Scumeating: Everyone’s just so nice

by Raleigh Davis

When you first meet Scumeating you might be taken aback. With a name that conjures images of filth and debauchery one might expect the same from its members. But imagine the surprise felt upon the realization that they are just five normal, friendly people (definitely not scummy!) playing music they love for nothing other than personal enjoyment and happiness.
Scumeating’s journey began in 2009 with a chance meeting between guitarist Chris G and electronic player Jess Manley at a friend’s movie night. They both bonded over their love of noise music and the solid foundation for the band to evolve was set. Over the years the band roster has changed and grown to their current line-up, featuring Jessyca Murphy on vocals, Justin Conners on drums, and Chris Stainback on bass. But Scumeating doesn’t let something as silly as a line-up stop them from experimenting. The band has a back-up of musicians at their disposal who come and join in the fun whenever they are able, including original vocalist and local poet and writer Robert Lashley.
“The band has been pretty amorphous,” said guitarist Chris G. “Me and Jess are the only people that have been in it the whole time and people kind of come in and out of the band…”
Scumeating fondly described a show in which they had their biggest line-up of eight members, perfectly encapsulating their message. The band is constantly developing and evolving a sound that can’t really be pigeonholed into one spot or another. “It’s nice having that loose feeling over everything, I think it suits the sound well,” stated bassist Chris Stainback.
Scumeating describes their sound as based off of dance noise music. “Kind of like mid 90s dance… noise…. Rock,” laughed Manley. “If such a thing actually existed.”
If it didn’t exist before, it certainly does now. The band has crafted a unique sound all their own, with multiple members drawing influences from Japanese noise bands such as Altered States, and the Ruins.
“In terms of vocals I joke that I try to be like Jello Biafra and Tori Amos had a baby,” noted vocalist Jessyca Murphy about her sound.  Top that off with a guitarist who likes to base his rhythms on bands like Lightning Bolt and you have a pretty wild concoction of sound that makes for an interesting sonic adventure, quite unlike anything that your typical Bellingham band may have to offer.
The band has been busy recently, including the release of a brand new full length Moist on the Inside and possible plans for more new music on the way. “We have a couple other songs that are recorded and I’m maybe saving them to put out a Christmas 7-inch,” said guitarist Chris G. “We have this old Christmas song, and we finally got to record it.”
The band then all laughed together at the prospect of calling it the classy “An Evening In With Scumeating.” They are also gearing up to play Tummy Fest in June with fellow noise-rockers Gangwizard at the MakeShift, with possible tour plans later in the year.
Scumeating derived their name from 80’s movie They Eat Scum which founding member Chris G describes as “gross yet goofy.” It’s an apt description for the band as well. Under the lewd names and harsh noises, Scumeating is just a bunch of friends who like to goof off and have fun. And if there was ever a lesson to not judge a book by its cover then this would be it.
A quote from Stainback sums up the dynamics of the band very well.  “It’s a really aggressive sounding band but everyone is just so nice to each other! And very affectionate.” Because if you can’t be in a band with people you love, what fun is it at all?