John Jarvis (bass) – Sunday 18 June 2017
« Metal fans, there’s nothing like them in the world. It’s like a brotherhood » – John Jarvis
How the hell are you?
I’m doing great, man. Hellfest has been a blast. We were here last year together with Agoraphobic Nosebleed and I hope I come every year.
How does it feel to be a regular here?
I’d love to keep the streak going. I’m in enough bands to make it happen! It’s an honor just to play it once, to do it multiple years in a row is awesome. I love how you can just stumble around and meet your new best friend at any moment because you’re all on the same wavelength. Metal fans, there’s nothing like them in the world. It’s like a brotherhood. Hellfest is the biggest one of all.
Tomorrow you’re going to play to 20,000 people with Phil Anselmo how does that feel?
It’s unbelievable! The fact that we get to play a Pantera song… I’ve covered Pantera many times in my day. I’ve done it in many different bands. Sometimes I do it for fun out of nowhere because it’s just fun. I have a young nephew getting into metal and I just took him to see Metallica and I was explaining to him how at his age Metallica and Mötley Crüe were my two favorites and then Pantera made it more aggressive and since then there has never been a band that has touched them. I still stand by that comment.
No one gives Pantera credit for how heavy they are…
I agree! One day I was hanging out with one of the guys from Dying Fetus and we were listening to music and By Demons Be Driven came on and he just looked at me like “Who is this?” and we all kind of just said “How do you not know who this is? This is Pantera, man!” and he was like “Well when Pantera came out I was in Dying Fetus!” and it was like, “You’re missing out, because they are heavy motherfuckers!”.
Why did you choose to cover “Strength Beyond Strength”?
I came up with the idea with the guys beforehand. We had never had a full practice until a few days before the first show when we all flew down to Phils. We put out one EP, it’s 13 minutes and 49 seconds long so we needed extra material. We tried to decide on some cover songs, so we did Bathory’s Massacre. Then we also had the new record, the Red EP. So we had to get through all that before getting to my idea of playing “Strength Beyond Strength” and we were all tired so I didn’t want to really bother him. Then the song “By Demons Be Driven” came up and he was like “Well we could do that one” and everyone was looking at me because they knew what I was going to say. The rest of us had practiced it and hadn’t brought it up to Phil. I said if Phil brings it up then we will bring it up, but I hadn’t done it because I wanted to focus on Scour. So morning of the first show we’re drinking coffee and Phil says “I wish I had been more prepared” and apologized which wasn’t necessary. And I said, “We came over prepared, we have a Pantera song!” and he was like “What song?” and I said “Strength Beyond Strength” and he was all like, “Why didn’t you tell me? No one ever does that one! Let’s do it!”. Then we tried it at soundcheck and it didn’t go well. Adam was rocking out so hard and hitting his hi hat so hard the hi hats flew off the drums. He’s never had that problem before. He’s broken everything else but he’s never hit a hi hat that hard. It was crazy. Phil thought he messed up and didn’t want to do it anymore. Then after the set we think we’re done, but he comes around the corner like, “Should we do it?” and I screamed “YES!” and the other guys weren’t super into it, but I was like “Trust me, you will thank me one day!”.
What’s the appeal of the song to you?
I can remember the first time I heard it. The day the record came out I skipped school, went to the mall and stole the CD from the store. I couldn’t afford it. I get in the car and I popped it in and I remember driving back and thinking “God damn this is the best band in the world!” It’s an easier solo than a lot of Dimes solos. He’s one of the greatest metal guitarists of all time, his solos are not easy to play, so this one seemed more doable. I wanted Scour to be a little easier and fun for everyone too so that was part of it. Everyone does “Walk”, “This Love” and those songs. Not too many bands do “Strength Beyond Strength”.
How do you cope with playing in a band with Phil Anselmo and the ‘bro Pantera’ thing?
The thing with him, and I see this with total honesty is that he is the easiest band member I’ve ever worked with in my life. I’ve been in bands with lots of awesome people, but with Phil it’s either yes or no. It’s easy going and he’s rad. I see how he interacts with fans and I’m learning. He talks with them all and takes pictures. Even when we have to go like right away he chills out and says goodbye. I’ve never seen him freak out on anybody ever. There’s obviously a lot of Pantera fans at shows and after a show I’ve had people come up and say “I’ve never heard of Scour but you blew my mind!” As far as the bro thing… there’s all kinds of Pantera fans!
We’ve discussed previously how you are the most interesting man in metal with all your bands… what is your long term goal in metal?
I surpassed my goals long ago! All I wanted to do was play a place called Mississippi Night Place. It’s in St Louis. All the big bands played there. That was my first goal. I didn’t think I would ever accomplish it. It wasn’t easy to get into that place. I made friends and connections and now I’ve headlined that place four times. Of course you should move your goals forward, and so the ultimate goal is to have a good time and hopefully make a little money along the way!
Interview: Matt Bacon.