Scott H. Biram to Play Dusk PVD, Aug 25

Scott H. Biram

Scott H. Biram

The art of the one-man band is captivating. Seeing a musician perform numerous instruments at once is a unique experience. The music is inventive and a tad different than what you’d hear with a full band. Scott H. Biram of Austin, TX, has been performing this way since the ‘90s and he’s developed a dedicated loyal following as a result. His brand of rock ‘n’ roll is raw to the bone with a no-frills approach.

He’s coming through Dusk on August 25 as part of his current tour with Virginian hillbillies Gallows Bound, with Cactus Attack and Zack Slik sharing the stage. Ahead of the show, I had a talk with Biram about his latest album The Bad Testament, taking six months off from touring, hedgehogs in Hungary and a few festivals that he’ll be playing later in the year.

Rob Duguay: Your latest album The Bad Testament came out in February and the production is very lo-fi, especially with your vocals. Who produced it and what made you want to go that route when it came to that particular sound?

Scott H. Biram: I produce all of my own records and, honestly, I’ve been trying to get my production skills up for the last 25 years [laughs]. I’ve been trying to get a little more of a produced sound but on this record I was trying to do a throwback to my first Bloodshot [Records] release The Dirty Old One Man Band. The previous record, Nothin’ But Blood, seemed like it had a lot of slower and clean songs and I wanted to go back to the gritty lo-fi sound that people know me for.

RD: I like the way it sounds and you can sense a genuine and real approach to it.

SB: Thanks.

RD: No problem. Within the album there are a bunch of different audio clips, they sound like they’re either from the radio or the TV. Where did you get those clips from? Did you just record stuff on TV or did you find an audio archive somewhere?

SB: I just turned on my old clock radio, I put a mic on it and I flipped through some stations. I then put it on Pro Tools and I just cut and pasted the highlights out of it. I’ve done it before with other records where I sat on the side of the road and I put my CB radio on for an hour while recording truckers talking. Then I would take it home and cut it all up.

RD: Last year you took your longest hiatus from the road in nearly 20 years. How are you feeling these days since you took that time off?

SB: That six months I took off initially scared the hell out of me because I was asking myself “Am I going to be able to play these songs again when I get back to it?” Also, with taking that much time off, I didn’t know what I was going to do all that time. Something really beneficial came out of it. I’ve been really burned out on playing guitar for years now because I’ve been doing it so long and I would keep my guitar in the studio and grab it once a week. I put a couple hooks on it in the living room and I’ve been playing for five hours a day on guitar for the last eight months, which is pretty crazy.

I rediscovered the joy of playing guitar and I’ve been learning all kinds of music theory stuff that I knew back in high school but it wasn’t practical for me then. Now I’m 43 years old and some of that stuff has become a lot more practical.

RD: That’s great that you took the time off to reinvigorate yourself. It seems like it’s making things better for you. Since you’ve been on the road a lot in your career, do you have any funny stories of touring that you’d like to share?

SB: We kind of had a problem in Hungary with some show times and I was getting kind of pissed off. My driver and I were standing outside of the venue and I see this thing run across the street, I thought it was a rat. It turned out it was a hedgehog. I think they’re kind of like blind moles, and it stopped in the middle of the street and this police car was about to run over it. I said, “NO! NO! NO!” – and I tried to push the hedgehog out of the way, but some random Hungarian stranger came out and picked up the hedgehog and disappeared into the darkness. My driver said, “I think he’s going to eat him.”

RD: That’s pretty funny and kind of weird.

SB: Yeah.

RD: After the show at Dusk on the 25th, what else do you have planned for the rest of the year?

SB: I’m going to be playing the Muddy Roots Festival in Tennessee. This is the first time I’ve played the one in America; I played the one in Europe a while back. I’m going to be doing a few shows out west in Southern California including the Long Beach Folk Revival Festival with Billy Joe Shaver and Lucero. I’m up there with the headliners so that’s pretty cool. This October I’m also hitting the road with The Devil Makes Three for a US tour. That’ll be in between 800 and 3,000 capacity venues so it’s exciting to perform in front of a bunch of new people.

Purchase tickets to see Scott H. Biram, Cactus Attack, Gallows Bound and Zack Slik at Dusk on Aug 25:

Scott H. Biram web site:

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