GRIT – A Talk With SCOTT LONGBALLA (Drums)

Posted on June 30th. 2017

Questionnaire by Jason Houston on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM



Jason: Hello Scott and welcome To Metal To Infinity.  I’d like to Thank You for taking time out of your very busy schedule to speak with us today.  I’d like to start off by asking you where are you originally from and was there much of a music scene there when you were growing up?

Scott: I was born in Mountain View California. The Bay Area. I’ve lived all over California but now reside in Corvallis, Oregon. During my High School years I was right in the middle of the Bay Area Trash Metal scene.

 

Jason: How old were you when you first started playing the Drums? I was curious would you consider yourself more of a self-taught player or did you actually take lessons?

Scott: I started with guitar when I was very young. I sold the guitar to buy a surfboard. I didn’t play drums until later on when I was 25 and I’m 45 now. It was the instrument I should have been playing all along. I took lessons and practiced a few hours a day as soon as I picked up the drum sticks for the first time.

 

Jason: Do you remember why you chose The Drums as Your Instrument of choice?

Scott: I was at my friends studio and he plays guitar and he said you should try the drums out so we can jam. He showed me a couple things and could tell right then I had a built in meter and it was meant to be. It just felt so natural to me.

 

Jason: Who were the Drummers who had the greatest influence on you when you were growing up?

Scott: There are so many as I’m into Funk, Rock and Metal but to stick to Metal I’d say Nick Menza, Dave Lombardo, John Tempesta and Charlie Benante.

 

Jason: What do you remember most about the very, first Drum set you ever got?

Scott: My friend Eric from ANGERHEAD and I found it in the Reader newspaper in San Diego, CA. It was the first one we looked at and I bought it. It was a Black Tama Rock Star kit. It looked Metal so I bought it.

Jason: Do you remember what was the very, first song you learned to play on the Drums?

Scott: From day one I was taking lessons so it was probably a jazz song or something my instructor had me play. I wasn’t big on learning cover songs as I was in an original band playing our own songs and working in the studio on those songs from the beginning.

 

Jason: Now Scott, I know your band: Grit was formed in 2015 but that you’re not an original member so I’d like to ask you at what point did you come to join the band?

Scott: Actually, I am one of the three original members of Grit. We all came from other bands to form GRIT. The Singer Damion Brewer, Guitar Mike Ewing and my self Scott Longballa on drums. Leland Holden joined us later on Bass.

 

Jason: In regards to you joining Grit, how did the opportunity to join the band come about?  Did you read an add, was their an audition process?

Scott: Damion was in a Band called Cadacus that hadn’t been playing for awhile and he wanted to get it going again. I had just quit a band that I was drumming for and out of the blue 2 weeks later my friend John calls me and says you should play with Damion and I said sure I quit my last band so I’ll give him a call. I went to jam with him and Mike who had just started playing with him. I learned 3 of the old songs from Damion’s old band Cadacus and we all just fit great.

 

Jason: Where is the band’s home base?

Scott: Corvallis, Oregon.

 

Jason: Now when I listen to Grit I would say the band’s overall sound is a mix of Sabbath/Pantera/Metallica.  Would you say that a fair description of the band’s sound and were you yourself influenced by any of those bands?

Scott: Yes, it’s fair but one thing I really like about us is I don’t feel like we sound like anyone else. It’s hard to label us or put us in a box to say oh you guys sound like these guys. We all vary greatly in age and influences so every song is different from the last.

 

Jason: One thing that really impressed me when I read the bio on your band is that I read in the band’s official bio that everyone in the band contributes to the song writing process. That’s quite unique when in most bands it’s one or two guys in the band that write the songs. I understand the band does this in an effort to allow each band member a voice in the band. Again a very unique things here. What Scott is the Voice if you will that you feel you bring into the band?

Scott: Yes, it’s great that we all bring our own ideas together to create new songs. A song may come from a drum beat I have and we build around that or from a song that one of the other guys has been working on. I help with arrangement and give ideas to the guitar progression I hear in my head to go along with the beat I’ve created. Damion will have lyrics that he’ll put to a song the band has come up with or he might have a song close to done in his head that we finish together. Leland might bring in parts of a song as well and we go from there.

 

Jason: How many albums has the band released to date?

Scott: We have the Warsworn EP at this point. We have 4 other songs ready to record right now so that’s next up.

 

Jason: What is currently going on with the band?

Scott: We’ll be back in the studio soon and are playing shows all over Oregon and will be playing in the Bay Area and Washington.

 

Jason: We were just talking about the songwriting process. When you guys write song are you typically in the same room where there’s like a jam session and each guy brings a riff or something like that or does each band member write their own set of tunes and when it comes time to record you guys pick the best songs that wind up on record?

Scott: We always jam them out at practice and create and finish them together. We’ll do scratch tracks to the click and practice them on our own and then get back together and change anything we don’t like.

 

Jason: In regards to recording I was curious do you guys all get in a room together and record as a live band or does everyone record their own parts?

Scott: Drums are always first. I go in and play to a scratch track with the click track. Then guitar, bass and vocals last.

 

Jason: In regards to other music/bands you listen to Scott is there an album or band that you’re currently listening to that has really been rocking your world that you’d like to let others know about?

Scott: Exodus Blood in Blood Out. Not new as it’s from 2014 but it’s just Trash Metal at its best!

 

Jason: Getting back to bands that influenced you I have to ask you is there a single album in your collection Scott that you feel really had a major impact on you that you feel really had a major influence on you when you were growing up and played a role in you becoming a professional musician yourself?

Scott: So many but to pick one I’d say Megadeth Rust in Peace or Iron Maiden Killers. Haha. Too hard to pick one.

 

Jason: Is there anything else you’d like to say to all your Grit fans out there Scott?

Scott: Get ready for more new tunes! And another video.

 

Jason: Where’s the best place on the internet where people can follow you and find out what you and Grit are currently up to?

Scott: http://www.gritmetal.com/   /   https://www.facebook.com/gritmetal

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