Q&A with rocker guitarist Scott Holt of Foghat, inspired by the rich musical legacy of the American south

"Living and creating music with integrity and understanding that rather than being the source, as an artist, you are merely a conduit. Being aware that as an artist, music is part of your physical self and that it’s a primary form of your self-expression."

Scott Holt: I Got My Mojo Axe

Inspired by the rich musical legacy of the American south, rocker Scott Holt has been a bearer of the Blues torch for his entire career. In 2014 Scott met Roger Earl of Foghat. Roger had fractured his back a few years prior and had to have friend & drummer, Bobby Rondinelli, sit in for him for eight shows during his recovery. Then another band member had surgery and the band scrambled to find someone to play booked shows for a couple of months. With that in mind, the band decided that everyone needed an ‘understudy’ in case of an emergency so the show could go on and the fans could rock to Foghat’s music. Scott Holt was suggested as a likely candidate and Roger invited him down to their Florida studio (Boogie Motel South) and along with Craig MacGregor and Bryan Bassett they rehearsed the set. He did a fantastic job, and the band knew that he could be relied upon if needed. They all just hit it off and became good friends.

(Scott Holt, a bearer of the Blues torch for his entire career / Photo © by Arnie Goodman)

FOGHAT fans, the wait is over! After seven years, these legendary architects of timeless Rock and Blues have dropped their brand-new studio album, SONIC MOJO (2023), an eclectic blend of originals and iconic covers by some of their favorite musicians. SONIC MOJO is a testament to FOGHAT’s enduring legacy. Founding drummer Roger Earl, guitar virtuoso/engineer/co-producer Bryan Bassett, bass maestro Rodney O’Quinn and lead singer/guitarist extraordinaire Scott Holt have crafted an album that’s a time capsule of their glory days. The new album will transport listeners back in time when Rock ruled the airwaves, and the blend of originals and classic favorites embody the heart and soul of FOGHAT. This album is the manifestation of their musical passion, released on their own label, Foghat Records, and distributed by Select-O-Hits (part of the Sun Records) in the U.S. In Europe, the album is rocking out via Metalville Records. The album’s first two singles, “Drivin’ On” and “She’s a Little Bit of Everything” co-written by the late Kim Simmonds from Savoy Brown, have already set the stage on fire.

Interview by Michael Limnios / Photos © by Arnie Goodman

Special Thanks: Linda Arcello-Earl                  Archive: Scott Holt, 2016 Interview

How has Rock culture influenced your views of the world?

I think culturally the most impactful thing that music has done for is allow me to travel. Visiting other countries, other cultures has given me a better understanding of how much we are all alike. It’s also shown me the power of music as a form of communication that transcends language or cultural barriers.

Where does your creative drive come from?

I am inspired by the work of other artists in all mediums. I’m energized and motivated by seeing and hearing the works of the masters, whether it’s Muddy Waters, Miles Davis, Pablo Picasso, Martin Scorsese or William Faulkner.

"I think culturally the most impactful thing that music has done for is allow me to travel. Visiting other countries, other cultures has given me a better understanding of how much we are all alike. It’s also shown me the power of music as a form of communication that transcends language or cultural barriers." (Foghat: Founding drummer Roger Earl, guitar/engineer/co-producer Bryan Bassett, bass Rodney O’Quinn and lead singer/guitarist Scott Holt; New York 2023 / Photo © by Arnie Goodman)

Why do you think that Foghat music and legacy continues to generate such a devoted following?

SONGS!! Great music doesn’t have a shelf life and the music that was created by Foghat has proven to be timeless, which is why you still hear them on the radio, in movies and even video games.

What moment changed your life the most?

In life? meeting my wife but on a career tip, meeting Buddy Guy.

Which meetings have been the most important experiences for you?

From a career aspect, meeting Buddy Guy, meeting Roger Earl, and also meeting the fans, without them we would just be sending music into a void.

How do you prepare for your recordings and performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

I play music every day, I listen to music every day, I pray every day.

What's the balance in music between technique skills and soul/emotions?

Technique is simply the tools you possess in your toolbox. Music comes from your soul, your emotions not from some fancy scale or chord. Music (Art) comes from your soul; technique just allows you to communicate in different ways.

How did you hook up with Foghat?

I met Roger in 2014 and we instantly clicked as musicians and as friends. Knowing Roger has been one of the most creatively energizing relationships I’ve ever had. I am truly and eternally grateful that we are friends.

"SONGS!! Great music doesn’t have a shelf life and the music that was created by Foghat has proven to be timeless, which is why you still hear them on the radio, in movies and even video games."

(Scott Holt / Photo © by Arnie Goodman)

Do you have any interesting stories about the making of the new album SONIC MOJO?

Listening back to SONIC MOJO, every song takes me back to the session that we recorded it in. The music was created in an environment of love, support and creative freedom.

What do you think is key to a music life well lived?

Living and creating music with integrity and understanding that rather than being the source, as an artist, you are merely a conduit. Being aware that as an artist, music is part of your physical self and that it’s a primary form of your self-expression.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?

Don’t take yourself too seriously, be kind, try and live your life as an expression of love and if you fall short, try again.

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