eGigs talks to Roy Stride about poker, playing festivals, new material, and his tardy bandmates

frontman of Scouting For Girls on Mon 20th Oct 2008

eGigs had an interview with Scouting For Girls, it turned out it was just a phonecall with lead singer Roy Stride, as the rest of the band hadn't turned up.

Where are the band based these days?
We're still based in North West London in Harrow sort of area and we still use the same old rehearsal studios in Acton.

Where was the album made?
The album was made at Helioscentric Studios which used to be Chris Difford and Jools Holland's old studios, which is down in Suffolk near Rye.

Did they leave anything interesting behind?
They did, loads of stuff, one of the pianos I used was a CP70. Andy Green who is the producer, he's done Keane, The Feeling, and KT Tunstall, he's the one who works in that studio most of the time. They were cleaning out some greenhouses, they used to live on the farm right next to the studio, and they found this old CP70 electric piano, which had all rusted to bits. So he dried it out and got it re-strung, and it sounds amazing now, and is actually on our record.

Could you tell me something surprising about your other band mates?
They're bloody late today, that's pretty surprising. They just haven't turned up at all, they're on the train. I'll tell you what, since they've got a little bit of success they've got tardy. They're always late, they used to have a go at me because I was always the late one, I've actually pulled my act together and they've got later and later.

What are you up to at the moment?
We've had a low key couple of weeks, but it all starts building up now to another single release. So gradually we're doing more and more promo. I've been working on the second album. I've been putting together some songs and working out which songs I want to do, writing lyrics for them. We go on an enormous tour in November, with loads of driving around and waiting around, so I'm going to start demoing them then. So the demos will be ready the end of February, and we'll hit the studio again next year.

Any track names yet for the new stuff?
They're all sort of provisional titles at the moment. The lead track is called, 'Another Night In The City' it's kind of like our version of 'Walking On Sunshine', a really big up-tempo party song like most of songs are.

As Elvis isn't dead, which three dead pop stars would you like to hang out with?
Definitely Elvis, although he isn't dead, so I don't know if I can have him. I suppose it would have to be the classics like Jimmy, Kurt, and Jim. Oh and Freddie, Freddie would be good actually, what a party that would be.

Why have you chosen those four?
Because they're the four most famous dead pop stars. I just think, the four of them and me and a game of poker. I think that would be good, listening to a few tunes.

Are you a poker fan then?
The three of us actually scammed our friends many years ago, we rigged and set up a game of poker. We had no money, we were working two days a week trying to get the band on the run, and we basically ripped off all our friends, and bought some drum stuff with it. It was a thing of genius. We worked on the principle that there was eight people playing, and as long as one of us three won, then we won. We've got a few tricks up our sleeve.

Scouting for Girls


At Isle Of Wight Festival you said you'd made your back drop is it still around?
We didn't actually make that, it was just the album cover, but it was the first time that we'd had a big backdrop, so that was quite exciting for us. I'm not sure if we'll use it again, we're not using it for the new tour because we've got loads of production stuff, we've got loads of lights, we've got cameras, we're playing arenas for half the shows.

Most of them are sold out too aren't they?
Yeah, most of them, I think there's three dates at the end of the tour, we put on some extra dates, and there's still a few of them left. But, it's pretty much 95% sold out.

You had pretty big audiences at festivals this year, that sang along quite well, were you surprised how suddenly they all knew the words?
Yes, yeah absolutely! We've always been surprised with this band because it was nothing really. We just didn't think we would even get a record deal. When we got a record deal we were so surprised, we were just putting out our own records and building up our fan base like that.

Then, when we were offered a record deal, we thought right let's go for this, and our plan was to just do a record we were proud of and then hopefully sell enough records so that they let us do another one, and that was literally our goal. So to have done so well, and to have the audiences we have had at festivals has been absolutely immense. Everybody sees it for what it is, we are a fun party band, and we don't take ourselves too seriously, but we take it seriously to have a good time.

Are you line up for any festivals next year?
I think festivals are decided in January, that's when people start talking.

Which festival did you enjoy most?
There was so many, Isle Of Wight was one of the audiences we've ever played to, and I'd been to Isle of Wight the year before and seen loads of bands as a punter. It was the same with Glastonbury, I'd been to Glastonbury for ten years in a row, seven years just as a punter, three years ago I played to seven people, last year we played to about two hundred, and this year we played to 30,000 so that was pretty special. V Festival is one of the best crowds we got in terms of how loud they were and how much they went for it.

Scouting for Girls


We headlined this little festival called Belladrum, up in Scotland in Inverness and that's got a really lovely vibe, we did an hour and a half show there to about 10,000 people and that was an absolutely awesome one. We'd played there before to around 2,000 people in the new bands tent at around 2 o'clock in the afternoon. It was one of the first festivals where we saw something was happening with the band and it was kicking off, because we'd had a couple of singles, 'She's So Lovely' had just come on the radio, and loads of people had come out to check us out.

Who do you think is 'So Lovely' then?
Michaela Strachan, and that new Bond girl, and I think you are!

Errrrrr thanks.... The new Bond girl...
Obviously because of the new single, 'James Bond'.

Is that a coincidence?
Well if you had a song on the album called, 'I Wish I Was James Bond' and they're bringing out a James Bond film you'd be a bit of a fool if you didn't release it. Someone has actually said to us, “Isn't this just some sort of marketing ploy?” What's funny about that, is when we wrote it, we didn't have a manager, we didn't have a record label, it was just a song for our friends.

It was about the drummer, Pete, we caught him chatting up some girls in a nightclub. It was at the time that Pierce Brosnam had quit being Bond, and Pete, honest to god, was saying that he was being cast as the next Bond. That's where the song came from, and it just makes me laugh so much, when people say it's some sort of marketing thing, and the first time we played it was coincidentally when the last Bond came out, playing to around thirty or forty people, and that was our average crowd in London at that time.

So which of the Bond themes do you like most? What do you think of the new one?
The new one is alright, it doesn't really do much for me. There hasn't been a really classic song I don't think, an amazing song since 'Live And Let Die', that was a great one. Carly Simon 'Nobody Does It Better', Shirley Bassey, and 'View To A Kill' the Duran Duran one, I like that one. But I think the best one is 'Live And Let Die' that's got everything which is Bond. The best Bond them, it's got horns, it's got suspense, it's got a cheeky middle bit, which I think is like Roger's campness.

When you're on stage, you do a lot of sliding with your knees, are you ever worried you might do yourself an injury?
I don't do that a huge amount, I did that when we were quite nervous, but at Isle Of Wight it was the first big festival we did, and we were absolutely petrified. Now we've played to more people, I think the biggest show we've done now if to 150,000 people, and it's not a problem now. But at Isle Of Wight the thought of 60,000 people, the biggest we'd played before that was 10,000 people. We were so nervous, through that performance, once we got through it, from then on it was just bring it on, the more the better. And I remember sliding around on stage and thinking "That wasn't actually too bad. I managed to get away with that." There were enormous screens as well.

Scouting for Girls


It's always kind of funny watching Greg while I'm sliding and running around. For our next tour we're going to stop using wires. We've got wireless packs for the guitars, and I've got a wireless microphone, instead of the one I usually wander about with. That's because me and Greg can get in a right pickle where I run around, wrap him up, and then trip him up, and sometimes I'd just run into him. So he has to, not only play the notes right, but he has to spend most of the performance watching where I am to make sure I don't loop him, lasso him. So it's not so much about me doing my knees in, he's more worried about me getting his ankle, or tripping him up.

Thanks for you time Roy, has the rest of the band turned up yet?
Greg has, Pete hasn't and I think that says everything about the timing of our drummer.

article by: Scott Williams

published: 20/10/2008 16:26



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