A Couple of Questions with Scott Simons of the Argument
ALSO: The Argument was featured in our The Best Albums You've (Probably) Never Heard feature.
For those just learning about Your New Favorite Band now, can you give a nutshell summary of your career prior to its release?
Well, there wasn’t much to speak of prior to the release of that record. We were just a bunch of guys fresh outta college who had been playing a lot of shows in our hometown and Pittsburgh, and we felt we had enough material to put out a CD to try to sell and expand our touring. Up until that point, I had just gotten my music composition degree and was playing in cover bands. When my father passed away, I kinda felt like I should be doing something with a little more substance. So the band was formed through mutual friends, we started touring naïvely, and we threw the 10 best of the 11 songs we had at the time onto that CD. Looking back, it’s not really much of an album to me; it’s just a bunch of random songs. There’s no unifying theme other than just raw ambition…which can be a good thing. There’s definitely something special about that first record, but I'm much prouder of our later efforts.
Do you recall any anecdotes from the recording of the album?
We recorded it in Pittsburgh, at Soundscape Studios, and I do remember that we were so naïve about the recording process that we just kinda went with it and let it go where it felt right. There were no really crazy stories that I can think of. I remember it seemed like it took forever to record, and that we tried not to do too much editing; we wanted to do something that represented how we sounded live, since we really grew up by playing out.
Did you expect the record to have a better commercial reception than it did?
No, the opposite. I was surprised one person bought it! That was the best thing about the first record. When someone actually ordered it online or purchased it at a show, we were so flattered. We couldn’t believe the reception it got. As far as being picked up for any sort of national distribution, that wasn’t the intent of the first record, and we didn’t even know what that meant at the time. We were content selling it at our shows and letting people take us home with them so they’d come see us again the next time.
Are you pleased to find that it still maintains enough of a following to make its way into this piece?
Honestly? No. I hate that album. Ha! I’m so embarrassed by it. It sounds so young and clueless to me. I read a review of it online once a few years ago that wasn’t very kind, and I was so hurt. But, recently, I went back and read that review again…and it was spot on. It just sounds so random and A.D.D. But it was a necessary step in our development, and it definitely had enough legs to serve its purpose, which was to establish a presence in the indie scene, expand our fanbase, and pay for future recordings. But I still hate it. Hate. It. Well, except for one or two songs...maybe.
What are you doing now?
RIGHT now? I'm lying on my bed with my cat, typing on an iBook...but in my career, the band broke up in May, which was really tough. And now I’m signed to an indie label called Rostrum Records, and I’m currently in the mixing phase with five songs, to be released and shopped as a solo project. The first single is available at http://www.myspace.com/scottsimonsmusic. I’m also doing jingles and song pitches for other artists.
Check out The Argument's official site for more info.