Interview: With Scott Moss of Minus Life

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Minus Life have recently reformed and the Brisbane Metal scene could not be more excited to have them back! With their first official gig this weekend at Crowbar nearly sold out, GC Live had a chat to front man Scott Moss about how they decided to reform, the upcoming gig and what else the band has planned over the next few months.                                         

So Minus Life has reformed! You have some super excited fans out there, how did this all come about?

Well obviously we broke up in 2007. Over that time we have had different projects and stuff but nothing really felt the same. Travis the drummer, Matt the keyboardist and myself were talking about the possibility one day. Ryan had a lot of other things going on in his life at the time. Then last December Ryan and I caught up and had lunch and we got chatting that day, we didn’t even talk music. We just caught up because it had been a long time. Then I messaged him later on and said Dude it was awesome to catch up, it would be cool if you and I could just do some writing again together and he said Nah F*** that, let’s just do Minus Life again. We had the others on board and we just had to find a bass player.

It must be a good feeling to have fans really excited to have you back?

It is. It really is. It’s humbling. I mean 10 years ago, it would have been ego stroking but as you get older you get more humble. It has been a positive thing; I have had people pull me up in the shopping centre saying like Oh you know, it is so great you’re back. And I have had people that I have spoken to that I have done some interviews with that have said oh I remember we played a show with you guys and you said something to me and gave some great advice. It is cool to hear those little stories. Also people that are in established bands now and saying to me Oh you are one of the first bands we saw and we just love the fact that you are back. It is good to have that kind of vibe around it, not like oh why are they coming back kind of thing. There seems to be a genuine excitement about it. And the ticket sales (for the Crowbar gig), I mean yeah the lineup is great but a lot of bands have come back and haven’t done this many ticket sales, so it is awesome to see that.

The lineup for your gig at Crowbar this weekend is top shelf! The Black Swamp, Massic and Snake Mountian. You must be keen to play with them?

Yeah I know Brendan, the drummer from The Black Swamp. He actually used to be a fan of Minus Life and we had fallen out of contact a bit over the years as you do. We just sort of got back in contact. And Brendan said hey I got this band, The Black Swamp and I was listening to them and I was like dude this is awesome! So it was The Black Swamp and us originally going ok, when are we going to set a date and Brendan and I spoke a lot about it and then he was like Dude, you got to check out Massic. I heard their stuff and was blown away and obviously saw them at Dead Of Winter and they blew me away. I knew Neville from when he was with The Sever Project and they played shows with us back in the day. We put up an advertisement saying we were looking for an opening band and he messaged me within like 52 seconds and said what about us? And I sat on it for a couple of days. Sorry Neville *laughs* I did it just to stir him a bit but I was like, he’s an old friend I had to stir him a bit. But Snake Mountain to open is crazy! Like those guys are going to bring it! For an opening act to be that strong is just awesome. So I am looking forward to seeing all three bands then lighting it up after that with us.

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Minus Life originally formed back in 2002, how did the band initially get together?

Well it is funny. Matt and I played in a Black Metal band years and years ago that’s how I met Matt. Ryan I met at a party I had at my house because 2 weeks before that his friends had a car accident outside my house and the guy road raged them out the front of my house. I ran out in my boxer shorts and ended up inviting them to my party and that is how I met Ryan. I said to them I am looking for a guitarist do you know anybody? and they said this guy right here! Ryan and I spoke a bit and we all got together at his house and wrote our first song together which was Cursed. We wrote that, the intro, it was so dramatic and metal, we were in the dark and had candles burning and we were drinking and it was a great time. It was a very exciting time in Brisbane; the scene was so damn healthy back then.

How did you come up with the name for the Band?

So my brother actually picked it. It was from an old Brisbane band called Sound Surgery. They had a song called Minus Life and my brother just said what about this name? And I thought it was kind of cool and I knew Scott from Misery, the original guitarist from Misery and spoke to him and asked him what he thought and he said yeah that’d be awesome if you used that name. So that’s how it came about. We liked it and we thought it was different.

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Minus Life have supported some huge bands in the past, Mastodon, Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquility and a whole heap more, each of those must have been such an amazing experience?

Yeah, amazing. The first support we ever had was The Haunted. We had literally played our first show and then within like 3 months we supported The Haunted. It was like wow! To play with them was amazing. Arch Enemy had a really special place for me because we were the only support, we got a really big time slot, I got to watch sound check and see Michael Amott. He was a huge influence for me with Carcass. Carcass are still one of my favourite Metal bands, so to play with him and Sharlee D’Angelo and Daniel Erlandson on drums and watching Angela Gossow was amazing live and she was really humble in person. For me, Slayer and Mastodon was a good point and a sad point because it was our last show and we played this massive show in front of heaps of people, and then a week later we broke up. For me I think out of everything, Nevermore will always have a special place in my heart because Warrel Dane was a big influence and he has now passed away. For me it was the genuineness of Nevermore that really got to me. The bass player came up to us and he was like “I want a f***ing band shirt, I want to roadie for you” and he roadied for us for the whole set. He chucked on the Minus Life shirt, roadied for us, went out with us after, we had a great time. Then there was playing Metal For The Brain. Back then I was nominated for one of the best vocalists in Australia and I got to sing with an all star band, which back then consisted of Rick Withoos from Earth, Mark Palfreyman and Scott Young from Alarum and Andrew Haug from Contrive on drums and I got asked to sing Walk by Pantera and we did that down at Metal For The Brain as a pre warm up show at the metal awards and it was amazing and it was such a great night and I met so many bands there and I thought I was this little guy that no one knew and people were like yeah Minus Life and I was like what? People actually know who we are? So Metal For The Brain was such a big thing back then. We got asked to play it twice and it was just such a great vibe. And that is what I like about Dead Of Winter. Dead Of Winter has that kind of Metal For The Brain feel. There was a lot of exciting shows. Obviously Big Day Out was exciting as well. We played straight after Trivuim on the Converse stage and I actually walked up on stage and my first words were “Trivuim warmed you up we will fucking destroy you!” and the crowd went batshit crazy. Then there was this time at The Basement, in our glory days, one of my mates Jake, he came up to me and he goes you’re the singer of Minus Life? And I go yeah and he goes I f***ing hate Minus Life! I was like cool man, you want a beer? And he was like what!? and I was like do you want a beer? I was like just because you don’t like my band doesn’t mean I don’t like you. You’re just not into my music, you know what? I am fucking glad you said that, at least you’re honest. How can I be offended at you when you were honest with me? I would rather you say that and then behind my back say fuck they’re shit. It is not your thing. If people don’t like us I don’t care. Not everyone is going to like you. That’s just the way it is.

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You’ve got some big shows coming up which is really exciting! what are the plans after that? will we see a new album in the near future?

We have got a lot of cool shows coming up. We have got this one (Crowbar) then we’ve got Shredfest and Wallapalooza. Mousey approached us and said Dude I want you on Shredfest and we had another show we were looking at playing but it just worked out better to do Shredfest. We have got to be smart because we don’t want to come back and play too many shows. We basically said after this show we are going to do two or three more shows maybe and then go into hibernation to write the next full length album. So we are going to do Shredfest. Then we actually got put into contact with Andy from Wallapalooza through Nev from Snake Mountain. He gave us a good wrap and Andy hadn’t heard us yet. I met him at DOW. He is coming to the show on the weekend and he hasn’t seen us live yet, but I think he will be pleasantly surprised when he sees us play. And I like the fact that Walla is free entry! How cool is that!? And then we have one more show that hasn’t been announced yet after that. We are re-tracking three of our old tracks so plan to have the EP out; we are including one of our tracks that we had never recorded. Then we will release the album next year. It will have been 15 years since our last release!

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We have such an amazing list of talented local bands right now, who are some you love that you want to give a plug to?

Well definitely the guys we are about to do our show with, The Black Swamp, Massic and Snake Mountain. I haven’t seen Snake Mountain live yet so I am really looking forward to that. I am really interested in seeing Terror Parade. There is a band called Darker Half playing Shredfest I am keen to see. There are a few bands on that festival that I am going to make time to see. Finding new music and new bands to get excited about is the fun part.

Minus Life play Crowbar this Saturday the 28th of July with supports from The Black Swamp, Massic and Snake Mountain, best you get your tickets really fast because they are about to sell out! Then you can catch them at The Back Room for Shredfest on the 25th of August with an amazing list of 40 bands. Then they join the line up at The Wallaby on The Gold Coast for the Wallapalooza Festival on the 15th of September with an awesome list of over 30 bands. All three gigs are going to be epic and you do not want to miss any of them! Make sure you follow Minus Life on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with all the latest news, gigs and future releases. 

Live Photos captured by Tony Bellette.

 

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