Melissa Rigby of S.C.U.M

Melissa Rigby, Drummer for S.C.U.M

(Space is the place, between the beats she makes)


Melissa Rigby_ S.C.U.M_ Bradley Baker_ Tom Tom Magazine_ female drummer


On a purely observation scale where the weather can be affected by music, a band I’ve yet to see because of the great divide between continents; so in doing so I’ve formed an inherit obsession for music. Or of a particular drummer.  S.C.U.M is still a hugely underground phenomenon and still considered a new band even all the while they have been around for a couple of years; that surely isn’t a bad thing. But it was Melissa Rigby who conquered the realm of beats to change the perception of a past, present and future.  And if she doesn’t know this, well that adds even more to her mystery.


Of the only know facts that I’ve been able to come upon are she became S.C.U.M’s drummer after the previous one had an abrupt leaving and she was classically trained, following the melodies and harmonies that transfer into her drumming. Besides that, a mystery that already surrounds the music that only adds more questions than given answers. You’re attracted forward by the world they create. True to their word, basing the music off of feeling and an atmosphere a new brand of molecular structure was born.


While she drums for S.C.U.M she has also been seen drumming for Novella and for a few shows The Kills. Melissa in any format makes her presence known, with clear cut agility and you recognize her skill from the first moment. More powerful the hit that she throws herself into, her poise is rarely broken. If no one ever knew about how the drummer is the backbone of a band, she holds the title beautifully. Melissa in a single song can garner up the epitome of timing, with a sync of stricken pounds to the kick drum to a cymbal that can imitate lightening and a tom that rumbles rough as thunder.


Only in between her late teens to early twenties she has an image of the classic long blonde whose face you can’t even see, for she is surrounded by white smoke and then the added effect of strobe lights. Not only are you blinded but enlightened on a scale between Nirvana and the river Styx between this world and the other. Her approach is never faltered, but always announcing the beginning of another song.


So rumbling in the deep, a mantra that the band has “Space is the place, Heavier than a death in the family,” which only gives me this image of her blonde hair lashing about her as she focuses in on the kill to prefect the perfect outcome, adding to the musical frustration of the audience. By digging deeper into the sound and never losing her calm, cool and collected demeanor that most struggle to even catch a glimpse of.


As all the instruments start, then the vocals you hear, Melissa come in. All the while thinking, she’s been playing along but you think you’ve become accustom to her style and sound. You are at once taken by the throat, as you are rushed along this penetrative force of unearthed repetition, giving her a momentarily bridge of silence. Then throwing you back into the pit of the crowd thinking, you had no idea that this kind of presence could belong to a physical form. And as the show ends you finally see the face behind the storm and knew along that she was a force to be reckoned with.
By Kristen Fisher
Photo by Bradley Baker

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