When Scale The Summit played Prosthetic Records their four song demo in 2006, the label had little interest in signing instrumental bands.
“[Prosthetic] said word for word: ‘[we’ll] never sign an instrumental band,'” guitarist Chris Letchford commented. “At the time, I guess they didn’t see it as a good idea…Now they have us and Animals As Leaders, so it’s kind of funny how that worked out.”
A band that has shared stages with notoriety such as Dream Theater, The Devin Townsend Project, and Between the Buried and Me, Scale The Summit attributes their growing success to their ability to deal with “taking shit,” along with a cleverly crafted course of action.
“Chris and I basically laid out a full plan,” laughs guitarist Travis Levrier. Chimes in Letchford, “A ridiculous guideline that I’m sure thousands of bands do but don’t achieve…We did every single thing on time.”
Having released their third studio album, The Collective, in March, the band’s current game plan is more sophisticated than that of the early days. On the agenda: a current run dubbed Slaughter Survivors Tour, their first-ever North American headlining trek in fall with Elitist (dates TBA), and Letchford’s upcoming jazz-inspired solo effort (tentatively to be recorded with producer Mark Lewis [DevilDriver, Trivum], who did The Collective).
To get insight into the group’s early days, to talk music and discuss the foreseeable future, I met up with Scale The Summit for a late afternoon lunch on West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip.
From left to right: Levrier, Letchford, drummer Pat Skeffington, and bassist Jordan Eberhardt.
Prior to moving back to Houston, when Scale The Summit was starting out in Los Angeles, how did the band bypass a pay-to-play system that forces bands to pre-sell tickets for shows?