SCHOLOMANCE - Jimmy Pitts
Interviewed by JP
One of the very early surprises that came across my ears this year
was a band called Scholomance. Their disc The Immorality Murder got high
marks when I reviewed it so when the chance arose to speak with the
band, I jumped at the chance.
The first thing I'm sure our readers want to know is what does
Scholomance mean? Can you give us a little history about
The word Scholomance is of Romanian origin, and is an actual
derivative of the biblical Solomon. The legend is that it is an ancient
school where the Devil taught Ten scholars the black arts, language of
the animals, and alchemy. The translation of Scholomance is
"Students Of Alchemy", or "Students of Metal Magic"
for us! We've been playing together in Scholomance for about 7-8 years.
In that time we've put out two Promo tapes, a demo, and two full length
cds on The End; 'A Treatise on Love' in '98, and 'The Immortality
Murder' double cd n early 2002.
How is it working with The End Records? and more importantly how
did they discover you?
Andreas and the rest of The End's crew are great to work with. We
have absolute freedom of expression on this label, and have never been
'encouraged' to change a piece of music or cover art. They discovered
us, I believe, through Don from Sculptured. He was a friend of Scott's
and passed our "I Am That Which Is" Demo on to Andreas.
Shortly thereafter we had a deal, and here we are 2 cd's later!
One thing I noticed is that I thought it was very ambitious for a
new band to put out a double CD let alone one that has a bonus disc of
alternate material. Can you tell us how that came about?
The bonus cd was a last minute idea that Scott and I talked about
just for ourselves, but when I mentioned it to Andreas he liked the idea
for the actual release. As far as I know the double cd is a limited
When I first heard the music and saw the disc my first (and
incorrect assumption) was that you guys were from Europe. Do you run
into that comment and do you feel that you you have a quite European
Well, we have definitely had our share of European comparisons. I can
definitely see where that comes from, but at the same time I want to
point out that a lot of that comes from the influence of Classical
composers from Europe on us. Much more so than from the actual metal
bands from there. We definitely don't fit in with the American take on
metal, with all of its cliché' chugging riffs and shallow lyrical
topics. At the same time I think we may be a little bit more
psychologically abrasive than many of our counterparts over seas.
I noticed plenty of religious and spiritual imagery on the CD. Are
guys religious, spiritual or is it just a topic that interests
Religion interests us in that it is inescapable in America.
Christianity runs everything here. It's strange as decadent of a society
as we are. It is used as a sort of sheen on shit facade. Some of us are
spiritual, as generally we believe in spirits, I would say, but we are
certainly not Christians, or of any particular religion or faith, for
that matter.. Ok, maybe I lied, Jerry and I worship Glenn Gould and J.S
Bach, and I believe that Scott worships Claire Danes.
A follow up to the last question, lyrically do you draw
inspiration from real-life, fantasy, personal experiences or all of the
Definitely a touch of all of the above. Reality is the biggest
influence on everything we do, but fantasy comes into play through the
expression of extreme reaction to negative personal experiences. As with
"The Immortality Murder", where there is an abundance of
imaginative violence laced into a story that comes from our actual
disgust with much of society. Obviously, the more extreme moments in the
lyrics are not something that we have acted upon. However, much of the
madness the character feels from religious torment and anti-social
behaviour are inspired by our surroundings, and are very personal to
Can you give us a brief run down of some of the themes or concepts
on this CD?
It's rather difficult to put anything about this cd briefly. The
concept deals with the mind of a serial murderer. The lyrics are written
primarily from his point of view. You become part of the voices he
hears, the nightmares, the actions, and the delusions. At the same time
there's a huge relevance to society as it is today, religion, psychology
and how we view our fellow human beings. It's really up to the listener
to decide what is real, truth, or fiction. The artwork was taken from
Scott's personal stockpile of photos, many of which have been in his
family for years. There's a different photo on each page of the booklet
- different locations and scenes that are part of the mood of the
Musically, who are some of your influences? I hear some Sabbath
and Paradise Lost but not enough to attract comments of
Those are a couple of comparisons I have never heard or imagined.
That's cool though, I love Sabbath, and the first two Paradise Lost
albums were good. We listen to so many different types of music, it's
difficult to say what has been an influence. We never go about writing
in a way that purposefully compliments other metal bands that we like.
But, I'm sure that influences creep in there after many years of
listening. I guess our main metal list would be Iron Maiden, Cynic,
Dream Theater, Bay Area thrash like Forbidden, older Death metal such as
Pestilence, Death and Malevolent Creation. We draw our main
compositional influence from Occidental music such as Bach, Beethoven,
Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Schoenberg, etc. And even some world music and
fusion (Mahavishnu Orchestra Rules!!). We have broad tastes.
What does the future hold for you guys? Any touring plans? Do you
have an act that you would like to go with or you feel would be a cool
fit for a touring partner?
Hopefully we can begin writing a new album soon. The last one took
over three years to complete, so it is pretty important for us to get to
work. As far as touring goes, I don't see it happening this time around.
We all have alot of responsibilities at home, and it would be hard to
tour without plenty of interest and support. If we did tour, hmmm...
Meshuggah would be awesome, or Spastic Ink (I'm going to be on the new
cd), hell, this is all a dream, why not Iron Maiden!!
This is your chance to shine. Do you have any last comments for
the readers of Metal -Rules?
Thanks for the interview. I was psyched because you did an intie with
Bruce Dickinson a couple of years back that ruled. Everyone should check
out both of our albums, but especially the newest one.