Chris Lombardi (formerly of Sex Positions)
John Crook (Ugly Sun, Arctic Death)
Matt Zych (The Slums, Scales)
Ryan Schlia (sings in his car sometimes)
Years Active 2019 until we all die.
Upcoming Release “Emotionally Exhausted // Morally Bankrupt” EP
Currently Reading Currently living in a mashup of “1984” by George Orwell and “Eight O’Clock in the Morning” by Ray Nelson.
Favorite Quote Kill the bosses, kill the priests, kill the shepherds. Save the sheep.
Favorite Local Band Dr. Ooo
Favorite Local Artist Hannah Wiech @warmsinner
How is everyone holding up in this time?
If I put my phone down for an hour, I have 46 notifications in the group chat. We’re bored, BUT SOMEDAY we can sit on a porch and cook burgers on the grill while we chug Genny and insult each other. I’m down four pounds because I can’t shove burritos in my face whenever I want like the disgusting glutton that I’ve become. I am Caligula on a couch.
Tell us about how this project got started?
Miller High Life and depression.
How do you balance music with jobs/partners/children, etc?
We’re all self aware enough to know that if we didn’t have music and band practice to rely on every week, we’d spiral downward pretty quickly. Clockwise, with a bottle of whiskey. So surrounding yourself with people who understand that is important. If there’s no time, you have to make time for it. Rehearsing the music is important for the band, but the casual shit talk in a small, overpriced room that smells like sweat, beer, BO, and weed is just as important, personally. And now we don’t have that, so you can expect one of us to show up on the news any day now. Manslaughter or petty theft probably.
Experience working with a label?
It would be great to never have to do that at all. My pockets are shallow already, we don’t need anyone reaching in to take a cut for something they had nothing to do with. We can make our own artwork, our own merch, book our own shows, do our own branding…at this point a label just seems like a credit card that I can’t afford. But what the hell do I know about anything.
Strangest thing you’ve heard from someone at a concert?
“You got blood all over me asshole” – guy who broke my nose at a Save The Day show.
Current album on Repeat?
Griselda. Everything from Griselda.
Best wings in Buffalo?
We took all of our gear to the studio in a Bar Bill Tavern van. Enough said.
Literally anywhere, we’ll play your bedroom if you ask nicely. But I think everyone in this city is anxious to get back to Mohawk Place. No other venue takes such good care of their performers, and I don’t mean that in terms of money or party favors. From booking, to running the door, to the sound engineers, to the bartenders, they’re all genuinely trying to make sure you have the best possible show you can have. It means more than they know.
Local artists we should know more about?
For a small city, we produce a metric ton of dope shit in every genre. 14 Trapdoors, Johnny and the Mankids, Final Declaration, Medusa, Alpha Hopper, Science Man, Facility Men…Buffalo is the best place on earth.
Words of wisdom?
Cops are not your friends. They are not here to help. Do not forget this.
Donald Trump flushing this country down the proverbial shitter.
Taco Bell or Mighty Taco?
Try not to ingest diarrhea if you don’t have to.
All time favorite album?
Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense
What do you think is the biggest lesson we can all take away from this experience?
The government serves people in the tax bracket we can’t even dream of. They have failed us, and will continue to fail us. We are alone.
Are you working on anything new/specific at the moment?
What would you consider your best local show experience?
The Chariot/Burning Love/Every Time I Die at The Funeral Home….if that counts. Happened once, could never happen again.
I’m pretty sure we’ve all been doing this for about 15 years, and I’m sure all of our bands had names that were equally as ridiculous as “Scumfire.”
Were you anywhere before buffalo?
I am everywhere. Always.
Any Buffalo artists you admire that you’ve never met?
Buffalo is small enough that a quick DM to someone you respect usually results in a beer sometime sooner or later. Having said that, Tre White is an artist on the football field and I would carve up my neighbors to kick it with that man.
Anyone you’d like to collaborate with?
Craziest memory from touring?
I’ve done one weekend in my whole life. I have no experience. But there was a bartender in Boston that provided us with a quote that I still use today. “You try to fuck me? I’ll fuck you better.”
Local musician or artist we’ve never heard of?
Maya LaMacchia. She’s in high school, and she’s a genius. Elliott Smith was reincarnated in her soul.
What’s the biggest thing your band could use help with?
Piggybacking on what I said about labels, I really think all anyone needs help with now is touring. Booking shows in a different city that you don’t know is damn near impossible. And really, I think all anyone wants to do is perform for people they don’t know and find out if they suck, or if their friends are just being nice.
What does Buffalo have to offer aspiring musicians?
An unwaveringly supportive community and an extremely low glass ceiling.
What areas could Buffalo improve on?
I think we all dream about gentrifiers and developers getting the fuck out, but that’s never gonna happen. I don’t know if it’s because of cops or because people just don’t do it or I’m just old now, but we need more DIY house venues. When I was a young buck, there were at least 5 places doing shows at any given time. Now it’s just Curly’s and Francesca’s.
Top 5 favorite Buffalo bands/artists?
Scumfire, Scumfire, Scumfire, Scumfire, and Scumfire
What’s the next move?
You tell me. What do people want as far as releasing music and not having shows to perform it goes?
What has your recording experience been like?
John Bohn engineered our EP out at his studio in Batavia, and I can’t say enough good things about it. We did the whole thing in a day. He’s professional, he’s driven, he knows time is money for us broke folks, and above all he’s talented. Make your next record across from an old cemetery in Batavia. Get shitty coffee from the 7-Eleven and scare the people at the pizzeria. You won’t regret it.
What are the ingredients to a thriving music/art scene?
Removing the “cool factor.” People tend to think it’s not cool to be visually supportive even when they really love something. That’s why so many people will stand motionless in a room with their arms folded, and then approach performers after a show telling them how much they loved it. Bang your head, start a pit, scream in people’s faces. Performers need that energy to feed off of.
*Interview with Ryan Schlia
Bandcamp – Scumfire’s first track “The Idol” will be released to the world tomorrow, May 1st, 2020.