Get to Know Scot Bihlman…
Meet Emmy award-winning musician and songwriter, Scot Bihlman, an industry vet whose mile-long resume includes stints with John Fogerty, Trey Anastasio (phish), Ted Nugent, BB King, Ray Charles, Dido, Hank Williams Jr., Al Cooper, Buddy Guy, Kenny Olsen (Kid Rock), and Jack Tempchin (Eagles), to name a few. Bihlman will soon be releasing his new solo record; a powerful culmination of his expansive musical experiences that will feature such guest stars as bassist, dUg Pinnick (King’s X), who also played with Bihlman in his other project, Grinder Blues, and Ron Meyer of Utah-based Black Sheep Brothers. Read on to learn more about this world-class musician, and what it was like sharing the stage with some of rock music’s biggest stars.
Alexx Calise: Your new album was recorded in Indiana, Utah and Los Angeles. What was the reasoning for recording in all of those different locales?
Scot Bihlman: Geographically, it has been a bit of a challenge. However, with modern technology and the right guys at the helm, we are achieving the prime directive. Miles Fulwider (Indiana) and Andrew Glasmacher (Utah) handle all the recording, mixing, and filming as the project develops. As I am in Los Angeles, I’m fortunate to have access to unique opportunities.
It gives us all a chance to access different options like different players and sounds which in turn brings a unique dynamic to the project.
How different is your solo project musically from Bihlman Brothers and Grinder Blues?
Musically speaking, my solo project is a lot different in regard to the traditional recording process. I am making a conscious effort to avoid overtones of past projects. Which is tricky! Doing lead vocals, rhythm guitar, and drums collectively bring different flavors and dynamics to these songs.
Also, working with like-minded people has definitely afforded me the opportunity to get musically experimental.
Over the years I have collaborated with many producers and musicians which in turn has a tendency to detour you from your original vision. However, with this project, I’ve had carte blanche to go down avenues with alternate tunings, effects, and structures that would not have been possible in past projects. For this, I am very grateful!
You played with your sibling, Jeff in the Emmy award-winning Bihlman Brothers and Grinder Blues. Can we expect to hear his playing on your new solo record as well?
No, my brother will not be making an appearance on this release. Thank you for asking!
dUg Pinnick of King’s X, who also played in Grinder Blues with you will be making an appearance on the new record as well. Did you kind of give him the reigns when it came to laying down his bass parts, or did you have a specific direction in mind when it came to the track?
Oh yeah! dUg is the groove master and needs no direction from me. You kinda just give him the track and go have a cocktail. The end.
How did you two initially become acquainted?
Actually, my loooong time buddy and musicians Institute Colleague, Ray Luzier called me as he was having a barbecue in LA. I showed up, and it was a fantastic display of awesome people. dUg and I started talking about a blues project, and something he was wanting to add to his massive musical lineage. Me? I just wanted to play with dUg Pinnick! So, with dUg’s deep understanding of soul and the history I had under my belt in the blues, things started coming together to birth Grinder Blues!
Will you be distributing this release independently, or will this album also be under the Sony/Megaforce umbrella?
I am talking with Megaforce now and enjoy our relationship. There is a plan in place technically for singles. Honestly, I’m not sure locking in a whole album with one label is a business plan for the future. It also effects film/TV music placements where I have had success, and Music supervisors are usually not too hip on being signed. However, if Megaforce and I work some tracks together and it’s beneficial for us both, then let’s roll!
You’ve had the opportunity to play or record with the likes of John Fogerty, Hank Williams Jr., and a number of iconic artists. Did any of them ever offer any words of wisdom that may have forced a change in perspective for you as a musician, or even influenced your career trajectory?
I have been fortunate enough to work with a lot of my heroes, and it’s been an incredible journey. Obviously, growing up listening to Creedence Clearwater revival and getting to work with John Fogerty was a surreal experience.
That session really taught me a lot. Being on an album with Trey Anastasio and Al Cooper was cool, and the jam on Son Seals song “funky Bitch” totally captured the essence of the track. Actually, not to go down a rabbit hole of different experiences, but I would have to say by far BB KING had the biggest impact on me both musically and spiritually. What a beautiful human on all levels. If you go to www.bihlmanbros.com there is a live recording of Mr.King calling us out on stage. Bless you, kind sir!
When can we expect your new solo album?
Technically, we are just brushing up on a few things and mixing 10 tracks. We already have two videos done for the tracks “Tooth and Nail” and “Lay Your Burden Down.” I am hoping for a summer/fall release 2020.
We’ve all obviously taken some serious hits as musicians due to the pandemic, especially because we can’t play live on a traditional stage for the foreseeable future. What have you been doing creatively to keep yourself sane during this time?
Always playing guitar along with riding my motorcycle. I’m a big motorcycle enthusiast! I have a 2001 Harley Davidson Dyna wide glide that has been totally tricked out over the years. It’s my church, therapy and muse all in one. I get most my creative ideas musically while riding – guitar Riffs, lyrics, structures, sounds, artwork etc… I would say it’s my biggest writing tool and definitely keeps me sane. It also works really well with social distancing, and right now the road is wide open!
Do you think the music industry will come back the same way after the pandemic?
That’s a great question, and I would have to say not for a long time. The music business has been evolving and reinventing itself every year, and most musicians are just trying to keep up. Now with this worldwide pandemic, it makes it even harder for us to make a living, and thespians of all walks of life are hurting. I would say keep your chops up and hope for the best. Stay healthy and stay strong.
Have you noticed any cool new music-related innovations online while in lockdown?
Musically, it seems there are always new, mind blowing innovations happening regardless of a pandemic. I am sure the nerds are getting ready to blow our minds even further with all this frustration and time on their hands. I love nerds, man so bring it on please!
I see you’re also an actor. What types of roles do you generally like to play? What might we have seen you in?
Indeed! I do dabble with the craft, and it’s nothing to take lightly like anything else you strive to master. Touring and being out of town over the years makes it hard to be readily available. In short, I do what I can when I can and have a patient agent. I’ve done two national commercials (The NFL network, and Burger King) along with a lot of print add work for Ducati, Volkswagen, Harley Davidson etc… I am always studying the craft, and It’s a fun journey!
Do you plan to tour the new record as soon as things go back to “normal,” so to speak? If so, will you just be performing solo, or will you be bringing some other musicians along for the ride?
I am planning on touring, and I will be putting together a touring band. Solo gigs are great, and I have always loved that kind of intimate setting. I am sure you’ll be seeing me in many different forms throughout this process, so keep your ear to the road!