by: Maxine Frisbee
In October of 2016, while attending a concert, one of the lead-in bands stuck with me and I wanted to hear more. At the beginning of this year, I was fortunate enough to hear the same band but with an acoustic set. The differences in these sets demonstrated the band’s ability to easily transition from what I refer to as normal rock to unplugged. Faith & Scars, from Raleigh, NC, has shared the stage with bands such as Letters From The Fire, Art of Dying, Drowning Pool, and Saliva. The band consists of Roger Liverman on vocals and guitar, Brandon Hill on guitar and vocals, Josh Bergeron on bass and vocals, and Lee Hutt on drums. They took the time to speak with me before their concert this month. We also picked up their EP, Highway Ride, and gave it a listen.
Shockwave Magazine: Who are your influences?
Josh: Some of my influences were the late, great Lemmy Kilmister, Geddy Lee, Cliff Burton and Justin Chancler. I started with guitar and had a lot more influences there, but came to bass and had just the heavier groove influences.
Brandon: My influences… I started listening to Godsmack, Disturbed, Alter Bridge and Staind growing up. For guitar, Tremonti is a huge influence – Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge. I love the story telling that he does. I grew up listening to the heavier styles of music. For vocals, it’s Corey Taylor and Stone Sour.
Lee: I think my biggest influence would have to be Marshall Rick – seeing the giant, sweaty dude up on stage bashing away at tin cans and symbols. I thought that was pretty cool. After I got into drums, I thought to myself, who do I want to look up to and I started listening to Sevendust, Morgan Rose, Ray Luzier. I thought about classics, and Max Roach and Buddy Rich are the first two that come to mind when it comes to technique and aggression. I like to look at people that really personify their playing through what they do.
Roger: For me, Brent Smith is the Mt. Rushmore of vocals. I’m really into older stuff like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, that kind of stuff.
I saw that at the acoustic show. You have the country influence so you bring that in.
Roger: That’s true.
Brandon: I had a huge mixture of influences growing up. I listened to everything. My aunt introduced me to Aerosmith and Queen and stuff like that. I also listened to hip hop for a period of time. I still listen to everything. I pull from everything.
Roger: If you hear something on the radio, they are doing something right, regardless of the genre.
Tonight are you going to do an acoustic or a regular set?
Roger: We might do a mixture of both.
How does that translate? Do you write songs that can translate or do you write songs that are just acoustic?
Roger: I think as long the lyrics are the main focus, we can translate the story in a different way. We have rewritten a couple of songs for the acoustic sets. I don’t know. There’s not a set formula.
Josh: We made our own Rosetta Stone, basically.
Josh: Our own Tower of Babel. Rosetta Stone. Took Mandarin and made it Spanish.
Roger: We have that communication that is hard to explain to anybody else. When we sit down and play our music, we are like ok well that doesn’t sound quite right. I don’t know. Let’s do this. Ok, cool. That’s how we figure it out.
Who do you want to tour with? Who’s on your bucket list?
Roger: There’s no one I wouldn’t tour with. I want music to be out there, first and foremost.
Roger: I don’t care. I’ll do a Cannibal Corpse tour. It’s about the people and if there are people in that stadium, we’ll do it.
Brandon: One of the bands I really want to tour with at some point or just open up for is Nothing More. They are a new band I have fallen in love with.
Roger: We have had the honor of sharing the stage with a lot of our heroes already. This past year has been mind blowing every time.
What’s on your playlist?
Roger: Like on our phones?
Josh: I have everything from Paramore to Watsky to Tech 9 to Amon Amarth to Cannibal Corpse.
What would surprise us?
Josh: Afroman or Rob Bailey and the Hustle Standard, that would surprise a lot of people. Good stuff. Good workout music.
I’ll have to look that one up.
Josh: It’s not for the faint of heart. They are very vulgar. Rob Bailey is a power lifter who just doesn’t care. He just loves what he does and makes music with the Hustle Standard.
Brandon: Gemini Syndrome, those guys are amazing. Nothing More, Beartooth.
Lee: Black Stone Cherry, Shinedown, Sevendust, Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, White Chapel Bruno Mars, George Strait, Marshall Tucker Band, Parkway Drive. Anything that has a good grove to it, I will listen to it.
Roger: Chris Stapleton and this is where the backlash comes … early Miley Cyrus. “The Climb.” That’s a great song and the one she did with her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus. (laughter) What? Not feeling that one?
No judgement. No judgement (laughter). So what are you taking with you? You’re packing up? What are you taking?
Roger: My wallet, my boots, my keys, cause then I can’t go anywhere.
Lee: My wife. I just rely on her. I bring her and she knows what to bring. I don’t have to worry about it. Bananas for him (pointing at Brandon).
Brandon: Hey, you got to have potassium! What do I have to take with me? Ummmmm. My hair? (laughter).
Roger: He kind of just rolls into the car.
Brandon: No! I have to take this with me. It’s a rosary that my aunt gave me before I left California and the stones that it’s made of are very special. I’m not sure what kind of stone they are. I think they are some kind of jade. You know, you pray on the beads. It holds the energy. I don’t know. But I always have to have this before I go out.
Roger: I do need my boots though, everywhere I go.
Josh: My favorite basketball shorts. I have about five different favorites and my phone because you never know what kind of Pokemon you’re gonna find.
Roger: Oh God.
Lee: Ranger Panties!
Lee: Yeah. I love them. I have to wear them everywhere. They won’t let me play on stage with them. I don’t know why.
Roger: That’s a little too much of Lee.
Lee: What? They’re comfy. Good Breeze.
Who writes the lyrics?
Roger: It’s a band effort. One of us will write something and bring it to the band. How does this sound? Ok, maybe we can change this. Make it sound a little better. We all pitch in and pull our weight with the songs.
She Said: While only having five tracks, Highway Ride displays the band’s range. The EP starts out on the heavier sound with the title track “Highway Ride” and progresses through the songs winding down to an acoustic “The Fade.” I have to be honest; when I told the band I was going to review it, I was told to be brutal and honest. I tried guys. I really did.
Bergeron’s and Hill’s capabilities, as not only bassist and guitarist but also back up vocals, are evident throughout the CD lending harmony to Liverman’s vocal range. Overall, I think Highway Ride is a great jumping off point for the band. It showcases the band and their individual talents. My only wish had been that Hutt’s drums had been more apparent, but having seen them live may have influenced that desire.
Liverman, frontman, brings a definitive southern rock sound with influences such as Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. His bandmates each bring their own musical flair to the band with heavier influences, such as Queen, Motorhead, and Disturbed. This mix of country vocals and rock music gives the band a definitive southern rock sound.
You want to give them a listen if southern rock is your thing. Do it with the lights down, maybe a glass of bourbon in your hand, and it will take you back to the days of Nantucket and The Marshall Tucker Band.
He Said: Some times when you hear a band there is a question as to where they fall in the music industry. Are they rock, metal, or alternative? Faith & Scars definitely fits right in the southern rock bucket. They cannot and do not try to hide their roots and who they are. Their EP is more than a demo. It is an introduction to who they are. They are not trying to be anyone but themselves. They could let one person in the band show through, but rather they do a great job being just a band. They are in this together and they work together to make great music. They show who they are in each song, but they also show that they can do multiple styles of rock while still being a rock band. They do not try to be metal they are just a rock band and they sound like a great one.
You can decide for yourself at one of their next performances:
April 20th – Fayetteville, NC with Badflower
April 22nd – Warsaw NC at Farm Fest
April 28th – Wilmington, NC opening for Saliva
May 11th – Fayetteville, NC with Era 9
May 20th – Winter Park, FL with Bridge to Grace
June 2nd – Fayetteville, NC
June 24th – Raleigh, NC with Brother Grey
June 28th – Jacksonville, NC with Otherwise
*She Said/He Said is the combined forces of Maxine and Jeff Frisbee combining their unique perspectives on the music they review.