If there’s one thing that attracted Saliva frontman Josey Scott to Rodney Gronbeck, the role he played on the TNT drama “Wanted,” it’s that Scott didn’t see much difference between himself and the character — beyond the obvious career path disparity, anyway. Scott lives the rock-star life, while Gronbeck fights crime as part of an elite squad assembled to track down Los Angeles’ toughest fugitives.
According to TNT’s “Wanted” synopsis, Scott’s character is “the team’s technical genius, armed with state-of-the-art computer equipment and a knowledge of all things silicon.”
“I can barely turn on a calculator,” Scott joked. “But Rodney’s got balls. This character, when I first read the script, was this guy who pulls up on a Harley. He probably hasn’t had a shower that day. He’s got piercings and doesn’t give a f— what you think, but he’s f—ing bad-ass at what he does. He’s one of those guys who can sit down and hack his way into the Pentagon but can get up and kick your f—ing ass in a heartbeat.”
The budding thespian’s been bitten by the acting bug, and he’s trying to line up some more acting gigs. He said he’s been considered for a part in the forthcoming Farrelly brothers (“There’s Something About Mary,” “Stuck on You”) project “Heartbreak Kid.” If he nails it, it’ll be his first big-screen role since his turn as Elroy in this summer’s “Hustle & Flow.” But with the Aaron Spelling-produced “Wanted” on hiatus (the series finale aired last month), and no word yet on whether it will be renewed, Scott’s returned to his first love: Saliva.
The band’s in the midst of a five-week trek, after which it’ll finish working on a fifth album, The Rise and Fall of a Glorified Kingdom. Scott said Saliva have written 30 tracks, including “Yours to Burn” and “Right Here Beside You,” which they’ll start recording next month with producer Bob Marlette (Default, Seether); the album could surface in March and will coincide with a U.S. headlining run.
“We’ve written some really killer stuff,” Scott said. “Coming back to my musical career, I have this renewed vigor for every aspect of my career. It’s like dating a girl you really know you kind of love, and then you go out and play the field for a while and date some other chicks. But then you start missing your original girl. It’s like that. I’m back with my original love and I have a renewed passion for it. That’s what the songs on this album are about. They came from me channeling that emotion and that love and that passion that I have for Saliva and our fans. We’re putting everything we have into this record, because we want to be around like an Aerosmith or a U2 or an AC/DC. We want to be one of those bands that doesn’t have a meteoric rise, but just a steady climb.”
Still, it would be nice if TNT picked up “Wanted” for another season, he said. If the network does, Scott’s ready to work around the release of Kingdom and its subsequent touring, because while music’s his bread and butter, there’s always been a special place in his heart for acting.
“I’ve been studying acting since high school,” he said. “I took classes in Memphis with Red West (‘I Still Know What You Did Last Summer,’ ‘Road House’), who was one of Elvis’ bodyguards. When I got to L.A., I took more classes. It was just something I needed to try, something I needed to get out of my system. A mountain I had to climb.”
But the “Wanted” audition was no walk in the park. In fact, there was some pretty steep competition Scott faced for the role.
“I went up against [Megadeth frontman] Dave Mustaine — he was auditioning for the same role,” he explained. “I walked in the room, and he goes, ‘Oh sh–. You got the tattoos. Great.’ When I got my third call-back, I went in there and I was really nervous and intense. But I let my spirit of competition and ferociousness kick in. I did my audition, and then I stood up in front of all of them and said, ‘I am Rod Gronbeck. If you hire anyone else for this job, you’re a f—ing fool.’ But I was a gentleman about it, and they thought it was charming.”