Interview with Vocalist Scottie James of Burden of the Sky


RockAllPhotography: Self-discovery can be a blessing or a curse. Burden of the Sky has had somethings both hard and good in 2020. From dealing with the c-word to announcing a coming birth in 2021… A journey isn’t it?

Scottie: It’s been an insane ride the past few years. Between Brad battling cancer, writing the new album, growing families, and the current pandemic we’ve been all over the place, physically and mentally. Thankfully Brad is in recovery and we’re attempting to get back to some kind of normal in our everyday lives. It’s been a hectic few years, but it’s given us the motivation and inspiration to continue to progress and grow as musicians and songwriters.

RAP: Congratulations on your cover of “Lights”. How did a hard rock-influenced band step into a pop dance number?

Scottie: Thank you! It was an idea Josh brought up a while back. We were tossing around ideas for a cover song, but we couldn’t really land on one that we could all get behind. Lights happened to be a song we all remembered liking growing up and when we tried adding some heavier elements to the song in the demos we loved the vibe and knew this was the one to finish.

RAP: How has this current project been so far, wasn’t this a song you have been wanting to release for a while?

Scottie: It’s been a lot of fun seeing this song come to life. Yes, we held off on releasing this song for about 3 or 4 months. In that time we kept tinkering and trying different production ideas and sounds to see what would fit the song best. We really wanted to do the song justice. It’s an incredibly popular and well-written song, and we wanted to make sure our version could stand up to the original.

RAP: How would you compare the treatment BOTS gave “Lights” to maybe how Disturbed treated “Sound of Silence”?

Scottie: I’m a big fan of that cover. Disturbed took an incredible song and completely molded it into a song of their own. If there’s any comparison between Disturbed and our version of “Lights”, I would say it’s the fact that we tried to create a version of “Lights” that is our own, but one that also pays homage to the original artist’s message.

RAP: Inspiration- where does it come from for you? Is there a method to your writing madness? Is it a process the band has developed over time?

Scottie: I believe inspiration is fueled by your environment. I try to read a lot of books, listen to a lot of music, and surround myself with art and inspiring work. I feel that the more art and inspiration I absorb in the world the more I have to work with when I’m sitting down and writing my own material.


We don’t really have a concrete method, but typically a song starts with either Josh or myself coming up with a riff, a beat, or a lyrical idea that we bounce off of each other until we come up with something that sounds like it’s worth pursuing. We will usually build a song with an intro, verse, and a chorus and if we aren’t feeling the tune, we toss it in the idea pile and move onto the next one. Once we find a structure that is working we bring in the rest of the crew and jam it out together to build out and polish the song.

RAP: Riverfest is coming up. Thoughts on the festival? How are you all preparing for it?

Scottie: We can’t wait. Last year’s Riverfest was so much fun and we’ve been looking forward to coming back ever since. Plus with this being our only show of 2020 we’re ecstatic to get back onstage. Basement jam sessions are only fun for so long haha.

RAP: As we understand it, 2021 also holds a new album possibly? Can we get an insider’s glimpse of what we can expect? Of course, we will share it with your fans.

Scottie: If there’s one positive this pandemic has given us it’s the gift of time.  We’ve been writing almost nonstop since the beginning of the year and we are more excited than ever with the new material we’ve been working on. I feel that we’ve grown a lot as a band over the past few years and while our chemistry has always been a strong suit of ours, I feel that we’ve never been more connected and focused on what we want out of this band. We’ve had the time to experiment with new sounds and ideas, and our songwriting is only getting better and better the more we write together.  2021 will definitely be seeing some new music from BOTS.

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