For those new to the story, let’s play catch up… Former Satellites and I Am Villain drummer Scott Eckel from Brisbane, Queensland was given the opportunity of a lifetime to fly over to the states and join pop-punk act Trophy Wives with producer John Feldmann pulling the strings behind the scenes and making sure the boys worked their arses off to get the recognition they deserved. Scott played across America over 8 weeks with the band and even scored a slot on the Vans Warped Tour in Boston.
From there he recorded drums for the band’s yet to be released debut album and even gave us an insight to what it’s like teaming up with such a well established and iconic producer like Feldy, who recently helped work on blink-182‘s California album and even had 5 Seconds of Summer swing by to help the boys write some tunes. Not bad for a bloke living the life of an upcoming rock star, destined for big things. Well I wasn’t wrong when I said big things are on the way for this guy which have recently included a Band name change and Huge News, they’re going to be opening for blink-182 on some of their US tour dates!
The new look
Trophy Wives MAKEOUT sees our boy Scott reunite with Sam and Tyler alongside newcomer and bassist extraordinaire Alex (who previously managed the boys prior to Scott’s arrival) with a more pop-rock direction like fellow Aussies 5SOS. Face it, if you were given the opportunity to join a band with almost instant recognition working with one of the best in the industry and a label so supportive of your intentions, you’d pack your bags and leave too. I grabbed Scott for a quick catch up to see what’s going through his head and to find out what is over the horizon for Australia’s latest export.
Dude you’re playing for blink-182 over 4 nights in the USA, how are you holding it together so well?
“It definitely hasn’t hit me properly, not just yet anyway. They’ve been my favourite band for such a long time, that it’s just to surreal. But my heart was racing even posting the news, that alone felt incredible. It’s my dream show!”
Give us a rundown of the latest developments with the band, the new name, the album update and what else this trip entails
“The name change is the most obvious thing I guess. We were in chats with a label, and I think they actually suggested the change. Along with our management, and Feldy we decided to make that change to go along with our new music.”
“The album is completely finished, and we’re literally just putting the finishing touches on it and waiting to release to coincide with some more shows/tours. But for now we’re concentrating on the blink shows next week, then possibly shooting a music video, that’s not set in stone just yet.”
With a band name like MAKEOUT, one can only imagine the type of music you’ll be playing. So tell us what it’ll sound like?
“We’re still very much a pop punk band, but I would say we have a few songs that step out of what would be considered the normal pop punk of today, and more towards that rock/5SOS sound. Trophy Wives was more of an easy core band, pulling heavy inspiration from bands like Four Year Strong and the like. This direction we have now, is definitely my favourite style of music to play and I couldn’t be more excited with how it’s turned out.”
It all sounds very exciting for you, but what a lot of people may not know is the serious illness you’ve been pushing through to make your dreams a reality. If you’re up for it, please share your experiences over the past few months and what made you fight through the pain.
Well, I’ve had this particular condition (Crohn’s Disease) for years and years, and the medication I was on kept the symptoms at bay to a certain point… until December of last year. I experienced some complications that put me in hospital for 2 weeks. I put up with the pain for a good 3 weeks before caving and heading to emergency. I didn’t realise at the time but my liver was extremely swollen, and parts of it literally dead. My liver was riddled with blood clots, but it could’ve been a lot lot worse, I got told it was close to that stage.”
“As for pushing through, I was given a once in a lifetime opportunity, I’m not letting something like that get in my way from achieving what I want in life. Obviously I’m on a concoction of medications to try and bring me back to health, and I still have a long way to go with that.”
Your determination and commitment to fulfil your dreams is enough to make us all take a look at our full potential and what we can achieve, so thanks for sharing. When will we start to hear some of the new music you’ve all been working on?
“Honestly I can’t give you an exact date. We were hoping April for the album release but it’s looking like it’ll be pushed back a little. BUT, we should have a single coming soon with some more exciting news which I’m really stoked about.”
During the recording process the 5 Seconds of Summer boys popped in to help write some songs with you, what did the band learn from them?
“Unfortunately the 5SOS boys had been and gone before I arrived for the first time last year. They just helped write, and Ashton even laid down drums for a track on the album, which sounds incredible. He’s actually quite a talented musician and I hope to learn a lot more from him in the future, if we cross paths again.”
Alright back to blink, it’s no secret you’re a huge fan of the band and Travis Barker is cited as one of your biggest influences to date, playing a show with them must be overwhelming right?
“Mate it’s going to take every ounce of strength and focus to try and play in front of him, and play well for that matter. I judge myself enough let alone playing a show with a long time drumming idol. I really hope I don’t choke up there [laughs].”
You finally get the chance to be face to face with him, what’s the one thing in the back of your mind you’ve always wanted to bring up in discussion or ask his advice for?
“I honestly haven’t really thought about that too much. As I got older I realised he’s just another human, I just have to be respectful and hopefully things can just flow. I’d really like to pick his brain about technique and preparation. Playing with the energy he does takes a lot of stamina, to be able to do that for 2 hours each night, I’d like to get any advice I can to help me with my own playing.”
Any plans to stage crash and offer to play drums on one of their songs?
[laughs] “One dream at a time I think, not saying I haven’t fantasised about doing that. That would be the PEAK of my music career.”
Can you send me an autograph now before you become too famous and stop returning my calls?
“Let’s see how I go first” [laughs] “You never know I could be back working the regular job at anytime, but for now we’re giving this all we have.”
Anything else you want to say or anyone to thank before you become a household name and leave us forever? haha
“My parents and brother. I’ve always kind of been lost in what I wanted to do in life and for this to arise, they’ve been so incredibly supportive in helping me make it happen. Especially with my health, it’s been a battle at times, so I can’t ever thank them enough. And of course my girlfriend Alison, it takes a lot to just up and leave overseas for what could be months at a time, and she’s been so wonderful.”
All the best Scotty we’re all so fuckin proud of you.
For those wanting to hear this new music, we’ll keep you posted the second it’s released and we eagerly anticipate the reviews from MAKEOUT‘s shows with blink-182 next week.
Follow the guys: