Joe Brady From Scanner Interview
Interview Done By: Duzzy Clayton
Recently I got to sit down with Joe Brady, lead vocalist and bassist for US Punk band Scanner. Scanner was formed by Joe Brady (lead vocals and bass) and Junnie Fortney (guitars) in 1979; and they were later joined by Ray Hawkins and Troy Alwine (drums). Scanner’s influences encompass a wide range of styles, including the pioneers of 50s rock and roll, 60s hard rock and surf, and 70s glam and punk.
I first Met Joe Brady when I was the Lunch DJ for SME Fusion Radio almost 5 years ago when Joe sent me his band’s music to be played on air. I was immediately hooked and started playing Scanner quite often my show, even dedicating every Friday to ‘Scanner Friday’, playing at least one Scanner track every Friday to get the weekend started.
I am very happy to be featuring Scanner in Fanbase Music Magazine and although this interview is long overdue I, for one, am glad it was able to take place.
Enjoy the read.
Hi there. Welcome to Fanbase Music Magazine. I must say, it’s awesome to be talking to you because I am already a big fan of Scanner. Before we start, let’s get the COVID question out the way, how is the band coping and are the band members and their families safe?
Fortunately, we haven’t been touched seriously by COVID. Band members and our families are all fully vaccinated and boostered. We’ve always done all of our preliminary creative work and practice remotely, so things haven’t been much different in that respect. We will be entering the studio safely sometime next year to record our new album entitled “Not Going Away”.
Can you introduce each band member and what they do in the band?
Scanner is Joe Brady (Lead Vocals and Bass), Junnie Fortney (Guitars), Ray Hawkins (Drums), and Troy Alwine (Drums).
How long has Scanner been going?
Scanner was formed by me (Joe Brady) and Junnie Fortney in 1979.
Please tell us about the history of the band.
We all grew up in Central Pennsylvania USA, and from an early age, we were exposed to a variety of music ranging from traditional country, bluegrass, early rock and roll, surf, metal, punk, glam, and a little of many other genres.
We are influenced by bands and music artists that were involved in the formation of new rock music movements, especially the more radical ones. Of special appeal are the pioneers of 50s rock and roll, 60s hard rock and psychedelic music, and especially 70s punk.
We never cared about making money or being rock stars. In the mid-70s, we were young and stoked up by what we were seeing and hearing in the early underground music scenes. Inspired by this, we put Scanner songs together very fast, and there was never a consideration for what would be commercially acceptable. We just let the songs come out with very little planning or time put into them. It was about as natural a flow of creative energy as a band could have. And that’s pretty much how we still do it.
And besides an unconventional music taste, we were always outside of the mainstream, and had interests that, back in the 60s and 70s made us kind of misfits. That, and a sardonic and pessimistic nature was perfect fuel for creating the kind of music we have on the Scanner albums. Additionally, Junnie and I are of the same mind on many levels, so we click and can read each other when putting together Scanner songs.
How did you come across your band name Scanner?
We were originally called Toxic Shock, but the name “Scanner” came into being when I read an article in a monster magazine in 1980 about a new movie coming out called “Scanners” and liked the imagery of heads exploding, and imagined it being the effect of hearing Scanner music!
For people who haven’t heard Scanner music yet, can you explain what genre is your band?
We generally call our sound roots and punk inspired rock and roll. We’ve also been called stoner-punk-glam-metal!
What are some of the band’s influences?
Our main music influences cover a wide and eclectic range of styles: Dead Boys, Ramones, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Devo, Plasmatics, Stiff Little Fingers, Cock Sparrer, Nazareth, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Sr., Misfits, Link Wray, Stray Cats, Deep Purple, Motörhead, and on and on…
How many albums have you got out and when were they released?
We have six albums out, so far, beginning with “Exploding Heads in Harrisburg” recorded live in 1982; “One Foot In The Grave, And More Pissed Than Ever” (2012); Splat (2015); “Under the Devil’s Tail” (2017); “In Your Head” (2018); and “Horror Hits” (2020). We also recently released two singles, “Letter to the Government Two Headed Snake Mix” and “Monster”.
Can you explain a typical Scanner gig for people who haven’t seen you play live yet?
We just stand there and blast through 40+ songs and the audience does all of the jumping around and dancing.
When you are writing music, can you tell me how a song comes about from start to finish and lyrics to music?
I generally write songs very fast, wanting the idea to be as pure and from the heart as possible, so I don’t fool around with it too much after initially putting it together. For the most part, I come up with the music structure and song speed first on my bass, then start putting together lyrics based on the subject idea.
Can you give us all your social media links and how can people get hold of your music?
Thank you for doing this interview, do you have any last messages for your fans and our readers?
Thanks to everybody who has bought and listened to our music for all of these years, and thanks to our growing base of young fans from all over the world who dig our noise!
Scanner-It’s A War (Music Video)
Scanner-Living Life To The Emptiest (Music Video)
Scanner- Suffragette City- Audio (David Bowie Cover)