Only forming in early 2018. Whyalla, South Australian outfit The Scoundrels have already found home town success with a string of singles as well as their latest Ep ‘It’s not that I don’t want it, I just didn’t expect it’ that have all found success on Triple J’s unearthed as well as finding their way onto the rotation of local and interstate radio stations in Brisbane and Canberra
It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly the type of sound that these fellas emanate. Stating themselves that their influences range from Violent soho and the Killers to David Bowie and Blur. Definitely an eclectic breed of musical stylings.
Their latest EP features Dreamy Psychedelia all the way to the more traditional indie rock sing alongs. The opening track to the EP ‘When You’re not alone’ is very reminiscent of Father John Misty with a touch of Radiohead mixed in which is a far cry from the closing track ‘If it’s over (kill it)’ which opens with an acoustic solo that is interjected with haunting backing vocals and later delving into a fuzz filled demolition towards the end that complements the album perfectly and will definitely leave you wondering what this bands style is (or Atleast that’s how it was for me)
Metro Hotel - 10th of August
I mentioned haunting backing vocals for the final song but I have to complement the vocals on this whole EP. Leaving me with definite ‘The Cure’ and ‘The Smiths’ vibes. On more then one occasion listening to this ep I became almost lost and entranced by vocalists Riley and Jacob's singing chops. Definitely helped by the amazing hands and ears of Matt Hills from Hillside Recordings. (You can also hear his work as Sound Engineer at The Crown and Anchor)
Speaking of Vocals, I decided to catch up with the 2 vocalists and guitarists for the band, Riley and Jacob to have a little dive into their minds. First asking them about their process when approaching the creation of music.
What is the scoundrels approach and process when writing a song and then recording it? More specifically how did you approach the creation of the new ep?
Riley: Well not always but often it begins with some of SA's finest Coopers Dark Ale and a Durry! Hmmmm, I guess as we've only recorded once, the process was to write songs we enjoyed, practice lots, then decide what thematically and sonically what worked well together as a listen. Sometimes we write together, sometimes separate. Often Jacob or myself will have a spontaneous idea at home, perhaps 2 in the morning, maybe walking the dog haha and then put down the bare bones, bringing it practice and the other lads, kodie, Ben and Whitlam will begin the next part of the process inputting ideas collectively, playing things in different shapes and forms, using different effects and helping to sculpt the finished product which then leads to recording, so much fun!
Jacob: It’s magical really, I don’t really know where it comes from. I don’t really believe in god but it feels like some sort of divine download. After you’ve got this “thing”, the next step is sort of trying to use your own preexisting knowledge and expectations to turn it into something listenable for humans, that’s where the rest of the guys come into it and it becomes a Scoundrels track.
It was after this that the lads recorded a short anouncement video for their upcoming Gig at The Exeter Beer Garden for us. Playing with Teenage Joan's and Larsen! Scroll down for the video and continue reading!
The Scoundrels obviously enjoy taking the Piss just a bit So I continued on and asked them if they try not to take themselves too seriously.
Riley: Ahhhhh, we like to have a laugh. If you cannot have a laugh at yourself good luck getting through this thing we call life. We don't take ourselves too seriously but on personal levels we've all been through some of our own heavy struggles, whether it be mental health, break ups, addictions, deaths in the family etc. So in that respect we want to create a safe space where people can come, connect, jump around, not feel judged and perhaps have a cathartic experience relating with words and sounds we intentionally create to convey such emotions and experiences, but laughter helps yes!
Jacob: When you’re singing songs about your deepest and darkest feelings and emotions you can’t take yourself too seriously can ya? I wouldn’t want everyone walking out of our gigs with tissues, unless of course they’re crying tears of joy, or got a little too excited in a back corner. Obviously we like to think we work hard behind the scenes but at the end of the day what’s the point in doing something if you can’t have fun with it, right?
I ended my chat with the lads by asking them what's next for The Scoundrels and where they want to take this, their music already recieving high praise and the band starting to gain traction within the local live scene. You can check out the lads Triple J Unearthed page here! and hear them out on their spotify here!
It was a pleasure chatting to Riley and Jacob and I endevour you to check the lads out at the Exeter beer Garden this weekend if you're around the place, they are from Whyalla so don't expect them to come satisfy the city dwellers too much.
What's next for The Scoundrels..
Riley: A day of Clarity? Fringe Fest? The Gov? Big sound? Sxsw? Reading? Falls fest? Woodstock? Recording with Kevin Parker? Getting a call from Damon Albarn? Sharing Gin with Alex Turner? Touring with Courtney Barnett? I have a song I've written about Donald Trump being an arsehole and I'd love for it to make the Triple J hottest 100, perhaps he might even might hear it? Haha. Ahhh I d'no, let's just run with further! Haha, Hmmm, recording. Definitely recording! And definitely more shows in Adelaide we've been well recieved and humbled by the local community and can't wait to play more shows here! We've just added a fifth member in Whitlam (Jacobs younger cooler brother, wears a cap and it still looks cool lol, we still write lol, lol... ) he plays keys, acoustic guitar and adds some nice textures vocally too along with Kodie.
In this respect I think we've had many ideas over the last 12 months in regards to harmonies and sonically putting down what we've been thinking of stirring up for a while now, having Whit on board has made all those extra crazy broader ideas we've had possible and it frees up different members of the band for other things. Along with this recent change it's meant we've had to re-learn songs or add parts that were always meant to be there so at the moment we're just taking our time to craft & fine tune our new tunes and get a feel for what works live with a crowd but also what works for us, what gets us excited and just feels on that spiritual plain "right" I guess. I think you can over do things and get caught up in the excitement of it all, social media and the like and forget what's most important sometimes if you push things too fast, so right now I'd say we're just enjoying having fun playing shows and hanging out when we're not working (3 of us do shift work) but in between that the stokes are well and truly in the fire and recording some tunes whether it's 4 or 6 track EP or possibly just a bunch of singles, I can say that later this year we'll be recording some of the many songs we have stored in our locker in preparation for an awesome 2020! One show at a time!
Jacob: Yeah, what he said!
Listen to the new Ep Here!
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