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Addressing The Nu-Metal Allegations With Scooter Ward of Cold

Photo Credit: Jade Gomez

Holiday Kirk catches up with Cold at last month's Sick New World festival to finally put everyone's burning question to rest; "Are Cold nu-metal?" This and more discussed below:

Holiday Kirk: When Cold did the MTV Hard Rock special, I remember the band saying at the end of it, “There was a little bit too much light on the stage. We like darkness.” So I'm wondering how you approach performing differently at 11:55 in the morning.

Scooter Ward: It was very hot. I think that was the hottest show we’ve ever done. And with the sunlight beaming down on us, it was a different mood.

Let me tell you something, people respond differently to desert air. I was like, "Scooter sounds amazing."

SW: Well, thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah, we had a good time, it was great.

I arrived a couple of minutes late, so maybe I missed it. Maybe you opened with it and got it out of the way. Did you guys play…

SW: “Stupid Girl?” We played it first.

I know it's been an up-and-down relationship with that song. Speaking personally, if I saw you guys and you did A Different Kind of Pain cover-to-cover and left, I'd be ok with that. But how has your relationship with that song evolved?

SW: Rivers and I had written that song during Year Of The Spider, and I knew immediately that the record label would put it out as a single. To me, there had been more soulful, important songs throughout my career, so I was a little bitter about them choosing that at first. However, I was such a Weezer and a Rivers fan, so I was very proud of doing that song. And I think as I grew older I realized, you know, people love the song, man. It’s a good song and we have a good time playing it.

I would have put out “Wasted Years” as a single, but that’s just me. Trending in the direction of A Different Kind of Pain when you went for more introspective tracks was the right call to make. One thing I've always wondered, did your label, Flip/Interscope, ever come to you and go, "Write more songs about girls"

SW: Not really. Jordan Schur was awesome, he was a good label guy, and he was the president at the time; he did us right. Certain times, you gotta do what you gotta do and with every record Cold writes, I always wanna do a different record. I felt maybe the label was wanting Year Of The Spider Part 2, but I'm just not that kind of artist.

When I think of the ground that Cold has covered in their career, we did a podcast with Ross Robinson and I made a specific note to ask about Cold. He was talking about how great the debut is and how it holds up so well.

SW: Yeah, man, that album has such a dark, moody vibe to it and it's still one of my favorite records. I would say that one and A Different Kind Of Pain are probably the two I gravitate towards most.

Do you guys ever think about putting some of the deep cuts back on the setlist?

SW: We mixed it up. I think last tour we did "Insane." You know, we wanna put a couple of those on this new tour here, the Year Of The Spider tour. But it's really hard to pick out sets, we've got about 70 songs in our discography.

So, we have a mutual friend, Sonny Kiss. Sonny asked you on my behalf if you consider yourselves nu metal. You said "no," which I think is the biggest part of being nu metal.

SW: I had a guy in New York City come up to me; he was an older gentleman. He said, "If they're gonna call you nu metal, call you romantic nu metal." I said, you know what, I will take romantic nu metal all day.

You heard it here first! I'll give you that for sure. But, I think the term got kind of wrapped up in a friend of yours – Fred Durst's – definition of nu metal, where it highlights DJing and rapping. And you must have been like, "We don’t do that."

SW: A lot of bands that came out around that time and were playing the same stages and the same environment got wrapped up into that. I don't know if I consider Deftones nu metal, but you know, people do. I think Deftones does the same thing Cold does; they make different records every time, which is kinda dope.

Speaking of which, I think that "Without You" from The Things We Can't Stop, is such a top-shelf Cold track. That’s been around since the early days?

SW: That was around since Year Of The Spider. When we put that song on the new album, I immediately knew they were gonna pick that one because it has the old Cold sound.

One more question for you. You've done festivals with Cold, but this is probably the first one more centered around – if I can't say nu-metal – that era of rock music. Have you felt a certain sense of community? Have you ran into anyone backstage?

SW: I saw Steph from Deftones last night and Ben from Sisters of Mercy came up to see us. We've been friends online for a long time. They're in England so it's nice to finally get to hang out. And yeah, the Soulfly camp and all those guys. I think that's what these things are for, for the artists. They're nice to play, but it's more of a community thing. You get to see friends.