Spotify playlist: ’68’s Josh Scogin shares artists he listened to making ‘Two Parts Viper’

Posted by on April 4, 2017

This week’s Spotify playlist comes to us from ’68’s Josh Scogin. The band’s sophomore album, Two Parts Viper, will be out on Cooking Vinyl America on June 2nd. As Scogin explains, he usually listens to five artists of different genres while recording an album. He explains why he does this and the reason he went beyond that below. Follow Metal Insider on Spotify if you haven’t already so you don’t miss a playlist. 

“Typically when I am writing for an album, I handpick about five artists and just listen to those discographies exclusively. The only rule for picking the artist is that they must be very different than the stuff I’m recording. I usually pick something with a completely different genre and a very different vibe. Often times I will pick at least one artist that I’m not even a fan of. This is a process that I’ve always done to help me keep my mind open. Sometimes it has had a noticeable affect on the music I was writing and other times it may not have done anything but it has always, at least, helped me not get too narrow minded on how music is “supposed” to sound. Recording Two Parts Viper, however, was super different for me because the whole writing/recording process was spread out over about 7 months. Typically I would have a couple weeks to write and then a couple weeks to record but for this album, we had to record a couple songs and few months later a couple more, so on and so forth. Sometimes we would even record a few parts of a song over a weekend and finish it up several weeks later,. We had to record it this way because we were touring all year long. We never had more than a couple weeks off here or there. I still stuck with my typical methods of listening predominately to only a handful of artists that were off the beaten path (sonically speaking) to what I was creating. The only difference is I was much more lenient this time around. I wasn’t so strict to ONLY listening to my Five Artists List. Also, several times throughout the process this list would be modified, or added to since I couldn’t imagine going more than half a year strictly listening to only five artists and coming out mentally stable on the other end.”



A Tribe Called Red, “R.E.D. (Feat. Yasiin Bey, Narcy and Black Bear)”

“This song is hard! Honestly, I had never heard of this group at all until I heard this song. As soon as I heard it, I had to listen to the entire album and from there I got to know their discography. It is all good, unique, strange at times and clever. Their videos are great as well. I think all in all this is one of my new favorite artists.”


Sister Nancy, “Bam Bam”

“This was one of my first picks of the five artists I would strictly listen to while writing this album. I’m in this huge Reggae kick right now, it has been going on for a year or so. Sister Nancy is great and so making her one of the five was an easy choice. Getting to know her full body of work is something I would advise to anyone.”


Weather Report, “Punk Jazz”

“Talk about opening your mind up to new ways of doing something, this band is all over the place. I don’t know much about jazz in general but I know I don’t have the knowledge or talent to pull it off, having said that, every time I listen to an album of theirs I’m inspired to write more songs.”


Paul Simon, “Insomniac’s Lullaby”

“Paul Simon is obviously one of the greatest. The album Stranger to Stranger was released in the summer of last year and we had only recorded about three songs at that point. So the moment it was released I wore it out (I still do). But this song in particular reminds me of the early stresses of trying to find the time to record this album and trying my best to make sure we weren’t screwing it all up because of writing and recording this way. It is a beautiful song.”


John Maus, “Cop Killer”

“When we were in the studio recording the first three songs, Matt Goldman, reminded me of this guy. It came up on the heels of a conversation about great Eighties Music that wasn’t from the Eighties. So John Maus became one of the five on the list. He is amazing and this album is wonderful.”


Bjork,  “Notget”

“Alright, full disclosure, Bjork almost always makes my Five Artists List. That speaks to how unique and clever she continues to be. She is one of my longest lasting favorites. I can’t help but be inspired listening to her stuff. She has had a huge influence on my writing and lyrics, etc. Even though the average person probably couldn’t put their finger on anything specific that she has influenced of mine, it is very real and very thick.”


Anderson .Paak,  “Come Down”

“This guy came up very late in my recording. I didn’t know much about his work but while on tour in Europe Keith Buckley told me to check him out. Once I did I was hooked. This song has a bounce to it that just can’t be ignored and the entire album is great. Thanks Keith.”


Iggy Pop, “Break Into Your Heart”

“I love Iggy Pop and I love Joshua Homme’s work, so this was an obvious album that I would have to wrap my head around. It wouldn’t typically make it into my Five Artist List though strictly because it is a little similar in genre (although still very different) but the album dropped right before I started writing and I wasn’t going to let it slip by without getting to know it. If it had been a typical recording procedure of about a month writing/recording then it may have been put on hold but as I said before everything about my process of recording this album was different.”


Kurt Vile, “Wakin’ on a Pretty Day”

“I love War On Drugs so when my friend Daniel Davison turned me on to Kurt Vile I couldn’t stop listening to him. I don’t know how I missed him but somehow I was late to the game of knowing his solo stuff. I can’t say he was specifically on the Five Artist List but his influence is still on the album. I find my writing to be pretty A.D.D. sometimes. I don’t know if it is because of my past or if it is just that I tend to get bored easy but I rarely let a part just vibe out. But Kurt is the king of vibe. One thing War On Drugs and Kurt Vile will do is just rock on a simple riff for a very long time. Sometimes when I’m writing I need to be reminded that there is nothing wrong with letting a riff grow and breathe a little bit.”


Nancy Sinatra, “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”

“I love all things Nancy Sinatra. Her discography is on heavy rotation on all long drives. She did not however make the Five Artist List, but she specifically had an influence on the song “That’s The Plan Anyway, Now Figure Out How To Follow Through” which I believe is only going to be released in Europe/UK. This song started out with full instrumentation and even had a crescendo but in the eleventh hour I impulsively pulled the plug and decided it should be naked and vulnerable. So we played a guitar with lots of reverb and put tremolo on it then called it a night.”

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