Bassist Spotlight: Scott Winegard (Texas Is the Reason, Fountainhead, New End Original, Too Many Voices)

Texas Is the Reason at the Fonda Theater, Los Angeles, CA, 2013. (Photo: Jose Calixto)

When I started thinking about doing this feature. Scott Winegard was one of the first people that came to mind. Everytime I've listened to the recordings he is on or saw him live, I was memzmerized by his playing. Watching him taught me how to play hooks, and be tasteful in a band. The idea of being in a hardcore/punk band, and also crafting generational timeless songs, is a difficult dance that Scott has mastered. 

How did you start playing bass guitar?

I started going to shows and started seeing bands with people that were around the same age as me and I started to notice bands had different players from time to time. My friend Ron—who is 2 years older than me—tried out for Token Entry and I thought I gotta learn how to play bass, I want to join a band. So, I saved some money and went to the local used guitar shop and I bought an Ibanez Roadstar Bass. White with a black pick guard I wanted a Fender P Bass but that was as close as I could get. Without even knowing how to play I instantly was putting together bands.

Photo found on Facebook

You are known for playing amazing bass parts in your bands. It sounds like you're writing your own hooks in the songs. How do you write your parts?

That’s pretty cool to hear. I don’t really have an answer. Honestly because I always felt like I was so untrained, I was never very good. I was always thinking of how to keep up with awesome drummers like Chris Daly or with Tucker Rule or Charlie Walker or Brian Malone who played with House & Parish. I never wanted to overplay but I never had the skill to either, so I think I just wanted to always be the rhythm and hold it down while adding some melody. I loved the way Sergio Vega, Debra Googe, Johnny Temple. and Joe Lally play. Amazing players but nothing to busy. Harley Flanagan and Cliff Burton were definitely players I looked up because they were highly skilled but still kept it pretty dirty.

How do you feel about playing upstrokes vs downstrokes?

I don’t really have any feeling on it although I downstroke all the way. I love playing bass with a pick.

What is your favorite amp, pedal, and bass guitar combo?

Bass, I love my sunburst Fender P Bass. It’s been around forever, it’s been through it all, and played on most of the recordings I am on. I have a '70s Jazz Bass that I got in '98 that rules and I also love my Ibanez Black Eagle, which I played a lot for the last Texas Is the Reason shows. I have and '70s silver and blue Ampeg SVT head I got during Texas Is the Reason. I play that through a vintage 8x10 cab that I bought off the bass player of Blood Sweat and Tears.

As far as pedals. It’s mostly a Boss tuner and a Big Muff for some fuzz, I have had a Phase 90 and a delay added at times, but they aren’t really used much. Nothing sounds better than the SVT!

Was Fountainhead your first hardcore band that recorded and toured? Also, how awesome was it to release a record on Doghouse Records (Split Lip, Endpoint) during that time? 

Fountainhead was the first "real" band I recorded and played shows with. It was awesome to be on that label but we broke up before the record came out. I kind of feel like if Doghouse got the record out in time we would of done more but we were waiting on the record to come out to support it and our singer was in and out wanting to be in a band. So, Chris started Orange 9mm and after Norman moved on from Fountainhead to play in Ressurection we had a plan to start a new band with Daly someday and there were quite a few hypothetical 4th members.   

When and how did you meet Chris Daly?

I am pretty sure I first met Daly officially at an early Into Another show at the Continental. I know the first time I saw him play drums in Ressurection I wanted to be in a band with him. I don’t remember what happened first meeting him or seeing him play. Not sure how we were officially introduced but we have been close friends ever since and every time I see him play I still want to be in a band with him. [Read an interview with Chris Daly here]

Was there anyone that tried out or practiced with Texas is the Reason other than the 4 of you?

Norman, Daly and I played together 2 times before Garrett, We talked to a few people but Garrett has been the only singer we ever played with. We always were a 4 piece and never wanted to add.

Texas Is the Reason (Photo: Mark Beemer)

I saw Texas Is the Reason several times. The live shows and recordings are timeless to me and lots of my friends. Knowing Chris and you, it's awesome to see you guys embracing your legacy on all of us. What's your favorite live show and/or tour story since the Rev 25 show? Also, I took my little brother to his first show at Sparks in Louisville, KY to see you guys. It was an amazing experience for us to this day. Thank you for that.

I remember that Sparks show! We alway had a great time coming to Louisville. So many great people and such a great city. I think my favorite shows were the Saint Vitus show after we played at Williamsburg Hall of Music or the Jon Bunch show. The first was just so energizing and fun and the second was just a very beautiful way to celebrate our friend. 

My first Supertouch show was with Too Many Voices at Asbury Lanes. I couldn't believe you guys were playing before me. Tell me how you got in the band.

I grew up with Eric and Andy in that band I have know those guys since I was 15. Eric moved away and Andy was in Kill your Idols and I didn’t see them for years. Eric moved back and told me he and Andy were going to do a new band he sent me some songs without vocals and I thought they were cool. I said I would come play with them and I was stoked to hang with my old pals, so I continued. We were playing with another drummer but I think he couldn’t make it one night and I asked Daly to come and play and check it out and he dug it and he made it sound a lot better so we kept playing. 

I ended up taking a chef job which took me away for a few months, so they replaced me and Daly left shortly after. They are still a band with some different members and I think they actually found their sound and it’s way cooler than what we were doing.

How did you eat on the road when you were younger? There still isn't great choices for vegans on tour.

I was a snobby jerky vegan, ate like shit and had an opinion about everything. I am different now, I promise.

Photo: Justin Scurti

You've been a professional chef for many years now, so, have you cooked for your bandmates on tour or during recording sessions?

I remember cooking rice and beans in a crock pot during the recording of the New End Original record but thats about it. When Daly and I were roommates, we cooked a lot. Dalys a great cook!

What's your favorite place to eat on the road now?

Whole Foods has made my life a lot easier to travel. Chipotle too. I love to find my other friends in cities I am visiting that cook and see what they are up to.

Do people beg you to be in their bands? Also, are you playing with anyone right now?

I have talked to quite a few people about playing in bands together. For the most part, I usually say yes to any musical situation that makes sense that I would be into. It’s very rare it manifests into anything more than talk. I just moved to Portland and I would love to play, I just don’t know many people who are here yet.

Texas Is the Reason at the Jon Bunch Forever, Yost Theater, Santa Ana, CA, 2016. (Photo: Dan Rawe)

Do you think hardcore/punk prepared you for your life today?

Yes, It definitely did.

Band you wish you were playing in, past or present?

I wouldn’t want to replace myself with the bass player in any of my favorite bands. So, I guess I’ll say Texas Is the Reason.

Finally, do you have any parting words of wisdom for people picking up a bass guitar?

Have fun! Play because it makes you smile and it annoys you because you can’t figure out how to play that one Fugazi song.


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Tagged: bassist spotlight, fountainhead, texas is the reason