by / April 23rd, 2010 /

Top Story: An interview with Scroobius Pip

Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip come to Dublin this weekend to play two shows in Whelans, a sold out gig on Saturday 24th followed by an all-age gig at 1pm on Sunday 25th. The night before they headed off on their UK and Irish tour Scroobius Pip talked to us about their latest album, spoken word influences and playing with Scary Eire.

How does Logic of Chance compare against Angles?
It feels like it’s a development from Angles. Both of us have honed our skills in a way and the way we work together seems to have got tighter and more polished and developed. It definitely feels like a progression.

Like Angles it captures a social commentary along the way. On Logic of Chance there are a few songs that are a lot more direct than Angles. Where Angles would touch on a lot of social issues – things like -God’s a Man’ is about society under the guise of being a religious song – and there are still songs like that on Logic of Chance but a song like -Cowboy’ is very much story based where other songs like -Get Better’, -Stake The Claim’ and -Great Britain’ are a bit more direct. They talk directly about the issues, saying, ‘look there’s some bad and good stuff going on and let’s see what we can do about it’. They don’t have all the answers but hopefully they put up some interesting questions and subjects.

Who are you addressing with ‘Get Better’ or ‘Great Britain’?
-Get Better’ very much addresses a younger audience but it also talks about the way society in general address younger people, or look at kids in society with more demonic approach and view that I think is necessary. That song in particular is aimed at a younger audience but hopefully it’s relevant to anyone listening in on it.

It’s always important for us to communicate with the youth, that’s why we do all-ages gigs. We’re lucky enough to have a very diverse range of ages and people in our fan base. Bizarrely this week I’ve had three different twitter and facebook messages from people who are at different schools and their teacher have used one of our songs in their lesson. It’s interesting that the teacher is into our stuff and there are kids in the class already aware of who we are and into it too. It’s good to have that range in our fan base.

How was it recording this album with proper label backing?
It felt exactly the same. We choose to sign to Sunday Best because they have a great faith in our abilities. On the actual writing and recording they pretty much left us to it. It was very much ‘let us know when the record is ready’. When we were at a point we went to them saying ‘we’re almost there, here’s a few samples of tracks and the rest is on its way’. So really it was no different but it was great to have a structure, people there to push it all from day one and to get it out to press and radio. Where as on the last album, we did two singles on Lex Records. We were completely unknown and that was when -Thou Shalt’ and -Beat of a Heartbeat’ blew up out of nowhere and we then got signed to Sunday Best and we were finishing the album and it was all so manic. Its great to have a starting point and hopefully it cover all areas.

So no more writing and rehearsing in the back of a van?
We wrote loads on the road, particularly in the early days. It’s bizarre, Dan and I have only actually ever had six practices together. One of them was the other day for this new tour. We have only ever met up to practice six times ever and one of them was in the van I used to have before a gig. That was when we were still writing Angles really. Dan would email me a beat and I’d have written something but we haven’t performed it, but then we’re in the van and he plays it from his laptop and I’m going over the top making sure it all fits. There’s a certain punk rock element in that, making it a very natural live experience. It’s not polished, over rehearsed, clean or pretty.

How do you define yourself as an artist?
I cast myself as a spoken word artist. It’s such a broad term. What I do is speak words, I mean I do spoken word gigs and some of the stuff there would be more poetry or poetic. Some of it is the stuff I’m doing with Dan on Logic of Chance. We have certain songs that are very much rooted in the spoken word background but then there are certain songs that are very much from Dan and being much more uptempo. I try to make my lyrics work within the song, not outside it. We weren’t trying to make a hip-hop album or a spoken word album or a dance album. It’s a mixture of all those influences.

Where should people start with spoken word?
People should really listen to Gil Scott Heron. He has just released a new one, he’s the god father of spoken word. In America people like Sage Francis, Saul Williams, B Dolan who is coming on tour with us. In the UK there are people like Kate Tempest who’s band Sound of Rubbish is actually touring the England part of the tour with us. A guy called Polar Bear, he’s a great poet. There’s a lot of really good spoken word artists out there.

Gil Scott Heron’s new album is fantastic, I really like it. I think he sounds fresh, so different and yet so familiar. The guy who produced it, Russell XL, I know him. He did an album playback over twitter, where people could listen to it and respond. To sit there and hear it in one go, I think it’s amazing.

How was it performing with Scary Eire in Dublin?
In a way it was a quite an intimidating one. If I remember correctly they hadn’t actually played together for some time, so this was a bit of a reunion or come back. So, its kind of felt like a big thing for us to be a part of. As well as the risk that there’s going to be a lot of people purely there for them and don’t care what we are up to afterwards. It turned out to be a really enjoyable show, they were so energetic and passionate. The crowd were passionate about them but were also warm and welcoming when we came on. We also had a decent amount of people turn up for us so it was a really good show. We’re really looking forward to playing Dublin again.

Photo by Loreana Rushe.