After the recent release of their single ‘She’s so lovely’, Scouting for Girls have had a busy few months. This week, Luisa Mateus caught up with head honcho/Scout Master Roy Stride for the low-down on what life has in store for Scouting for Girls- world domination perhaps? Well their self-titled album is out on the 17th September…
Can we talk a bit about the name of your band- Scouting for Girls? Where did the name come from?
Well we actually came up with the name about 2 years ago- the name came before the band. I was in a different band at the time. The name is a pun on the book ‘Scouting for Boys’ (a practical guide and a way to scouting living which includes how to light fires, stalk men and animals and citizenship) but it is also a metaphor for growing up driven by teenage passions and falling both in and out of love.
Isn’t ‘Scouting for Girls’ a bit anti-feminist with all your songs being about relationships and not of providing girls with any practical information about how to light fires and drag men back to their caves?
Good question! I’ve never thought of it as an anti-feminist. Most of the songs I’ve written are love songs about strong women. It’s always hard if you’re a man to try to write about love. I try to write songs that are universal. I’ve never tried to drag a woman back to my cave!
There’s still time…?
I’d have to get a cave first!
So tell us about the Wolfcubs (Scouting for Girls’ online ‘scouting group’)? How did this come about?
This was from our Myspace. We wanted a way of getting in contact with people who have supported us and we came up with the idea of a Dennis the Menace type fan club. We wanted to give something back. They get a Scouting for Girls handbook (which includes song lyrics, membership rules and a flow of useful ‘scouting’ information) and we also have a secret code.
Have you been caught out yet with the secret Wolfcub code?
Yes! The thing is with the code, it’s really easy to write but quite difficult to decode, once you’ve had a few beers. Not that many people use it; it’s more like a secret society type thing.
What’s so lovely about the girl in your song, ‘She’s so lovely’?
This song is not actually about a particular person. It’s more about the idea of being in love with an older woman, whether that be a teacher, lecturer, etc. It’s about un-attainability and not ever being able to get that girl. It’s the crush you’re never going to follow up on.
What were the influences for the video of ‘She’s so lovely’? We see Grease 2/King Pin- did you not fancy a ‘We’re gonna score tonight’ type dancing sesh’ down the middle of the bowling lane?
Stylistically the video looks amazing! There’s definitely a Grease 2 influence and also influences from the Big Lebowski. The bowling alley is in Soho Square and it looks just like it does in the video- it’s very 50s.
The 50s theme seems to be recurrent in your videos- there’s a diner/café in the video for ‘It’s not about you’.
The ‘It’s not about you’ video was about nostalgia and that was presented stylistically too.
So are you also ‘Scouting for Girls’ on your tour of Freshers’ Balls this month?
You don’t need to scout for girls, they’re everywhere! Freshers’ Balls are absolutely mental. I love doing them because you play for about half an hour to forty minutes and then you just get to hang out and have a wicked time. When I was at university I only had one Freshers’ Ball but this year I’ve got 15! I love the Freshers’ Balls as they not only usually have really good bands but also the tribute bands. We saw ‘Oasis Isn’t’ who sang in thick Manchester accents ‘aving it large and all that, and then they had to do an announcement and this guy says in a Brummy accent, ‘Can Emma Smith go to the bar, you’re mum’s on the phone and can’t get hold of you?’ Or something like that. It was hilarious!
You guys have a video blog from Glastonbury this year, where you play in the inside of a gutted out plane engine- have you been asked to play at next year’s festivities? Would you like to?
We played at Glasto this year on the ‘Loud and Live’ stage which was near the other stage and the Orange Tent. I’ve been going to Glastonbury since I was about 17.
Is it your favourite festival?
Probably. I mean we played there in front of maybe 100 people, and then we went and played V in front of 2000 and it was like in two months we had accomplished so much.
So, the new album then (out on 17th September) – you pleased with it?
I’m really proud of the album. I like the fact that they are all really good songs on the album. We’ve all been playing together for about ten years so it’s kind of like a ‘best of’ album for us.
What’s your favourite song on the new album?
God that’s really hard- it’s like trying to choose your favourite child! I like ‘Keep on Walking’ a lot, which is the first song. And I really love the middle bit on the secret track, that’s my favourite bit of music I have ever written.
So, what’s coming up for Scouting for Girls?
Well we’ve done quite a bit this year. We released ‘It’s not about you’ as an EP which was more successful than we thought it would be! We’ve also had ‘She’s so lovely’ released as a single. We are going to release a couple more singles. As for plans, we are hoping to play all the festivals- we’d like to play a bigger stage at Glastonbury next year! Our instrument bags are still covered in Glasto mud!
And now the important stuff is out the way, what tips can you give me for Scouting as a girl?
Do you have a wolf cub manual?
No, I don’t unfortunately.
Well we could teach you how to bandage a broken arm or how to find north just using the stars in the sky…
Don’t you just look for the northern star?
No. That’s a rookie mistake. You know the plough? Well you find the bit that looks like a saucepan and then you look for the two stars that are together at the end of the handle.
You’re making this up!
No I’m not. The North Star isn’t always the brightest star. We could also show you how to light fires and lay out a good campsite.
Well if you don’t get to play at Glasto next year, you could always get a job as one of those Millets’ tent helpers. It’s always good to have a back up plan. You’ll probably be quite useful for things like putting tents up…
(Laughs) Yeah, we could do.
Catch Scouting For Girls on their monster UK tour this autumn:
12 Sep 2007 20:00
The Plug Sheffield
13 Sep 2007 20:00
The Brook Southampton
14 Sep 2007 20:00
Kings College London
17 Sep 2007 20:00
Norwich Arts Centre Norwich
18 Sep 2007 20:00
Freshers Ball – Staffordshire Uni Stoke
20 Sep 2007 20:00
22 Sep 2007 20:00
Freshers Ball – Kent Uni Kent
23 Sep 2007 20:00
24 Sep 2007 20:00
Freshers Ball – UWE Bristol
27 Sep 2007 20:00
Freshers Ball – Hertfordshire Uni Herts
28 Sep 2007 20:00
Freshers Ball – Strathclyde Uni Glasgow
29 Sep 2007 20:00
Uni of East Anglia – Freshers Ball Norwich
30 Sep 2007 20:00
Edgehill Uni Liverpool
3 Oct 2007 20:00
Cardiff Uni – Freshers Ball Cardiff
4 Oct 2007 20:00
Swansea Uni – Freshers Ball Swansea
10 Oct 2007 20:00
Newcastle Academy with Just Jack Newcastle
11 Oct 2007 20:00
Birmingham Academy with Just Jack Birmingham
13 Oct 2007 20:00
Exeter University with Just Jack Exeter
14 Oct 2007 20:00
Bristol Academy with Just Jack Bristol
18 Oct 2007 20:00
John Moore Uni – Freshers Ball Liverpool
21 Oct 2007 20:00
XFM event @ The Roadhouse Manchester
25 Oct 2007 20:00
Loughborough Uni – Freshers Ball Loughborough
Scouting For Girls was formed by Roy Stride in 2005. He is joined by Greg Churchouse on bass guitar and Peter Ellard on drums. For more information visit their official website: link