Artist Interviews


By | Published on Friday 19 August 2011


Shoegazing post-punk quintet SCUM first formed in 2008, releasing their debut single ‘Visions Arise’ on Loog Records that year.

In possession of a superlative dark-pop pedigree, as well as a certain pre-eminence amongst the young London elite (bassist Huw Webb is Spider of The Horrors’ younger brother, moog-player Samuel Kilcoyne dreamt up the Underage club night phenomenon, frontman Thomas Cohen courts young Peaches Geldof), the band have toured with The Kills, and were selected by Portishead to perform at their recent ATP-hosted I’ll Be Your Mirror festival.

Now signed to Mute, SCUM are poised and ready to release their debut album ‘Again Into Eyes’ on 26 Sep. After their next live appearance at London-based alt-bash Radfest on 21 Aug, the band will share headlining plaudits with Wolf Gang at the nationwide Emerge NME Radar Tour, which runs throughout early October.

Ahead of that, drummer Melissa Rigby tackled our ever-formidable Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?  
When I first joined the band we didn’t really know how to make music at all. We just kind of started out making noise, but I had been classically trained, so after a while I started talking about structure and bringing in melodies – aspects that weren’t present when it was just a wall of sound – noise and drones.

As time went on everyone learnt their own instruments, Sam went from just playing the keyboard to learning the guitar; we all started learning more to bring in as many different sounds and influences to the album as we could.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?  
The surroundings we were in, we recorded in the countryside in a converted oast house in Odiham. The massive round room was the live room and cops, fields and farms surrounded us – the nearest shop was 20 minutes away. The greatest influence was that we weren’t in London or a city, so we could play all through the night with no curfew.  We had already written three quarters of the album by this point, so it was the last tracks that were really affected by this environment.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?   
Someone comes up with a riff or part and then we all play together, we keep playing until we get something good out of it. Everyone writes together, no one writes a whole song on their own, it’s a joint creation, we make a song by just playing to see what sounds best. A song transforms when we record it, we record all the parts and then add noise and electronic elements.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?  
When we were writing our album, we were listening to a lot of krautrock, Ennio Morricone, Brian Eno and Neil Young.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?  
The first time you listen to the record listen to it all the way through, although the album is in two parts it should initially be heard as a whole.

Q6 What are you ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?  
We’re off on an NME tour in October and hopefully once that’s finished we’ll make it outside of Europe, as we haven’t been that far yet, and I know playing in America would be the best thing ever for us.

Once we have toured this album we’ll definitely look to start recording the next one; it’s been a year since we finished up ‘Again Into Eyes’ so we can’t wait to get back into the studio and start writing again.