowed the pleasure. But it is a pleasure for Biram, whose music has been featured on FX's Sons of Anarchy, and who recently released "Bad Ingredients," his eighth album (many self-released).
Unlike his wild stage act, Biram's studio work is more formulaic and features added instrumentation. "Whatever it takes to make a song sound full," he says. On stage, where Biram has cemented his reputation as dynamic performer with a primal energy (and scream), he is able to reproduce, through the magic of electronics and creative passion, most of those songs without backing musicians -- and he likes it that way.
Up On The Sun caught up with Biram in West Palm Beach, Fla. where he was nursing a cold and prepping for his upcoming tour. Biram, however, was jovial enough, even with a nasally southern drawl, to talk about his new album, the expectations of being a one-man band, and how faith sort of plays into his music.
Scott H. Biram is scheduled to perform Friday, February 17 at Martini Ranch in Scottsdale.
Up on the Sun: What are the roots of your music? To say it's the blues seem an obvious but easy way out.
Scott H. Biram: The foundation of my music is the blues. That's what I lean into more than anything else. But I've got country and bluegrass, hillbilly music, rock, punk rock and metal mixed in there. Sometimes I do all of one thing, and sometimes I do all those things mixed together. I've got multiple personalities I suppose.
Based on your press release, I'd say your publicists are hard-pressed to figure it out as well.
The easy way to describe it is to take Muddy Waters, Bill Monroe, Jerry Reed and Black Flag and mix them all together and you're going to get close to what I'm doing.
Bad Ingredients is your new album. Critics have called it more "mature." How is this one different from previous works?
Honestly, I don't see it as that much different. It's not quite the same as the others -- every record is a little different then the next because I'm going through different things in my life. As far as my songwriting goes I think for the last couple records I've been writing similar songs. I think "Born in Jail" is a standard blues thing. I don't know, maybe (critics) are saying it's more mature because the first song on the record, "Just Another River," is an acoustic only country song. But go one more song to "Dontcha Lie To Me Baby" and it's completely rocked out, almost metal. I've got songs I guess can be considered mature, like "Open Road," but further down the record you hear some pretty heavy-duty rock. Maybe it's the production? I'm getting better at my recording techniques. [Laughs] I don't know.
One song is called "I Want My Mojo Back." Did you lose it?
Not really. I'm not sure I ever had it. (Laughs)
There are two aspects to your music: the studio work that features you on multiple instruments with overdubs, and the live one-man band. How do you make one work with the other?
In the studio I do whatever it takes to make a song sound full and make a good song. I'm not thinking about whether it's possible to play all that stuff live. I just try to make good songs that are quality enough to get radio play. When it comes down to playing all these songs on stage, the answer is I can't. Sometimes I have to change the songs a little bit to play them on stage. But for the most part I can pull it off. I'm not doing anything too crazy in recording. I've got a couple songs that don't work too well on stage so I don't play them, but for the most part I can play almost every song that I have and make it sound whole.