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Survival of the Sickest

Exclusive photos from the "Survival of the Sickest" video shoot

"Kids wanna get dirty, they wanna rock. They want something that kicks ass, and the Strokes and all that sh-- ain't getting it done."

"F--- no. They [screwed] me on ['Hero']"

"My lead guitar player called the ghost out, man. He was like, 'F---in' bring it on! Where the f--- you at?' "

"Unlike Chad Kroeger's foul ass, I'll be compensating [3 Doors Down's Brad Arnold] very well for singing on my record."

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— by Joe D'Angelo

There's no mistaking Josey Scott for a sentimental softie. Saliva's new album, due on August 17, bears the tougher-than-you title of Survival of the Sickest and contains songs with such confrontational themes as "Rock & Roll Revolution," "Razor's Edge" and the thematically explicit "F--- All Y'all." This isn't that surprising when you consider that a previous hit, from Saliva's 2002 third album, was morbidly titled "Rest in Pieces."

The uplifting duet from 2002's "Spider-Man" soundtrack, "Hero," which Scott performed with Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, might have mellowed the ferocious frontman a bit. But as MTV News quickly learned, the frustrations that arose in its aftermath only fueled the inferno.

  Exclusive photos from the "Survival of the Sickest" video shoot
And that's not the half of it: See how a simple telephone call to discuss Saliva's new single turned into a tirade in which neither Kroeger, the Strokes, Good Charlotte, their former manager or the ghost that supposedly haunts their studio was spared.

MTV: Why is the album called Survival of the Sickest?

Josey Scott: Because of the climate of the music industry these days; it's dog-eat-dog. You're only as good as your last single. It's an album tailor-made for our fans. It's an American rock and roll record. It kicks ass, and it's got what our fans like. They've always liked us just simply being ourselves, and not being the Vines or the Strokes or any of that other bullsh-- that's out there.

MTV: What's the main difference between Saliva and the Strokes?

Scott: One kicks ass and one sucks. Record companies threw a lot of bands like the Strokes against the wall and most didn't stick. I don't think American kids are really buying [their too-cool image]. American kids wanna get in the mosh pit, they wanna get dirty, they wanna rock. They want something that kicks ass, and the Strokes and all that sh-- ain't getting it done. When you walk onstage, you gotta rock the party, and they don't do it. They never have and they never will.

MTV: Survival of the Sickest sort of relays that message too. Saliva was supposed to be just a rap-rock band, but you're still around, while a lot of the neo-garage bands aren't.

Scott: The first single, "Survival of the Sickest," kinda sets the tone. It just tells the rest of the world and the haters and the doubters that try to dismiss us as rap-rock or whatever, I think somebody said we were ... um, what's the pop-punk band with the twins in it?

"Survival of the Sickest"
Survival of the Sickest
MTV: Good Charlotte?

Scott: Yeah. I think they said that we were one of those corporate bands put together by the music industry. It was either them or New Found Glory, and we had made friends with both of them on the road. We thought they were really cool guys — I think it was New Found Glory.

Anyway, I read in a write-up that they had said some sh--, and I was just really shocked, and it kind of hurt my feelings a little bit 'cause, on the road, it's a bonding thing out here. You find other guys that are out on the road, and you party and raise hell with 'em. Then you find out they're talking sh-- about you, and that kinda sucks.

MTV: How did the recording of Survival go?

Scott: We were in a studio around the Boston area that was haunted. We've been in haunted studios before, like A&M in Hollywood is supposed to be haunted but friendly-haunted — just cool, little quirky stuff would happen. But this place was not friendly.

  "My lead guitar player called the ghost out, man. He was like, 'F---in' bring it on! Where the f--- you at?' "
My lead guitar player, Wayne Swinny, called the ghost out, man. He was like, "F---in' bring it on! Where the f--- you at?" He was layin' on his bed, and his bed goes [crashing sound] and falls to the ground, dude. His bed breaks, and he's a little 96-pound guy, soaking wet.

MTV: I don't think you can beat up a ghost.

Scott: Yeah, a ghost will f--- your ass up, no matter what you think.

MTV: What's the biggest difference between Survival and 2002's Back Into Your System?

Scott: As a band, we cleaned house on this record. We fired our manager, Brian Coleman [who also manages Nickelback]. We fired our booking agent. We fired our lawyers. We fired our tour manager. We fired everybody, and we hired all new guys.

MTV: Why would you do that?

Scott: 'Cause they were all c-------ers. They were kissin' other people's asses.

MTV: What do you mean?

Scott: They didn't have our best interests at heart. Nickelback comes out with one hit, and all of a sudden we get put on the back burner by Brian Coleman because he's too busy brown-nosing Nickelback. And where are they now? They ain't doin' sh--. They're back in Canada eating shrimp and smokiní f---iní cigarettes.

[Editor's Note: Nickelback have sold more than 2.2 million copies of their latest album, The Long Road, and will start a U.S. headlining tour August 16. Also, Canada is not especially renowned for its shrimping industry.]

MTV: What's the beef with Nickelback all about? I thought you and Chad Kroeger were friends since performing on "Hero."

Scott: F--- no. They [screwed] me on that song. I want the whole world to know it. Them mother----ers made millions off that song, and threw me $5,000. That was foul, that was wrong, and that's bullsh--. And the whole world needs to know that.

They would have paid a janitor more than that to come in and sing on that song! And they told me I was lucky to get that! So f--- him, f--- Nickelback, and f--- Brian Coleman.

MTV: Despite your bad experience with duets, you invited 3 Doors Down's Brad Arnold to guest on "Razor's Edge."

Scott: We're good friends. We're both Southern. We spend a lot of time on the road with each other, and we both try to write good music from our heart and soul and try to feed our families. We're just out here trying to make a dollar, and we both have that mentality.

And unlike Chad Kroeger's foul ass, I'll be compensating him very well for singing on my record.
I want my friends to walk away from the situation knowing that I compensated him very well, that I took care of him. Meanwhile Kroeger tried to sell me $5,000, and bitched about that. He's a f---in' chump!

MTV: If $5,000 wasn't good enough, what were you hoping for?

Scott: I wanted a piece of the action. I wanted a piece of that video, I wanted a piece of "Spider-man." Can you imagine how much they made off "Hero," and they threw me $5,000? I can't even pay for my flights and my hotels with $5,000!

MTV: Are you planning on suing him?

Scott: I can't say I won't in the future, but I just want to let sleeping dogs lie. I'm done with Brian Coleman, he's a punk. I'm not dealing with Chad Kroeger anymore, he's a punk. All they had to do was take care of me for a job done. That's the way I grew up. That's what my father taught me: When a man does a job, you pay the man for the job. It just shows you how mother----ers stab each other in the back in this business.

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Photo: Gregg Delman for MTV.com

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