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A Dirty Dozen with DAWSON SCHOLZ from THE ONGOING CONCEPT – April 2023

| 7 April 2023 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “The band — brothers Dawson Scholz [vocals, guitar], Kyle Scholz [vocals, keys, percussion], and Parker Scholz [drums] along with TJ Nichols [vocals, bass], and Andy Crateau [vocals, guitar] — has announced its fourth album Again, out March 31 via Solid State Records. Not only is this the first taste of new music from the band since 2017 but it also marks the return of the original lineup. The Ongoing Concept emerged with the now-seminal Saloon back in 2013. On its heels, fan favorite Handmade bowed in the Top 10 of the Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums Chart and Top Christian Albums Chart in addition to cracking the Top 30 of the Top Independent Albums Chart. In its wake, Kyle, Parker, and TJ departed, leaving Dawson as the sole original member for Places in 2017. They self-produced Again and took their time. The Ongoing Concept integrated lyrics and Easter Eggs from previous albums into the record’s framework, embodying the title quite literally.” We get Dawson to discuss new music, influences, and more.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

This album really went back to our roots in a way. We wanted to make sure our fans got that traditional TOC sound but also hear a progression in the band as well. After diving into some old session files of our previous records, we came up with the idea of adding aspects of our older songs into this new album. Along with the original lineup coming back and feeling like we were doing this for a second time, the album name Again seemed very fitting.

2. What got you into music and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I’ve been playing music since I could remember. My parents are musicians and they introduced me and my brothers to music as soon as we were born. I don’t think there was ever a moment where I felt music was what I wanted to do because it was sort of part of me the second I came into this world ha!

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

We grew up on bands like Bruce Hornsby, Boston, Van Halen etc, but Dream Theater was where things shifted for me as far as where music could go. They opened up the idea of breaking the 4th wall and having a concept that went beyond the music itself. I love that type of stuff and it was fascinating seeing each of their albums have a theme that went outside the box of conventional records. Later into my teen years though, I discovered August Burns Red, and that’s where things shifted to what TOC is now. Alongside that, watching YouTube videos of the Chariot and Letlive really inspired the live show we wanted to present.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Hands down Cory Wong. I just want to see what groovy stuff he could add our stuff.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour? What do you like to do to unwind?

As weird as it sounds, I have worm farm and spend a lot of time growing it. Worms create the best natural fertilizer, so I’ve been spending the last couple years growing a big colony that eats all my compost and then I spread all their castings into my garden. It’s pretty fascinating.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I usually just say Screamo when asked. There is too many genres, and if I say “heavy music” I usually get a response along the lines of, “So like the band Kiss or Metallica?” It’s not worth explaining ha. I can’t really think of anything super cringe being compared too, but we do get compared to blue grass or southern rock a lot and if you go down our discography, we really only have a small handful of songs that have that style.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I would say Kyle cooks, Parker does the drinks, and Andy pulls out the guitar. But that’s a hypothetical, I don’t think any of that has ever happened before. Since we are all so close (and also brothers), the times we do hang out all together usually include our whole family. So most of the cooking and drinks fall on my parents lol!

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Look up Steve Vai Halo 2 on YouTube.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part is creating the art you love and showing it to the world, but it can drive you mad if you don’t have a hobby or passion outside of music. I really enjoy gardening and everything surrounding it. I would maybe go into that field if I wasn’t doing music.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I actually really liked that question you asked about who we like to collab with. I’ve never been asked that. So I guess you already know the answer to that one ha! The question I get tired of answering is if we are a Christian band. The answer is no, and will always remain no. We have never claimed to be a Christian band.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Mistakes were made in our band for sure, but the older I get, the more I realize those mistakes shaped who I am, and I don’t think I want to take that back.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Stray from the Path’s Make Your Own History record is insane, and I would love to know what was going on behind the scenes with not only the band, but also Misha Mansoor and the mixing/mastering that went into that record. That record still holds its own today, and I feel the mix and quality was way ahead of its time.






Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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