[Interview] Riggs Chats Scum Of The Earth And What He Might Do With His Pigskin Guitar On Stage

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Today marks the release of The Devil Made Me Do It (iTunes), the first new Scum Of The Earth album since 2007’s Sleaze Freak. Bloody-Disgusting caught up with mainman Riggs (ex-Rob Zombie) to talk about the delay in between albums, Riggs’ love of horror, and some of his…shall we say unique guitars? We’ve also got the lowdown on who Riggs would love to see Scum Of The Earth tour with. Check it all out below!

Bloody-Disgusting: How are you doing?
Riggs: Good!

BD: What are you up to these days?
R: Oh, all kinds of stuff. Just now leaving the tattoo shop.

BD: How’s the tattoo shop going these days?
R: It’s good! Fucking crazy in there right now. I couldn’t get out of there! I just hopped on the phone and walked though everyone and got into my truck.

BD: It’s been five years since Sleaze Freak. What was the reason for delay up until now and The Devil Made Me Do It or just life got in the way?
R: Yeah, it seemed like life just got in the way. My grandmother, she got diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I moved her in with me and it’s hard. I can’t just leave her there.

BD: I’m sorry to hear that.
R: I mean, she’s fine. She doesn’t know, so it’s all good. I try to do some little stuff here and there. Gonna do a week of touring until I get it…I thought by now I’d have it all figured out but I’m slowly getting it all figured out.

BD: Did that situation affect you when you were writing and recording the album?
R: No, because I have a studio in my house. I can take my time and do it all in my own timeframe.

BD: The connection between horror and your music is impossible to miss. What makes you want to connect these two mediums?
R: I think it just happens. It’s what I’ve been into since I was a kid. I think about it on a day-to-day basis [laughs]. I write a song and then think, “Ooo, lyrics.” Just all I can think of is…I don’t know. I don’t try to make it sound like any way. It’s not preplanned. I get the music done and then, “That sounds cool!” and then just sit there and sing along to it. And all the stuff that sounded best with it was “The Devil” and this and that. Probably growing up in the bible belt helped in that direction.

BD: So it’s very natural. It isn’t forced out in any way, shape, or form?
R: Yeah, it’s not like I get up in the morning and put on my face paint and go to Wal-Mart and say, “Hey, I’m the evil security guy!” I’m just a normal dude who is into the horror stuff.

BD: What about horror inspires you? Is it the atmosphere, the music, the visuals, the story, etc…
R: All of the above. You can be driving down the street, take a wrong turn, end up being stalked by inbred mutant hillbillies, jumping from tree to tree. Just anything is possible [laughs]. Like the movie ‘Wrong Turn’.

BD: You must live in a very interesting part of the world!
R: Oh, Branson, Missouri! I think they filmed ‘Deliverance’ here. That’s a horror movie in my book.
But yeah, I like all kinds of horror movies. New ones, old ones, black and white, color…I just like them all.
Some people are real specific, like, “Oh, I only like Frankenstein” or “I don’t like the new shit.” I love the new shit. I seen the old shit a million times. Anything new that comes out, I love it. Because blood and tits, crazy story going on. I’m down.

BD: What do you think of this new breed of horror films coming out?
R: I like them! I think they’re great! I think some of the remakes are better than the old ones. Like, Texas Chainsaw Massacre I thought was terrible. It put me to sleep when I was a kid. Then the remake is fucking awesome! I guess I like the blood and gore now that I think about it. In the original, nothing really happened. Plus, R. Lee Ermey is awesome.
I like the original part 2 of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

BD: With Bill Mosley as Chop Top?
R: Yeah! And Dennis Hopper. Shit was sick!

BD: I saw a picture of your pigskin guitar and it looks incredible! I hear that you also have several other horror themed guitars. Who does these mods?
R: Just whoever I run into at the time. Most of them were done by Fernandes. They did the Re-Animator guitar where it’s full of blood but it’s green plexi glass. Then I have a clear blood one.
As for the pig skin one, I had a regular Fernandes and I had a leather shop in Springfield, Missouri and they did a freaking wicked job piecing it together. The guy told me he’d make it look like Freddy Krueger meets Leatherface. They did a really good job. It’s nasty looking.
And you can tattoo it! It’s real skin, so there’s a couple tattoos on there.

BD: Whoa, I didn’t know that! That makes it all the more creepy yet awesome!
R: [Laugh] And they put a little face in there on the front, with the eyes sewn shut and a little nose sticking out of it.
On the backside of the guitar, there’s an actual big nipple [laughter] Brutal! It’s right over the circuits for the killswitch, so it’s a round cover plate and they attached the pig nipple right to that. Pretty nasty.

BD: I have to ask, and I’m sorry, have you ever done anything freaky with that pig nipple on stage.
R: [sigh] Nope. I probably will now since you put the thought into my head [laughs]. I honestly think it’s worn off from rubbing on my pants while playing. It’s more a nub now. You can still do stuff with nubs, though.

BD: Will we ever possibly see a Riggs Signature guitar in the future?
R: Yeah, I had one with Fernandes. They made one years ago.

BD: You think we can see a reissue or a new model?
R: I don’t know. I’ve been talking to Schecter recently about some pretty crazy guitar ideas. We’ll see. I’d like to do a really crazy, freaky one. That would be ideal.

BD: What do you have in mind that would make it really crazy and freaky?
R: If they could make a coffin guitar that was clear and full of blood, one that you can’t poor out. It just sits in there, splashing around. Little bones floating around inside. Something like that.

BD: I know that you’ve got tour plans coming up as well as a lot of promo for The Devil Made Me Do It, but what do you see happening for Scum Of The Earth in 2013?
R: Just keep touring. I try to stay away from the metal world. That’s the problem is that I get sucked into that heavy metal world that I don’t really fit into. I’m always trying to move away from that, go on tour with different bands. But, I don’t know. Maybe it is heavy metal. It doesn’t seem like it. When we go out and do shows with Hatebreed or bands like that, it’s like, “What the fuck is this disco shit?” And I say, “Yeah, we’re not a fucking heavy metal band! What the fuck are we doing here? I need to be on tour with KC And The Sunshine Band!” Maybe they’d get it more.

BD: That would be an amazing tour! I would definitely go and check that out!
R: It would be awesome! That or Skrillex, Knife Party, something different. Something feel good.

BD: It would definitely be a challenge for the audience but in a good way.
R: I don’t think it would challenge them because they’d be so fucking wasted! They’re all tripping, slinging around, weird glow in the dark shit… They wouldn’t know what was going on. I’d have a lot of fun!

BD: Riggs, thanks so much. I hope send my best thoughts for you and your grandmother and I wish you the best of luck!
R: Much appreciated! You take good care!

Got any thoughts/questions/concerns for Jonathan Barkan? Shoot him a message on Twitter or on Bloody-Disgusting!

 
  • j.c

    I thought he was just kidding about living in Branson until he mentioned Springfield. I live a couple hours from there. Take the family down occasionally.

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