Fuel’s Brett Scallions Talks Show At Bally’s Bikini Beach Bar & More

Last updated: June 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm. Posted by in Uncategorized. No Comments on Fuel’s Brett Scallions Talks Show At Bally’s Bikini Beach Bar & More.

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Summer at the new Bally’s Bikini Beach Bar at Bally’s Atlantic City (duh) is in full swing and one of the most awesome things about it is that the Bikini Beach Bar will often host free, big-name concerts. The first big name to christen the bar will be none other than the popular rock band, Fuel. You know them from hits such as “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)” and “Bad Day” from the early 2000’s.

Fuel looks a little different these days than they did back then, though. Lead singer Brett Scallions parted ways with the band in 2004 and Fuel released their fourth album, Angels & Devils, without Scallion in 2007. However a new lineup of the band emerged in 2010 with Scallion back in the center of it all. The new Fuel has since played numerous live gigs and completed a new record set to be released sometime this year.

We recently sat down with Brett Scallions to talk about all this good stuff and more. Check out the interview, below.

Fuel

TAC: You guys were first known as Small The Joy when you first joined the band. What made you change the name to Fuel?

Brett Scallions: We were doing a thing called Reel To Reel, it was basically a cover band. As we started working on our own songs, we knew that we didn’t want to go out as a band with the name Reel To Reel. It was pretty terrible. We called the first demo that we did Small The Joy because that was the best name that we had in the hat at that time. We weren’t totally sold on it, but nonetheless we still did it. Not long after, we continued writing new material and had a band meeting and came up with the name Fuel and that’s where it started. It was as simple as throwing a bunch of names in a hat and pulling out the name Fuel. That’s how it all began.

TAC: How is the vibe of the band different now than in was in 2004 when you parted ways?

Brett Scallions: We don’t play the way the original Fuel would play and that’s not a bad thing. For me it’s a really wonderful, refreshing thing because something about this group is that we go out on stage and it’s four guys on stage. That’s what you’re ‘gonna see and that’s what you’re ‘gonna hear. You’re not going to be watching us and going ‘where is that extra guitar part coming from? Where’s the piano? Where are the strings coming from? Where are those background vocals coming from?’ It’s not like that at all for us. We don’t play along to Protools. It’s four guys on the stage. What you see is what you get. We’re having a blast playing together. We’re a much more bluesier-based band than the original Fuel is. We enjoy jamming. There’s certain parts of the show where we go in a free fall and everyone has to keep an eye on each other because we don’t know when we’re going to change to the next part. I learned about doing that with Ray and Robbie at The Doors.

TAC: Very cool. Do you feel more of a responsibility to the band being the only original member left?

Brett Scallions: I guess I have to run the ship. For lack of a better word, I have to be the boss. I have to make a lot of decisions that the others aren’t necessarily involved in. I always try to be diplomatic and make sure it’s the best for everyone. It’s not easy to run a band. It’s basically running the company. It is what it is. I enjoy what I do and I know that all the decisions I make are for the greater good.

TAC: What can fans expect from your show here at Bally’s Bikini Beach Bar on Friday?

Brett Scallions: I found that we are playing acoustic, so we’ll be hanging out. During acoustic shows, a set list is usually a reminder of songs we are capable of playing. We don’t go by a set list; we usually just refer to it to see what songs we can play next. I enjoy playing acoustic shows. It’s a much more laid back environment  and I can usually shoot the shit with the audience a bit so to speak and just lay back and relax and have some fun.

TAC: Your old drummer Ken recently left the band a couple months ago to focus on family. How do you balance work and life as a travelling musician?

Brett Scallions: It’s not easy. I’m a father of two beautiful boys and I miss them every second that I’m away from them. Luckily my wife came into our relationship fully understanding who I am and what I do and it’s hard sometimes, but we make the best out of things. They’ll come out and spend time with me. I’ll see them this weekend. They’ll be in Atlantic City, actually! We make the best of the cards we get dealt. Sometimes I miss an important function which hurts, but at the same time I have to do what I have to do. This is my job. I have many passions and my passions are performing music and being a father and the best husband I can be. I just try to balance it out and give everyone as much attention as I possibly can.

TAC: And how has it been working with your new drummer, Bryan?

Brett Scallions: Bryan’s great. He’s a good guy. We’re still in the ‘getting to know you’ stage for the most part. He’s got some big shoes to fill. I did two records with Ken and played with Ken for quite a few years here so there’s a large workload on any drummer who’s going to come in after Ken Schalk, but he’s doing good.

TAC: How do you balance Fuel with your other band, World Fire Brigade?

Brett Scallions: With that project, we’ve never even done a show or performed those songs live. Right now that’s not even an issue of juggling. That was a record where I got together with Sean Danielsen of Smile Empty Soul and Eddie Wohl and just wrote the record. We didn’t know what to do with it, we didn’t know anything about what we were going to do with the music, we just wanted to get together and write a fun record. Mission accomplished on that. If by chance the record really just takes off and there’s demand to see us perform it live, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

TAC: How is Fuel different from all the other bands you’ve been a part of?

Brett Scallions: Fuel’s been in my life since ’93 or ’94 and I’ve been doing this for a long time. This is the old, comfortable shoe. Anything else that I do is an exciting, new pair of running shoes. Those always feel good too, but it’s always good to go back and play the old stuff and have a good time with what I’ve worked hard to help make what it is today.

TAC: What can you tell us about the new single being released sometime soon?

Brett Scallions: We’re still trying to decide on which single it’s gonna be and when the actual release date is. Luckily for us, we all feel like we have multiple options which is a good feeling. You don’t want to make a record and go ‘well I think this is the only song that we can make a single.’ You want to have multiple singles and we feel like we have that. Just deciding on which one it is and when to release it, we’re still working that out, but it will be mid-to -late summer. Worst case scenario in the early fall.

TAC: What about the new album?

Brett Scallions: The record is done. We’ve recorded everything that’s on there and we’re just about to go into the mix mode. We’re going to start mixing the record. In the past with older Fuel records, my old guitar player Carl did a lot of the writing. I did my share too of course, but he did a lot of the writing. I wrote the bulk of this record, but we really collaborated on this record between myself and the bass player Brad and Andy Andersson. The three of us really collaborated on a number of songs on this record and some of them were just totally written by accident, hanging in the front lounge and playing acoustic guitar. Those usually end up being some of your favorite songs because they are spontaneous and as real as it gets kind of songs. I’d also say that this is a much bluesier-based rock record than previous Fuel records.

 

Looking forward to the new record, but in the meantime, REALLY looking forward to the show at Bally’s Bikini Beach Bar at Bally’s this Friday! Fuel hits the stage at 10 p.m.! Fuelies, you’re welcome!

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About The Author

A music junkie and pop culture nerd, Jackie has been storytelling and producing exclusive content through various forms of media since she was a teenager running online fan clubs on Yahoo Groups. Remember those? A Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Ithaca College took her to the City of Angels where she scored bylines in The Hollywood Reporter and dabbled in music PR. An East Coast girl at heart, she circled back to her home state of New Jersey where she penned Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City’s Atlantic City Blog and hasn’t looked back since.

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