Here’s a story I’ve wanted to tell for a long time. As Clang Quartet, Scotty Irving has been making harsh noise music about his Christian faith for 18 years. His set always involves elaborate masks and props––currently, a very impressive cross––and is like an Easter Sunday passion play as filtered through Merzbow.
If being a devout Christian on the transgressive noise scene (and an amazing performance artist) weren’t interesting enough, Scotty is also a folklore-sized figure with a complex perspective, an enormous personality and a rare generosity of spirit. A true American original, his intensely personal view of Christian faith and redemption is something he broadcasts to the world without pushing it on anyone, a rare feat.
I am most interested in stories about people who are animated by contradictions, and trying to resolve those contradictions, which makes Scotty something like my ideal subject. Huge thanks to him for being so forthcoming with his time and his thoughts, his pastor and church for letting me visit, Grayson Haver Currin for the fine editing and Jeremy M. Lange for the amazing photography. Read the story here.