Scouting For Girls: “We’ve always loved these songs back since we were kids and they had a very relaxed and nostalgic feel to them. That’s why we went with them really and it was nice to kind of be transported back to that time.”
Jade Poulters | 07/02/2022
Late Thursday night at the Isle of Wight Festival team HATC squeezed their way in to a packed-out Big Top for a bit of early 00s indie pop nostalgia. The crowd continued far outside the canvas and into the nearby fairground as Scouting for Girls finally took the stage and took us all back in time to 2009. Now seasoned veterans of the festival circuit lead singer Roy Stride had the entire audience in the palm of his hands as he stormed through fan favorites “She’s So Lovely”, “Heartbeat” and “Elvis Aint’ Dead” while throwing in classic sing along covers of “Stacey’s Mom” and Wonderwall. From 50-something regular festival goers to teenagers who were probably too young to remember the stuffed olive scene in Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging, every single soul in that tent left with a hoarse voice.
After a quick drink to refresh myself, and maybe calm some nerves, I make my way backstage ears still ringing to have a chat with Roy, Greg and Peter about their 16 years together and what they’ve got planned for the future.
Hey guys, I’ve got to say I’m very excited for this interview. Scouting For Girls were one of my very first gigs when I was about 11 years old, the crowd was huge and just as rowdy as tonight. It must be great to be back after all the lockdowns we’ve had, what did you guys get up to during those times?
The first couple of weeks were great actually, I thought this is quite nice I’ll get to have a few weeks off to rest and maybe take up some new hobbies
You also put out the new album, which is full of some great 80’s pop covers, how did you decide to embark on that project?
You know, it was just a bit of fun. We thought that maybe people needed some cheering up and we were having a lot of fun just messing about with some covers at the time and we had some time booked in the studio to get some originals done and just thought why not. The album went down really well and, as you saw, we thew a few out tonight.
What made you want to do focus on 80’s covers in particular?
We’ve always loved these songs back since we were kids and they had a very relaxed and nostalgic feel to them. That’s why we went with them really and it was nice to kind of be transported back to that time. Also, Tears For Fears were both the last band I saw before lockdown and the first band I ever got really into so I had to include them.
What has been your favourite album to write, so far? Obviously they must all have their meaningful moments, but does one in particular stand out?
The first one is always really fun to look back on, that was written like what, about 10 years ago now. I don’t necessarily look back and think they are the best songs we’ve ever done, but it was the first time we ever wrote and recorded everything together from start to finish, you know the whole lyrics and structure and everything. It’s actually a really cohesive album and a collection of really good songs.
You guys have spoken about some of your mental health struggles before, what have your experiences been like and how have you balanced your mental health with a busy life on the road?
We’ve been very lucky, because we’ve known each other for such a very long time we’ve created a really good support system together. It’s a very weird job and it can be a really long time you’re out on the road for so it’s important to have that nice comforting bubble to help you. It is a difficult thing for people in our industry because it’s one of the few where you aren’t really protected and if you haven’t surrounded yourself with the right people or haven’t earned enough
before you get ill or are thrown aside for the next thing you can be left with no protection at all.
Do you find that being on tour has actually helped you then? Because alot of artists would actually say the opposite.
Obviously, I find it hard to be away from my wife but the way we’ve set up our touring schedule is now based around our family lives. We haven’t actually toured for ages and usually just do festivals at the weekend, so we can go away pretty much every weekend and then be back home in the week. But we are very lucky that we are able to do that and sustain ourselves through that, so we only need to tour every two or so years, plus we are quite old now so we are quite happy to spend more time at home.
We’ve obviously got a different perspective to the younger acts who are looking to get out and rise up through the lineup, it must be very hard for the younger ones to reach that point now especially with social media when you’re constantly comparing your band to other peoples it can make you feel like you’re not doing enough.
Words: Jade Poulters
Photography: Jamie O’Gorman