Scott Reynolds Unveils Family-Friendly Endeavor with Sam Williams: Baron Von Thunderbolt
There's not a person on this planet that could accuse perennial songsmith Scott Reynolds of taking the easy route.
Time and again, through rejections, restarts, and reinventions, the man who once fronted "that other band" associated with the Descendents, ALL, has charged forward and insisted on claiming his stake in the annals of aural artistry. And a zealous number of supporters have backed him up along the way, as was made evident last year by a successful Kickstarter campaign which yielded him the funds for a new solo album.
As it turns out, that's not all he has in the works.
County Grind caught up with him between tour stints for an interview. In the first half, we discussed, among many things, the aforementioned solo album he's putting together, how confusing his "ALL Family Tree" leaf is, and what he'd name his ultimate fantasy band.
In this, the second half of our interview, we discussed his new solo project, a kid-friendly album with Florida native Sam Williams of Down by Law, and other subjects including his current relationship with some former band mates, how to nurture a successful marriage, and what his drink of choice is.
New Times: Thanks for the exclusive breaking news of your new band, Baron Von Thunderbolt, with Florida native Sam Williams! How'd this project come together, and what can you tell me about it?
Scott Reynolds: It came together when Sam messaged me that he had some tunes that needed vocals. He wondered if I might want to come up with something to sing. I said, "Send me some mp3s and I'll tell you." So he did, and they were really cool. I didn't know he wrote such pretty music. Is it OK to call songs pretty? Does that make me a sissy? Anyway, I liked them a lot, so I said, "Yes." It was that simple.
We've already recorded a couple songs, and Stephen Egerton mixed them. We'll be putting them up on Facebook shortly. The band is called Baron Von Thunderbolt, and it's going to be a record for kids. Or maybe more accurately, families.
Why a kids album?
We're doing a "kids record" because Sam mentioned that he'd like to do one, and I have been wanting to do one for years. I put kids record in quotation marks, because I don't really consider it a "kid's record." I hope people will think of it more as a family friendly record.
We're doing it because a lot of kids' music is almost unlistenable for adults. My kids are older now, but I remember when they were little. Their music made want to crash the car. It was so annoying. We're hoping to make a record that everybody likes. Mom and dad, as well as the kids. It's just a pretty straight rock record with lyrics about being nice to the new kid at school, or going outside instead of watching TV, or whatever. I think it sounds tremendous so far.
What's your greatest memory, your proudest achievement musically, thus far? What is your biggest aspiration?
Wow, that's an exceptionally difficult question to answer. I really don't have a greatest memory. I've done so many things I never thought I'd do. I seriously don't have room here to even begin to tackle that question, and I could never narrow it down to one memory. I think what I'm most proud of is the fact that I'm still at it, still reasonably prolific, and haven't really embarrassed myself yet.
Maybe I'm delusional, but I don't think I've done a single record that sucks. I know a lot of musicians who've been around as long as I have, who can't say that. Their music has become formulaic; like their idea tank ran out out years ago. I'm pretty sure that happened to me. I might be kidding myself, because I'm sure they don't think they suck either. but I feel more relevant and enthusiastic now, than I did 20 years ago. And I'm pretty proud of that. It makes me happy.
My biggest aspiration is to make a record that I truly love, start to finish. One that satisfies me on every level. I've never done that. I've come reasonably close, but there's always something that falls short.
There's a bit of a recurring theme in your songwriting -- the mistreatment and neglect of kids by their parents and the gross objectification of women. What draws you to these topics you deal with so tastefully, yet provocatively?
Are those really recurring themes? Maybe the mistreatment of children by their parents, and their classmates does show up in my music from time to time. Never really thought about it. If it does, I guess it's because kids can be very helpless and trusting, and ugly people of all ages hurt and manipulate them because it's easy. That saddens and angers me on a level that few other situations do. So since it affects me so dramatically, it's bound to show up on a record or two.
As far as the objectification of women goes, I'm not sure to which songs you're referring. I hope I have written good songs about that. It certainly is a worthwhile concern. As the father of two daughters, I'm constantly confronted by the obnoxiousness, and misogyny they face everyday everywhere. So if I have addressed that topic, and you feel that I've done it justice, then I'm elated. Thanks!