Interview with Scoundrels
After reviewing Scoundrels a couple of months ago we caught up with Ned for a quick Q&A covering Tae Kwondo practices, Dr Dre covers and a unnatural dislike for Noah and the Whale.
Cougar Microbes: What time did you wake up today? Was it out of choice or necessity?
Scoundrels: Woke up at 5 am, went for a 10 mile jog, exfoliated for an hour, practised Tae Kwondo and perused the stock market for a while before donning my guitar and heading to the studio.
In an ideal world all of the above would’ve happened, sadly the truth of the matter is that I normally rise around half eight after an epic half hour battle with the “snooze” button on my phone.
Cougar Microbes: Describe Scoundrels to the uninitiated?
Scoundrels: We are a four piece rock n’ cruddy soul n’ blues band heavily influenced by music from South Louisiana. Our music is rooted in an old school sound but is performed in a contemporary way. Our live performances are sweaty, raucous affairs.
Cougar Microbes: How have you been killing time on the road, hobbies?
Scoundrels: We have various ways of passing the time on the road. The usual classics, “i spy”, “kumbaya m’lord” and “what am I thinking of?” will suffice but on occasion a game of “road cluedo” is the only thing that’ll get the juices flowing. “Professor Plum with the lead piping in the glove compartment“, that sort of thing.
Cougar Microbes: What have been your favourite venues to play? Any Venues you hated?
Scoundrels: We’ve played some great venues. King Tuts in Glasgow is a favourite. I recommend “Nice n Sleazies” a bar nearby too for post-gig fun. Also, we used to run nights at The Notting Hill Arts Club which is a fantastic night spot. A really eclectic mix of people, the night to go to there is “Sweet Memory Sounds“.
Cougar Microbes: Is there a song you are simply sick of playing?
Scoundrels: Not one actually, I think there’s an excitement that comes with getting to show people your music for the first time. Each song feels different with different crowds. I’m sure there’ll come a day though…
Cougar Microbes: What is the songwriting process like for Scoundrels. you able to write on the road or do you do this in your off time?
Scoundrels: Normally it happens away from the road. I guess normally I’ll have a riff and a chord structure and an idea of what the songs about. Then i’ll bring it into the studio and the lads’ll bring there own flavours to it and flesh it out, add in their bits and ideas to the mix and that’ll be it. It’s quite tough to write on the road as there’s so much going on all the time.
Cougar Microbes: Favourite Scoundrels track and why?
Scoundrels: On the album my favourite track is probably “Sniff It Up” as I felt we were on great form musically the day we recorded that track in Chicago. It’s got a killer riff that I’d love someone to do a remix of one day an grooves really well too.
Cougar Microbes: If you could record any cover what would it be?
Scoundrels: We’ve already covered Dr Dre‘s “Xxplosive” which was a tune we’d always loved. We may well cover some tunes from our new label’s (Blue Horizon) back catalogue too. Bands like Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack, Champion Jack Dupree.
Cougar Microbes: Do your songs go through many revisions via demo recordings?
Scoundrels: I always think the demos are the most true versions of the songs and to stray too far from those initial recordings is to lose the songs essence.
Cougar MicrobesWhat came first, the lyrics or the melody?
Scoundrels: Melody, always. I think it’s far more interesting to hear great vocal tunes and rhythms than to cram words in wherever they fit. Obviously there is Some compromise though as the words can’t be cruddy, although the occasional rhyming of “cat” and “bat” can be effective.
Cougar Microbes: What are your views on auto tune?
Scoundrels: Love it, dangerously so. We were gonna use it on one sentence in ‘Louisiana Song‘ but decided against it, much to Akon‘s disgust I’m sure. George can mimic auto-tune like no other.
Cougar Microbes: Any other band/bands from your local scene we really should know about?
Scoundrels: Givers were great friends of ours from our time living in Lafayette, Louisiana who are already set for a meteoric rise. Also if you get a chance, you have to check out Vadoinmessico, a Mexican, Italian, Austrian outfit who play a quirky, eccentric, melodic folk that is about as infectious as it gets.
Cougar Microbes: Most flattering thing you’ve read about yourselves?
Scoundrels: That we’re from Bideford. That we have “non descript looks“. Actually I was once told that I was “a sex god in the making“. It was an incredibly proud moment for me, I immedealty informed my parents that they had raised a “sex god“, needless to say they were incredibly proud. They told me that many of my teachers had foretold of such career developments from an early age.
Cougar Microbes: What was the first record/tape/cd you ever bought?
Scoundrels: Possibly a Spice Girls single or Bon Jovi‘s “Midnight In Chelsea“, an indication of what was to come.
Cougar Microbes: What was the last song that got stuck in your head?
Scoundrels: Foals‘ “Red Socks Pugie“. What a song. Just saw them play at “Calvi On The Rocks” festival and they were incredible.
Cougar Microbes: What was the last show you paid and queued up for?
Scoundrels: Went to see George’s New Orleans covers band, The Dirty Gentlemen play at Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues Bar the other day. They were fantastic.
Cougar Microbes: If you had to bring on artist back from the dead in exchange for sending a living artist down ,which artists would it be and why?
Scoundrels: I’d bring back Jimi Hendrix because I reckon he’d be the sort of guy that wouldn’t ruin his legacy with longevity. I feel he had a lot more tunes still in him and it would’ve been interesting to see how he’d change.
I’m not sure I’d be up for killing a modern day artist but if I could banish their music from these shores Noah and the Whale would be somewhere up there.