Interview with Scott Jeffreys
How did you form Confessor and what were you initially inspired by?
Well, Graham Frye (on guitar) and I were in a high school band called No Comment and then he started jamming with Cary Rowells (on bass guitar), Brian Shoaf (on guitar) and his brother Jim Shoaf (on drums, who went on to do lights or drum works for various bands, such as Corrosion of Conformity, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam), doing some originals that were very “Trouble-ish”. Graham asked me to come over and check it out and then I, basically, joined the band. Half a year to one year later we decided to make a drummer change and that’s when Steve Shelton joined Confessor.
How do you feel about the Doom Metal tag?
I can see how we are grouped into the whole “Doom Metal” category. It doesn’t bother me at all, as long as someone is listening to it and enjoys it. Call it whatever you like; call it Southern Boy Hick Metal for all I care. Call us what you will, just don’t call us late for supper.
Following the release of your third and last demo, Collapse, you inked a deal with Earache Records. What do you remember from that period, being alongside bands such as At the Gates, Bolt Thrower, Carcass and Nocturnus? Did you like the Gods of Grind tour with Carcass, Cathedral and Entombed – and the other with Nocturnus?
My best memories are from that first Gods of Grind tour. Everyone got along very well and the Nocturnus guys where great also. That tour was quite not as well-funded. There where a few good shows on that also, though just spread out a bit more.
So far, you’ve only released your debut album, plus a self-titled EP containing new and old material. What prevented you to write a new album instead and how do you look back at both releases?
Actually, the EP was recorded shortly after Condemned was finished; just a few months, if I remember correctly. Earache wanted some more tunes for an EP to release, so it was its plan.
The slogan featured on your album’s sleeve says that “without any hope, there is no need for pain.” Should it be perceived in an ironic perspective, as if underlining the fact that the only reason of pain’s subsistence is Life itself?
I feel that the pain one suffers is the lifeblood of their soul. Sorrow lives deep inside of every cell of the human race. It is really what makes us strive to rise up and bring out the best in us. Best songs are written in pain. Athletes lose a game or race and are heartbroken to come back and overcome the defeat the next time because of the pain of the last loss. Only when you are able to endure absolutely no more pain, because all you face is a never-ending onslaught of pain, sorrow and despair and there is absolutely nothing to hope for, is when “there is no need for pain” (as there is nothing left).
Do you agree with today’s therapies that approach Suicide as a form of illness, by effectively diminishing the decision of individual responsibility to die?
Well, I think anyone seriously considering suicide should seek professional help. There is really nothing so wrong with the world that you should want to leave it by your own choice, unless of an illness that has you bedridden. What is dismal today can always turn around to be hopeful tomorrow. “All things shall pass” (Robert Braxton Jr.).
Music has the power to make you react in the most diverse ways. However, do you think that the media and society’s most powerful characters should be rightfully accountable for numerous cases of said behaviour and not Music itself? What’s your opinion on Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine?
I think people need to take accountability for their own actions and stop blaming music, drugs, etc. If you screw up, it is your own dam fault. I do think that parenting skills have declined over the years, by creating some very dangerous kids now.
I do not watch any of Michael Moore’s shit!
The final lines on Defining Happiness say that “the pain of rejection dwells in the present, never to forget yesterday (always wonder about tomorrow); what’s the deciding factor, what determines happiness?” Could you elaborate further on both issues? What were you going through at the time?
What determines happiness is up to the person listening. We just write songs that people can relate to. Just because a song has certain lyrics does not always mean that the person writing it is actually feeling every word; not to say I wasn’t “feeling it” at the time, but you can’t just assume that the lyrics are always about the person writing them. Just like when you read a book, the writer hasn’t experienced everything he or she is writing about.
Ivan Colon (your former guitar player) died 3 years ago. Why did he pass away and how did it affect you? Was he responsible for Confessor’s reunion?
Ivan, more or less, had a sinus infection that worsened – despite taking antibiotics for it. Eventually, the infection got into the blood stream and infected a heart valve. Doctors did not know what was going on until he had a heart attack and by then it was too late (he passed away a few days later).
Confessor got back together to do a benefit for his wife (he had just gotten married six months earlier). The reunion show went very well and we just decided to reform and write some new material. Everything from here on out is done in his memory.
What are Confessor’s plans for the near future?
Well, we just started shopping the demo to labels so, hopefully, we can get started on a new full length album before too long. That is our main priority and goal right now, just getting another album out. I would be happy with that alone.
I guess from all of the Confessor members, we would like to ask that you help us spread the word that we are back together and turn some people on to us that might not have known who we were back in the day. Also, check out our website and listen to the new material. Thanks!