Welcome to Local Music 'Mericans, where we get to know the people behind the scenes.
Scott Long has worked in retail, managed a couple local bands (alongside former Dallas Star Brad Lukowich), worked for labels and, until two weeks ago, sold radio time for Clear Channel. He's currently been using his free time to hop flights and catch up with Hellyeah, the Dallas metal supergroup he's now managing, and hang with drummer Vinnie Paul at his new Vegas club.
While Hellyeah certainly doesn't spend the bulk of their time in DFW (much less any one city), they claim it as their hometown just the same, and Paul is someone Long has been friends since well back into his Pantera days.
He's now casting off his button-up shirt and blazer, as he moves from a cubicle to touring the world with one bloody loud band.
So what got your foot in the industry door? How old were you then? I started with Musicland at age 15. I used to go into the Rosedale location in Roseville, Michigan every week after drum lessons and the manager finally said he had to offer me a job because I spent so much time in there. I moved to Dallas two days after high school graduation and transferred with Musicland. While going to school and being a manager at the store, I met a gentleman with Relativity Records and he gave me a part- time gig. I balanced Musicland, school, Relativity, a girlfriend and then joined a prog rock band called Tripton Groove with a guy that used to wash windows in the mall Musicland was in.
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I then teamed up with TVT Records after Relativity, working Sevendust and other records, and became close with those guys, especially [Sevendust drummer] Morgan Rose. I was marketing myself but didn't fully know it at the time. I then was told my the local Warner Brothers rep that he put me in the hat for a Maverick Records gig.The guy I interviewed with had just taken a job with Columbia. I did that part time while working at the store, going to school, dating a girl, and by that time I was drumming for local band Cry Venus. A hair band. We played Smokin Dave's Rock Room and couple other spots. Then, I was offered a full time gig with Columbia Records in Atlanta. Altogether I spent about 10 years under the Sony umbrella.
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How long have you been close with Vinnie Paul? When I moved to Texas in 1994, I knew that the Pantera guys lived close by and I was working for Musicland/Sam Goody at the Parks Mall, real close to the guys. Rex [Brown, Pantera's bassist] came in once and I thought that was cool. Then I saw Vinnie and Dimebag quite often. It was not until working for TVT records that I came into play with Vinnie. I sent him a care package of CDs and goodies and he did the same for me. That continued when I worked for Columbia and I would hang at his house for parties, but I always kept my distance. Vinnie, John Graham and I started hanging a little more through the years. Over the last five years, we became closer. I always looked up to him as a drummer, but man what a heart he has. When his brother left us, Vinnie also got his brothers, and he has a heart the size of Texas!
You've been taking time from working your sales job to travel with the Hellyeah guys. Australia especially looked like an amazing experience. Let me start by saying I was part of the Clear Channel family for four-plus years and I was very successful there. The door is still open, but my heart just has not been happy the last few years. I went to Tokyo for Hellyeah's big gig at Loud Park in 2010, with 40,000 in attendance. Japan was always fascinating for me growing up, as all the bands i adored played there. Australia was actually a vacation to hang with Vinnie and my brothers in the Hellyeah family. On my flight home, I landed in Sydney and checked my messages to find a note from Vinnie asking if I wanted to manage their tour. I get to take care of my brothers, who are supporting one of the greatest records I have heard in years, Band of Brothers.
Will you continue to live in DFW and support the local music scene here? Dallas-Fort Worth is a miniature Minneapolis-St. Paul, where I grew up, with more to do. That is one of the reasons I moved here and my family moved here. I will continue to live here and will always support local music. I mean, Trees is like a second home to me!