The Quarantine Questionnaire: Jay Bennett of Scorpion vs. Tarantula

jay-bennett-YabYumWho are you and are you in a band or do you perform solo? If in a band(s), what is the name of that band?

Hey, it’s Jay from Scorpion vs. Tarantula.

What instrument(s) do you play?


How long have you been making music? And what first drew you to your craft?

Twenty-six years. I was a late bloomer, joining my first band at 25, so I’ll probably be a late retirer [sic], too. “Craft” is probably a mischaracterization of how I play guitar. But it takes all kinds. L (singer of Scorpion vs. Tarantula) and I have been making music together for just under 20 years, first in Chicago and now in Phoenix since 2008.

In 2000, L was learning to play drums, so I brought over my guitar and amp, and we played “Have Love Will Travel,” “Cherry Bomb,” “Cinderella,” that kind of stuff. I was impressed that she could sing and play drums at the same time, and I could hear her without a PA. She woulda’ been a good singing drummer, but she quickly realized that being in front of a band was where she belonged.

What was your favorite show of all the shows you’ve ever played?

That one where I wasn’t the designated driver.

What would be your dream lineup/location?

Wherever and with whomever we play our first show on the other side of the pandemic. Past dream lineup would’ve been Devil Dogs, Teengenerate, Thee Headcoatees and the Mummies at the Empty Bottle in Chicago, early to mid-1990s.

What are you listening to during this period of social distancing?

I spent several months burning my CD collection onto Apple Music and then selling and/or giving away said collection. I had stopped listening to CDs years ago, so I’ve really enjoyed hearing again all the girl group, ’60s garage punk, vintage R&B, jump blues, Merseybeat, early rockabilly, surf and classic punk compilations I’d purchased in the 1990s.

What are you binge watching/reading?

Anything to lighten the mood around here, so usually shows about sexual predators, a justice system stacked against the poor, unsolved murders, scam artists, systemic racism, systemic sexism, the income gap, corrupt cops, existential dread and Schitt’s Creek.

What else are you doing with these extra hours at home? Extra creative time?

I have been aggressively uncreative, consuming a lot of content rather than making it. But I am ready to get back into the practice space, the recording studio and on stage (like most of us, I presume).

If you could Facetime/Zoom anyone in the world for an extended convo right now, who would it be?

L, but she’s probably busy and she’ll be home in a couple of hours.

Favorite food you can make at home?

Weekend breakfasts. Roasted red pepper, sausage and goat cheese omelet is a current favorite. Also, my version of Otro’s BLT&A is a household favorite. Made some really good carnitas recently and an excellent huevos rancheros sauce. This weekend I’m going to try to make a quiche now that I have one of those two-piece quiche pans.

Are you currently working on any new musical projects? If so, what?

I spent some time readying our recently released SvT B-sides comp, and now I’m working with Jim Waters of Waterworks Studios in Tucson on getting our next record ready to go.

How can folx support your musical endeavors? Can people check out or purchase your work online? What other options might be available?

The new thing is [our albums are] available for free on Bandcamp. We have physical merch available (CDs, vinyl, T-shirts); just drop us a line on Facebook. Got seven or eight videos on YouTube. Just about all our recorded material is up on Spotify. Other than that, maybe shows will happen again in the next year. If they do, come on out and say hi. We’ve been known to open a tab for those in attendance while we’re onstage.


%d bloggers like this: