Scott Kelly is a founder of the experimental metal band Neurosis, a member of Tribes of Neurot and Blood and Time, and a solo performer on acoustic guitar. His music provides an deep, honest, unadulterated account of his struggles to navigate and counterbalance the pull of darkness.
Kelly founded the beloved Oakland, California band Neurosis together with Dave Edwardson (bass) and Jason Roeder (drums) in 1985. In its early days, the band modeled its sound on hardcore punk or the crust punk of groups like England’s Amebix. However, the release of their third album, Souls at Zero (1992), marked development toward an idiosyncratic sound that, in full bloom, would come to blend meditative, drone-hailing sludge with “agonizingly precise metal riffs, unnerving backmasking, industrial folkisms, and extensive sampling” (The Quietus). Today, the band with its now- six members including a visual artist, “has become one of the most crashing and obvious reference points for the presence of 'art' in metal”. The label Neurot Recordings, formed by Neurosis and Tribes of Neurot, has released and mentored many like-minded artists and band working on the fringes of metal and punk, including fellow CTM performers Amenra.
Kelly began his Hank Williams, Sr.-influenced solo acoustic guitar project in an effort to force himself out of his comfort zone. Whereas in Neurosis he’s protected, “the opposite of vulnerable”, performing alone has challenged him to “learn how to express [him]self in a very simplistic, direct way … and find a connection with people”. He has said that in his sparse, bare, at times despondent songs, “I’m trying to understand my relationship to death and to life. And trying to understand my relationship to light, because I don’t see a lot of it, and I’ve always felt like I was trying to get to it through all of this dark matter in my brain.” (Interview, Pelacanus.net)
Kelly lives in rural Oregon with his family. At CTM he will perform together with John Judkins, the bassist of Little Rock, Arkansas sludge/doom metal band Rwake.