Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy

Music Interview

Scouting For Girls

By
Scouting For Girls
They were signed to a record deal on Valentine's Day this year - by the Saturday they had quit their jobs and by the Monday after they were in the studio recording their debut album Scouting For Girls. Less than seven months later they're now enjoying top ten chart success with single 'She's So Lovely', have enjoyed a number of festival performances throughout the summer and are about to release their first LP. Digital Spy chats to frontman of Scouting For Girls, Roy Stride about their whirlwind year, hearing their track on the radio for the first time and what we can expect from them next.

Tell me a bit about Scouting for Girls – how would you explain your sound?
"Well live it's sort of piano-driven. It's mainly piano-based and drums, sometimes we do a bit of guitar but it's just pop music I think. We try and do some really good songs, just keep it fresh and happy and upbeat."

You've got your album Scouting For Girls coming out on September 17 – what are the songs about and what inspires you to write them?
"The album's almost - well we've been playing together for about ten years before we got our record deal. When it came to the album, it was almost a case of making a 'best of' because we have quite a backlog of material. So we took the best songs that we had and it was sort of linked in a way - the idea for Scouting For Girls, the name almost came first. Scouting For Girls is almost a metaphor for growing up and going through that crazy transitional period of being a teenager into your twenties. So the songs are vaguely inspired by that, there's loads of stuff about - there's a couple on your first love, your first lust. The first song 'Keep On Walking' I suppose again is sort of like a love song but a song about persevering, I suppose. There's songs on there that are quite broad, like 'I Need a Holiday' which is just about doing a really crappy job that you hate and just wanting to get away from it all."

Is it the child still in you that writes about things like James Bond and He-man?
"I don't know. I think as you say sometimes you don't want to grow up. It sounds kind of odd, like you're some sort of Peter Pan wannabe, but I know people in their forties and fifties who just have a very young, positive, happy outlook on life and so they're very young at heart. I think the three of us are very much like that, although we're not in our forties or fifties."

You've had a huge response from your website and fan club, can you explain the Wolf Cubs and the idea behind your name?
"We had been going for about two years and one of the first things we did was set up a MySpace site and we just found loads of people, because it was such an easy thing to use - you can hear a couple of tracks, you can see what they look like, you can see how popular they are. We found it a really good way of getting in contact with people. We'd find bands that we liked and would send messages to their friends saying 'we really like that band, we think we're a bit like them - check us out and see what you think'. Over time we had more and more people coming to us from our friends sending them to us. So we started this club called the 'Wolf Cub Club', which is a bit like the Beano and Dennis the Menace clubs. The idea was that you just join up and you got a badge and a membership card and we'd send out a little book and a CD. We're not allowed to send the CDs anymore, the record label told us we weren't allowed to do that anymore, but we still send out a little membership card and a badge and stickers. It's all free as well. I think for a band to keep in contact with the people who are supporting them is important. And it's lots of fun as well."

It’s been quite a crazy few months for you since you were signed on Valentine's Day hasn’t it?
"Yes - it's been absolutely mental, it's completely crazy. Six or seven months ago the band was always our focus, but being in a band doesn't really pay very well unless you've got a record deal. So we were all working seven months ago in part-time jobs still trying to get the band off of the ground and it just happened so quickly. Two managers at Christmas came down to see us and said they wanted to manage us. Then about six weeks after that we had a record deal. I still get a bit confused about how all of that happened because things happened so quickly. We signed our record deal on the Tuesday, we gave up our jobs on the Saturday and we started recording the album on the Monday."

What was the recording experience like after you heard that you'd been signed?
"I think we were just pinching oursleves half of the time because it happened so quickly. We were only in the studio for about five or six weeks because we had all of the songs ready and we'd demoed them all up. So the label were really pleased with the demo and they just wanted to give it a slightly bigger sound. It was quite a quick, fun recording process. The whole thing's just been like a bit of a holiday, to be honest. If you ever interview a band and they say it's hard work tell them that that's rubbish!"

How have the gigs and festivals been for you this summer?
"It's crazy, we just started off and we released a little EP and we were playing to maybe 40 or 50 people a night - which still for us was pretty amazing. We were going to places that we'd never been to before in the country and then we did the festivals and 'She's So Lovely' started hitting the radio. We started off at Glastonbury and we played to about a hundred people and by the end of the festivals we were at V Festival and there was about 2,000 people in one of the big tents. They actually had to close off the tent because there were too many people coming in so there were police outside making sure that no one else could come in - or it might have just been people with fluorescent jackets, but it was still pretty mad to see it. It has just gone off like a rocket."

'She’s so Lovely' has just been released, is it about someone specific?
"It's fairly general, it's had a couple of re-writes. Again it was one of the first songs that we wrote when we started Scouting For Girls. The idea is - it's a sort of general the older woman sort of fantasy. If you're at school your teacher or at university one of your lecturers. People think it's about Michaela Strachan because we've got a picture of her up on our MySpace page. That's sort of the idea but it wasn't actually written about Michaela Strachan."

It reached the top 20 on downloads alone. Are you happy with the achievement and do you have high expectations for the song?
"We have no expectations. To get into the top 40 - seriously we didn't think that we would ever get a record deal to be honest with you. Now having a record in the charts is completely surreal. I listen to the charts a lot because it's something that I enjoy and I just really love pop music. Listening to the charts now and we're in them is just the most bizarre experience. It feels like they made it especially for you, if that makes any sense. It's like you can't quite believe that you're really a pop band."

When you first heard yourself being played on the radio how did that feel?
"We'd built up quite a big fan base and we got a few specialist plays when we were unsigned on things like Hew Stephens on Radio One, we did a session for him. We got a bit on Xfm Unsigned and the producers would tell you exactly when you're going to be played and you just listen into it. But the feeling you get when you hear your song on the radio completely unexpected it's pretty nuts, it's really weird."

Have you got a favourite song on the album?
"I really love the album - it's like ten big pop songs on there and my favourites change all of the time. At the moment I really like the secret track on there. I keep on telling people about the secret track but that's probably one of my favourite songs on there. You have to listen to 'James Bond' and it's about 30 seconds or a minute after that, and I think musically that's one of the best things I have ever written. I really like the 'James Bond' song, especially when it hits the middle bit. I love 'She's So Lovely' - 'Keep On Walking', this is the song that starts the album and it really started off Scouting For Girls in a way. It was the first song I wrote for Scouting For Girls and I think the idea behind it and the idea of just carrying on regardless is close to the band and that's one of my favourites as well. I like them all to be honest!"

What’s next for you, are you working on the next album already?
"Song-writing is probably my most favourite thing of all things to do. So generally I end up writing two or three songs a week, they may not always be good but I just love to create music - or create a racket as some people would say! But at the moment 'She's So Lovely' is really the first single. 'It's Not About You' is just like a little EP so they didn't really expect it to do anything, just to get maybe a few reviews and introduce us. So we've got I think another two or three singles off of this album and just loads of touring. It's just mad, we've gone from playing at a little place in Harrow where we put on our own nights and now they're looking in to hiring the Shepherds Bush Empire for us to headline. What's that about?! It's completely nuts, you know. So I think we're just looking forward to playing loads and loads of shows at the moment."

Scouting For Girls is released on September 17. Single 'She's So Lovely' is out now.

You May Like

More: Music