Diehard fans of Southern mathcore outfit The Chariot know what's happening. They know that after a 10-year run the band is finally going its separate ways. The Chariot is a little over two weeks out from their last show ever, taking place in vocalist and founding member Josh Scogin's hometown of Douglasville, GA, and Scogin's as contented as ever. He's no stranger to leaving behind a well-placed legacy, having also been the founding vocalist for Norma Jean, and The Chariot's disbanding will also be the stuff of metal lore to come.
"At the end of the day, the more I thought about it the more I got to the point that I think ten years is the perfect time to wrap it up," he says. "We're technically off of any contract with any labels, it's just kind of one of those times where everything felt right. There wasn't one main event -- the door just kind of slowly peeked its way open and the more we started looking through it, the more we felt a real peace about it."
Yet the realization that The Chariot, having released five albums while relentlessly touring over its decade-long existence, has its days numbered is just now registering with Scogin. While the concept of the disbanding isn't foreign to him, the day-to-day events of touring are beginning to seem more like milestones than just another jaunt on the road.
"Today, we stopped by the Pacific Ocean, to walk out and touch it, grab some sand, the whole bit, and it was one of those things where it was like 'Wow, this is the last time me and these dudes are going to touch the sand and be able to wrestle with Mother Nature,'" he says. "Maybe it's for the best that it's not a constant reminder, but at the end of the day I feel like it's these little spurts that can be way worse because it gets really thick when it does hit."
Scogin, already operating under the moniker A Rose, By Any Other Name, has yet another project that will be "aggressive, but nothing like The Chariot." The Chariot, while an incarnation of his creative output, has developed a devout following, as to be expected for a band of its longevity. It seems that this tour, however, is more for the fans than Scogin's affections. It's The Chariot's last way of giving back, the last opportunity to give thanks.
"We've grown real relationships with a lot of these people," Scogin explains. "It would be such a bummer to not feel what's naturally supposed to happen, not feel it out and just go one day, 'Oh, it's done.' This is an amazing opportunity for us to say thank you, and really just get to say that we're humbled and grateful that y'all have been here time and time again."
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There isn't a dramatic breakup story here, no violent separation, and not a single negative sentiment to Scogin's rationale, though that doesn't make it any less difficult. When The Chariot take the stage at the Nile Theater for the final time tonight, it will be just another element in the band's existence coming full circle.
"We played Anaheim last night, this club called Chain Reaction, [and] the very first tour The Chariot ever did that was full U.S., we played Chain Reaction. That's when it hits you. It's the very last time The Chariot will be here. At the end of the day it's something I've had under my belt for ten years. It's a long time, and to say goodbye to it -- I'd be lying if I didn't say it was just emotional at times."
The Chariot are scheduled to play the Nile Theater on Friday, Nov. 8.