RINGSIDE - Lost Days December 2010
In the time since Ringside’s self-titled debut album was released in 2005, a lot has happened to Ringside singer and songwriter Scott Thomas…
Several months into the promotion of that album, he broke his back.
Around the same time, he agreed to let his friend Enrique Iglesias cover his song “Tired Of Being Sorry”, which was just beginning to become a radio hit for Ringside. “Tired Of Being Sorry” instead became a big international hit for Enrique, which then signaled the beginning of the end of Ringside’s relationship with their former record label, also Enrique’s label. But Scott produced Enrique’s version of the song, as well as French singer Nadiya’s version with Enrique, and “Tired Of Being Sorry” went on to become the #1 longest-running song on the charts in France.
Meanwhile, Scott toured Australia on his own dime opening for Ben Harper with nothing but his trusty old battered Gibson acoustic guitar. He sold his own bootleg CD’s out of a tent for money for food.
Scott was befriended by some fans in Russia, who brought Ringside there to play several private parties. Ringside’s music grew in popularity in Russia and Eastern Europe. Multiple performances there have now grown into continued large concerts at outdoor arenas several times a year. Scott has performed Ringside material while being backed by Russia’s National Cossack Choir, and performs each Christmas with the Moscow Philharmonic at historic Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow.
His relationships in the East, his newfound affair with Mother Russia, led to a strong friendship there with a wealthy patron of the arts. This resulted in the purchasing of a Los Angeles recording studio, so that Scott could have a safe haven to create new music. Ringside set up shop at Ocean Studios Burbank, where they recorded their self-financed new Money EP and Lost Days album.
Although Scott played most of the instruments and produced, Lost Days features appearances from an impressive list of musicians and collaborators:
Ben Harper is featured on the title track “Lost Days,” a somber rocker with a big chorus, and in the accompanying music video.
Ozomotli contributed horns to the songs “Freedom” and “Good” (and to “Chamberlain” on the Money EP).
Esthero, Res, and Graph Nobel sang backing vocals.
In addition to Scott, Kirk Hellie, Ben Harper, and Brian Bell from Weezer played guitar.
Joey Waronker, Jim Keltner, Josh Freese, Norm Block, Sandy Chila, and Jon Pikus played drums.
Joaquin Phoenix wandered in late nights and provided mysterious inspiration.
Balthazar Getty co-produced the new EP and album, and is a part of the band as much as he can be, though he is occasionally pre-occupied with primetime television acting, tabloid exploits and evading the paparazzi.
The process of recording over several years left Scott drained. He had strayed into dark corners of the world, lost his muse, uncertain of his path, and feared he had lost his voice as well. He persuaded longtime friend and collaborator Jon Pikus to manage him, and the constraint he felt from being trapped in an archaic publishing deal was recently lifted when that deal came to an end. As if on cue, his muse returned, as did his voice, and so earlier this year he wrote and recorded the final 2 songs for the album, “This Time” and “Satellite.”
The iconic Lost Days album cover was captured by Scott’s longtime friend photographer Michael Muller.
Scott contributed music to the James Franco film Good Time Max, and is currently scoring and writing songs for the upcoming film LOL.
Scott also has recently formed a side-project band called Matson Tweed, with Gary Louris of The Jayhawks and Nashville singer/songwriter Madi Diaz, with songs co-written by Nashville songwriter Kristen Hall (Sugarland), but that’s another story for another day.
…A lot has happened to Scott Thomas since 2005, and will continue to happen to him, because that is simply the hand he has been dealt. He has lived for the music, starved, celebrated, behaved badly, repented, been burned, healed, fallen apart, re-grouped, been a father and husband, friend, and a renegade. There has been birth, death, exploitation, education, sex, drugs, contemplation, revelation, redesign, theft, arrest, intoxication, solitude, love, and finally redemption. This album is a testament, a musical document of his Lost Days.