By Adam Holtzapfel & Jared Elek
We sat down with Columbus’ own titans of metal Lo-Pan bassist Skot Thompson on June 20th prior to their show at Ace of Cups with Fight AMP and KEN Mode. Here’s what he had to say about music, beer, and food in Columbus over some pork belly pastrami tacos with sriracha slaw.
MBQ- How do you feel being in a city like Columbus with such diverse acts influence your music or shows you play?
ST- Well that’s an interesting question. I would say we don’t draw much influence when it comes to songwriting from anything local. That’s not where we come from. Three out of four of us grew up on popular bands from the 90s. Nirvana, The Melvins, Helmet, Quicksand, Tool, Deftones and further back stuff our folks listened to like Led Zeppelin.
As for shows we don’t like playing with bands that are similar sounding bands. I grew up listening to death metal. I don’t like going to death metal shows and there’s five fucking death metal bands playing. It makes me want to blow my fucking brains out. This is what they’re going for obviously, death metal. We like to play with all kinds of different bands. We’ve played with hip hop acts, dance bands, what is that shit called, dub step horse shit, we’ve played with a lot of metal bands, stoner rock bands, and rock bands. We’ve covered the whole gamut. We don’t mind playing with any type of local band.
JE- That’s the fun of it too, you don’t want to play with anyone that sounds like you.
ST- And where’s the entertainment? Shows that you see have the same three to four stoner rock bands. Dudes show up in their stoner rock costumes, stoner rock facial hair, and stoner rock fucking haircuts. I don’t have a problem with that, but I want those dudes to show up with people that don’t have that thing going on because they’re coming to see another fucking band.
AH- That’s kind of the thing going on with The Blackout Cookout in Kent.
ST- That’s gonna be awesome, but it’s gonna be one of those things where you have a bunch of the same dudes showing up for that. However there’s a big crowd for that up there, I can’t slight that.
AH- And you have bands like Fuck You Pay Me on the bill.
ST- Fuck You Pay Me is my shit. I love those mother fuckers. Tony Erba is my dude. That guy has been playing in thrash and punk bands since the beginning of time. He invented it, he’ll tell you that. It might not be right, but he’ll tell you that.
MBQ- You’ve been on tour a lot this last year and just got back from Europe. Have you seen a lot of familiar faces in the crowd or are you building more of a following as you tour?
ST- We got dudes that show up. In Europe every face was unfamiliar, but here in the States we’ve gotten a lot of dudes that I’ve actually gotten to know over the years that show up to our shows and I’ve had good conversations with. We’ve also had weird ass mother fuckers show up that keep showing up and I’m like there’s that mother fucker. We definitely got a bit of a following.
JE- Is there any city or venue you’ve enjoyed more than any other?
ST- I have a lot of friends and people in Brooklyn and Boston so I love playing there because of all the familiar faces. People I’ve known from when I was in other bands before Lo-Pan. Brooklyn is 50% Columbus, most of the people in Brooklyn are from Columbus.
We were on tour with Torche. I forget the name of the club we played. It was some big warehouse spot in Brooklyn, all these mother fuckers showed up. I was standing outside, didn’t call or text anyone because I didn’t feel like it. Hey I’m here you should come to our show; I’m not trying to jerk my own dick. I shit you not Torche is doing their soundcheck, I’m standing outside and my buddy John just comes jogging by. You can stand on a corner in Brooklyn for 15-20 minutes and you will see someone from Columbus. I have tested this theory out and it fucking works. It’s nuts. I like Brooklyn and I like Boston, but one of my favorite places to play is Denver.
ST- Yeah those mother fuckers love to come out to shows and they’re high. They’re high as fuck and they love to rock out. They get up to the stage, not afraid of the volume or anything. It’s rare here in the states. When a band is loud it hurts. I don’t do it, why would anyone else do it?
JE- Sometimes bands can be too loud. I saw Slayer and it was too loud, it was almost in audible. You can’t hear it, it’s just noise.
ST- I saw Meshuggah play in Cincinnati with Strapping Young Lad, amazing show. Meshuggah brings their own set up. They don’t use cabinets. It’s all pre imps, they run it through the PA and it comes through the monitors, they control it, it’s not that crazy stage volume.
I’ve seen bands like Fu Manchu that use that stage volume and it makes you want to stand up front and blow your brains out because it sounds so good.
ST- I like craft beer a lot, but I’m not necessarily a fan of a lot of the local craft beers. Victory beers are some of my favorite. The Golden Monkey is my favorite beer on the planet. That shit is intense, it’s sweet, bitter, sour, all of the flavors all at once. It makes your tongue have a toungasm. It gets you drunk as fuck because it’s 9.5. It’s a Belgian tripel style. I like the Belgian style like La Fin Du Monde. The local beers, eh. Dark Horse just put out a tripel, I had last night and I forget what it’s called because it’s fucking fantastic. They’re not local, but a lot of local people work for them.
MBQ- What’s your favorite place to eat at when you’re back home in Columbus?
ST- I eat at work a lot. I’ve been working at Adriatico’s for nine years and to still eat there 4-5 times a week, which says a lot. That’s some good ass pizza.
JE- I used to work at Rubino’s in Bexley and ate there every day.
ST- I’ve never been there, but heard it’s great. After getting back from Europe all I wanted was American pizza. Mother fuckers in France crack raw eggs in the middle of their pizza. I’m not fucking shitting you. I got a pizza in France they make the pizza they don’t cut it and crack a raw egg in the middle.
JE- That sounds terrible.
ST-It’s not terrible, it’s weird.
JE- Is it good?
ST- It’s a thing. So anyway first place I went when we got back from Europe was Pizza House. However my favorite place to eat in Columbus because my dad has fed it to me since I was six months old and it’s from Cincinnati is Skyline mother fucking Chili.
JE- No, I can’t do that.
AH- It’s some good shit.
ST- It’s some good shit!
JE- I can’t get down on it.
ST- I can’t blame you there’s no middle ground. You love it or hate it.
AH- You get that hint of cinnamon in it.
ST- I get a five way, spaghetti, chili, beans, onion and cheese. I make it a six way. I have these big bass player hands; I grab the cheese, put oyster crackers on there then put the cheese back on. It adds an extra crunch and salt. It’s a Skot Thompson six way.
MBQ- In the event a zombie apocalypse what’s your weapon of choice if you choose to fight or drink until you can’t feel feelings anymore?
ST- I do that now and shit’s normal, can I have three weapons? Cause I’ve thought about this.
JE- Sure, why not.
ST-I have a baseball bat, for close quarters.
JE- Nail or no nail?
ST-No nail you don’t want that shit getting stuck.
JE- You can pierce the brain
ST- You can just crush a skull
JE- True, I’m a smaller guy, so…
ST- I’ll crush a skull. Handgun either a glock 40 cal or 9mm. A lot of law enforcement uses a 40 cal so a lot of ammo and a lot of non law enforcement use 9mm, there’s a lot of 9mm rounds in this country. We’re a bunch of gun toting mother fuckers in this bitch. And a rifle for long range.
MBQ- We may as well add this too. Who would win in a fist fight, Frankenstein’s monster or Clint Eastwood? We’re talking Outlaw Josey Wales Clint, not Gran Torino Clint.
ST- Any Which Way But Loose, Clint?
ST- Eastwood had one hand tied behind his back and a monkey and still kicked that guys ass. Frankenstein’s monster doesn’t have a monkey. He’s a bitch, fuck him. Old school Eastwood all day.
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