Posted on by Oran

A rock ‘n’ roll record should unlock a journey. The music, lyrics, and aura can summon a trip out of the ether. Scorpion Child conjure that kind of trip on their second full-length album, ‘Acid Roulette’ and as the band gear up for the worldwide release on June 10th, Overdrive catches up with vocalist Aryn Jonathan Black to talk about the story behind ‘Acid Roulette’.

Aryn Jonathan Black 2

Having formed in 2006 from self proclaimed ‘live music capital of the world in Austin, Texas. Scorpion Child have risen to the top of the pyramid of classic retro sounding hard rock. The bands self titled debut crashed through the gates of conformity and gravitated towards the much coveted top recommendations from music critics and established media platforms.

With the new album Acid Roulette ready for worldwide release on Friday June 10th, Overdrive had the pleasure of talking with the enigmatic and engaging frontman, about the decision to create a concept album and their plans for the rest of 2016. Step inside the wonderful world of Scorpion Child


OD –  The new album Acid Roulette is due for release on June 10th. I understand that this is a concept album, can you tell me about it and how you came up with the idea and does it make the lyrical aspect a little more difficult to put together?

ARYN – Well it’s an interesting story and I’m finding out every time I interview about this that there’s something I didn’t know about my own story – meaning; there’s something new I’m learning every day. Like: ‘Wow! This is a POLITICAL album? Holy shit! I didn’t know that’!

So the basis of the story is, just imagine if you will if you love a woman, if a woman loves a man. It can go wither way, but the subject happens to be a man that has a wife and two kids, and is seemingly happily married for quite a while now, and she starts to have an affair while he’s away with a very rich and powerful man. They want to be together, so the only way that they can figure out to do this is to take the husband out of the picture. So they devise (he hasn’t really been bringing home the bread, or contributing like she wanted him to), so to be with this man, they set him up so he would take the fall for a murder and go to prison for life; be taken away from his children and her forever.

Aryn Jonathan Black 3So one minute, he’s happily in live with everything that he cares about in his life, and it’s just stripped away, behind bars left to console himself, just left alone in his thoughts. For 12 years, over the course of the record, each year represents a month, set into seasons, there are four seasons on the record, four sides of the album, so these movements are chronicling his emotions and the feelings he is experiencing, like regret, confusion, remorse, even hope, elation, escapism, being in prison, having to figure out ways of having to take his mind off of everything he’d ever known just stripped from him. So it’s an internal journey.

A big part of it was a dream, or a series of dreams that I had, coupled with a few things that were going on with me psychologically, emotionally, specific things that I was experiencing play into the influences as well. And i think that dreams are really important to consider in waking life as artistic inspiration. It’s a time where we more or less trip, and our minds go into realms that we dont go in when we’re conscious.

OD –  The actual title of the record Acid Roulette can you elaborate on that and it’s meaning?

ARYN  – Acid Roulette was a game that he played. The man is a writer, and he pretty much documents his thoughts and everything he sees, and life in general, so why stop if you’re in prison. A sheet of acid is smuggled into prison and he would cut it up like a regular sheet of paper and put it into a jar. He’d shake up the jar and distribute it amongst the inmates and watch what happened. Some people would trip crazy, some people would get two hits, some wouldn’t get any, depending in what you choose. This is the only real escape that he has behind bars, where he can just forget about his situation. So it plays as a weird scapegoat of escapism in a way. So its related outside of what’s really happening and it’s his one joy that he really had. Sometimes he’d just watch them and write about it.

ODYou have once again worked with producer Chris Smith on this new album, can you talk a little about the choice to work with him again?

ARYN – Oh yeah. He knows our band very well, and it feels like he’s an additional member in terms. And where we clash, is brilliant, and the performances that he can bring out of us are great. We could do the next record with someone else, but I think it was really important for this record to continue with him because we still had something to say

OD – Was there anything different about the way you approached the recording of Acid Roulette as opposed to the debut?

ARYN – A lot more was spontaneous. We were all in the room together recording for the most part. So most of what was kept on this record were live performances. We did some layering, we did a few things here and there. The first record, every instrument was audible. The songs had been rehearsed for so long and we just recorded it almost with out having to rethink any of the parts.

OD – The cover artwork for the album is fantastic, do you have a story behind the overall concept?


ARYN – It’s important that the cover represents lot of the basics within the overall story, with colours, with everything, like the colours of the rainbow. The mask that she’s wearing is the disguise that she’s hiding behind the whole time. Everything on the cover represents the different angles of what’s being discussed on the album, the different outcomes and the ‘what-ifs, the surprise, the verity of the album is all wrapped up in this visual. For me, it’s got nature, it’s got isolation, it’s got surprise, it’s kinda there to capture what went on between those two. I just love it!

OD – You recently ventured over to the UK for some very special show with Monster Magnet, can you tell me a little about that experience?


Well we did one show in Kentish Town with our friends Orange Goblin and that was an incredible day in my life, and Dave Wyndorf is incredible to talk to. He has seen a lot, he has a great perspective on music and writing and the industry and experiences. As younger people we can look up to that and admire his ethic and his career which is primarily D.I.Y.

OD – Was this the first time you have shared a stage with either Orange Goblin or Monster Magnet?

ARYN -We actually played with Monster Magnet in Lorelei, Germany, at Metalfest two years ago. That’s where some of the guys met them. I was doing interviews at the time so I never got to see them or meet them at that show. We toured for a month and a half in the US and Canada with Clutch, and Ben Ward (Orange Goblin vocalist) has also been our tour manager before. Man. I love that guy. We adore Ben, we really do. Their crew and their friends are really good friends of ours – Jay, Roz or Grizz, they have a really good family. And their family is our family. We’re very close with them

OD – Are there any other bands that are on your bucket list regarding sharing a stage or a tour package?

ARYN – Oh my God, well I guess I can have dreams right? Well unfortunately as we all know, I think several of mine all time favourite musicians have passed, rest their souls. Hopefully this trend will slow down a bit. But 2015 and 2016 have been pretty rough so it’s a good thing I never got to meet them, right? So it’s – I think we lost a few in the last year and a half.


We’d love to tour with Black Sabbath… wouldn’t everybody? I mean, it’s not just restricted to, like, there’s a lot of people that I’d like to share the bill with that never made it big, like the Terry Reids of the world, you know? We’ll never get to play with Bauhaus… just – there’s so many different genres of inspiration for us. It’d be really hard for me to narrow it down to anything other than the obvious, like Deep Purple. If Rainbow ain’t getting together with Dio, I‘m not sure (laughs). Richie Blackmore is my favourite guitar player, but do I wanna get on a bill with that? I dunno.

download-2016-1OD – Getting back to Scorpion Child, can you tell me the plans for the Summer ahead, do you have any particular shows that you are looking forward to as I’m sure Download Festival will be on that list?

ARYN -Oh yeah. Like we’ve done Hellfest in France, and Graspop in Belgium. We’ve done  a few festivals but nothing like the enormity of playing Donnington, the home of heavy metal and hard rock. Download is gonna be a really special show for us and I can confirm from all of us in Scorpion Child, that we are gonna put on one hell of a show!

OD – There seems to be a real resurgence in that classic rock sound with bands such as Crobot, Monster Truck etc all releasing fantastic material and inspiring the younger generation to do some investigation back into the archives of Rock, do you find that there is an increasing amount of interest in this particular genre as opposed to say 5 / 10 years ago?

Aryn Jonathan BlackARYN – As opposed to 5/10 years ago yeah. I mean, 5/10 years ago it was pretty much us Witchcraft and Graveyard who were doing this kind of thing. But no-one got to know who we were but they all got to know who those guys were. We never really got out of our city. We were doing our thing and we came across The Sword, but they were a little doomy-er but they developed into rock n’ roll. So we kinda swapped but I think there’s definitely more interest in it now.

I think it would be awesome if teenagers and younger kids would latch on to it and buy records, obviously for the sake of personal interest. But I feel like when I was a teenager, I loved punk rock I also loved the Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana and stuff like that. But I also really enjoyed Black Flag, and weird stuff like Throbbing Gristle. So there was a lot of stuff I got into; Christian Death, etc. I still love it all. Everything I’ve ever been into, I like. I even have some emo records in my collection like Fugazi, and hardcore stuff like Power Violence. I kept it al, my hardcore records. I think it’s a big part of who we are. I remember thinking as a teenager ‘This is great!’ So why can’t teens take a break? Take a minute from Asking Alexandria and listen to Scorpion Child or Graveyard or Orchid or somebody? I think that should have an effect on the younger generation.

Now with that said, there’s a lot of facial hair on this music that might scare some teenage girls. I think it would be interesting if you had some 15/16 year old girls that are into 35/40 year old dudes. It would be kinda scary, wouldn’t it? Maybe some of the No Direction dudes, we can get some of their spinoff… is it No Direction?

OD – No it’s “One Direction” (laughing)

ARYN – One Direction! See what do I know? But with that said, dammit I lost my train of thought thinking about No Direction/One Direction. They’ll do that to you! But I do see people coming in with their parents, which is a good thing. I guess with this new resurgence going on, that teenagers and parents can go to a show together and not feel bad about it

OD – Finally why don’t you tell us where we can get hold you Scorpion Child for more information?

ARYN – Yeah we’re just about to launch our new website. It’s finished, you can get to it on this link – and it links all our social media and webstore, and Nuclear Blast’s media and their web-store, for all their hard merchandise, and it’ll facilitate all mediums.

We asked Aryn to give us his top five favourite tracks that he’s currently listening to! Check out the playlist below!

Acid Roulette is out Friday June 10th via Nuclear Blast. To order your copy, just click the graphic below.


Catch Scorpion Child this weekend at Download Festival, please click here for details on stage times etc.

Interivew – Oran O’Beirne

Transcription – Shaun Martin