Dylan Jackson Scott of the alt-rock band Rad Horror became a teenager in the year 2000 but remembers observing the ’90s though eager, youthful eyes as his sister, a few years older, was able to enjoy the decade a little more.
“I wanted to be a part of it,” Jackson Scott says. “There are other decades that I enjoy as well, but the ’90s I just missed being a teenager in, so for me it was about re-grasping what I had missed. Living vicariously through my sister, and bringing it to an audience now is something I feel is important.”
Rad Horror formed a little over a year ago, Jackson Scott initially starting it as a solo project. He was previously in a band called Young Rising Sons for a long time, while simultaneously producing other artists, and he got to the point where he decided he wanted to do his own thing. He relocated from New York to L.A., found a group of like-minded souls, and Rad Horror was up and running. The name is a tribute to ’90s teen slasher flicks.
“I always felt these movies were super super-rad,” Jackson Scott says. “But there was also this idea behind the resurgence of teen slashers in the ’90s, with Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Movies like that inspired the horror element of the name. It was deeply rooted in ’90s culture, and our music is heavily influenced by the ’90s as well.”
It certainly is. While Rad Horror often are compared to Nirvana, Jackson Scott says that it is in fact the Smashing Pumpkins that are his biggest influence.
“I like Pearl Jam a lot too,” he says. “Bands like even Third Eye Blind. So all across the board, not just grunge bands. I still listen to Oasis to this day. Biggie is another big one for me. I listen to pop music now, whether it be Drake, Halsey or whoever’s on the radio. But Biggie and Tupac in the ’90s were extremely important. Everything culminates to me within that culture. I was never a huge Blur fan but I do enjoy some of the catalog. Radiohead is another important band too.”
Rad Horror have become known for their explosive live show, something Jackson Scott puts down to a release of pent-up energy that is organic, unrehearsed and of-the-moment. It makes sense that he feels the music so intensely; the lyrical subject matter is extremely personal.
“I talk a lot about mental health and my mind in general,” he says. “All of my songs have that common theme. The constant struggle of feeling inadequate or that your mind isn’t right. But also there are themes of love intertwined within the idea of not being 100 percent stable. That’s something that means a lot to me.”
Jackson Scott hopes that he can bring rock music back to the forefront in a Los Angeles that he feels has veered away from the guitar-driven format. He says he was never a Sunset Strip, ’80s rock kind of guy, but that rock & roll is sorely lacking in this region now.