Once again I’m very fortunate to be able to present you with something rather wonderful on a Monday. This week it comes in the form of an interview and an exclusive track stream from wonderful Derby duo Scribble Victory because they’re such stand up chaps! They’ve got a brilliant sound, making acoustic music that’ll linger long in the memory. I could go on but you’re here to hear from them and, ultimately, hear them. So here’s a glimpse into the world of Scribble Victory, don’t forget to listen to ‘But Until Then‘ which you’ll discover a little further down the page;
Please introduce yourselves – who are you, where are you and what do you do?
Jamie: Hello, I’m Jamie and I sing and play guitar.
Tom: Hi, I’m Tom and I sing and play drums.
Jamie: With our powers combined we are Scribble Victory from Derby in the United Kingdom.
How would you describe the Scribble Victory sound? Is there anyone you think you’re particularly similar to?
Jamie: We write and play acoustic pop songs essentially. Although it sounds a bit louder than that because we play with parts of a drum kit live, so everything has to be a bit louder in the mix to compete with that aspect. We’re always told that we have a full band sound, which I guess is quite unusual considering there’s just two of us. It’s hard to put us into a specific genre, so I recommend just listening to us and coming up with your own genre placements.
Tom: In terms of similar artists, I’d say there isn’t anyone specifically that I can think of, but to get an idea of what we sound like I’ll name some of our influences. Our biggest influence is Owen, followed by bands like Fleetwood Mac, Bon Iver and Simon and Garfunkel. We are also massively influenced by Pop Punk and early American emo, with such bands like Jimmy Eat World, Weezer and Saves the Day all playing a part in shaping the way we write songs.
How did the pair of you get together?
Jamie: We’ve been friends for years and we used to play in a band together when we were teenagers. When I started this project, I asked Tom if he wanted to join because I saw him play a minimal drum kit with another band he was in previously. I basically poached him.
Why did you decide to keep things acoustic? Do you ever feel that this limits you at all?
Jamie: I think if anything it’s made everything a lot easier. We travel light because of the minimal set up, so logistically we prefer it. Having less members means that we’re not having to manage as many people. It also means we can play acoustic open mic nights, which means we can play as much as we want and it helps us get bigger gigs in other cities.
Tom: For me I certainly prefer it too. Because we have a minimal set up, it really pushes us to make the most of what we have. It is creating music with the bare bones of what it takes to be a band- one guitar, some drums and our vocals. I find that it pushes my musical creativity to play for what the song demands, without over complicating anything for the sake of it. That to me is the most important aspect of writing a good pop song.
What’s your earliest musical memory? Who was your first big inspiration?
Jamie: I was always around music as a child because my Grandma played the piano and the organ, but it was never really something I was interested in. I remember I was in my second year of primary school though, and our teacher played ‘Space Oddity’ by David Bowie. It was the first time I’d really properly listened to the lyrics of a song. That song is pretty dark and I remember feeling really sorry for Major Tom. That was the first time music ever had an emotional affect on me.
Tom: I was always around music as a kid too, but none of my family members played instruments or ever pushed me towards playing anything. However, music was always around me – my parents both have a big passion for rock music. My Dad is a massive Pink Floyd fan and my Mum is a huge Queen and Led Zeppelin fan. My earliest memory of music was my mum showing me a live concert of Queen and I was totally mesmerised by Freddie Mercury. He totally owned the stage and it was completely awe-inspiring. In terms of playing music, I always wanted to be a guitarist, but when Jamie and I formed our first band, the drums were the only instrument left! But I’m glad I learned the drums because it is now one of my biggest passions.
Tell us a bit about ‘But Until Then’ – why did you write the song and what’s the message you’re hoping to get across with it?
Jamie: I wrote this song after I finished seeing a girl. I felt bad about the whole thing because I went into it knowing it wasn’t going to go anywhere but I wanted to at least give it a shot. She was more into it than I was and when I ended it she didn’t take it very well at all. It was impossible to talk to her without a backlash of insults. I wrote the song so I could say what I wanted to say and ultimately vent what I was feeling at the time. It’s sort of an apology and a justification of my actions with a ‘there’s plenty more fish in the sea’ message at the end. But I’d never contact her and say: “Hey, I wrote you a song… listen.” I don’t think that would go down very well at all…
Tom: A cowardly message.
Why did you make Confidence? Is the name something particularly significant in your eyes?
Jamie: We’d written 6 songs in a short amount of time and we’d started gigging more frequently. We seemed to have found our sound really quickly and people were really supportive of us, which made us feel great and filled us with ‘confidence’. It’s the first time I’ve ever been in a musical project where I’ve not tried to impress my peers. They’re simple songs with positive messages really and they document that short span of time in our lives.
Tom: I think for me, we wrote this EP at a poignant time in my life in which I had come out of a serious relationship and I was at a bit of a loose end. Since that relationship ended, I had decided to really put myself out there musically to boost my own confidence. Since that point, we have progressed as a band and progressed as people too by making a lot of new friends on the way and writing songs we are really happy with. It’s a snapshot of where we were at that time and learning to be more positive as people.
What does music mean to you?
Jamie: It’s an outlet more than anything. It allows me to speak my mind without being too candid. If anyone did call me out on my lyrics then I’d probably be more flattered that they’d listened that deeply to the songs more than anything. It’s provided us with good social lives too because all our friends are musicians or are connected to music in some way. It’s a really nice scene to be a part of because even if you don’t share the same music tastes as someone, there’s still that respect there.
Tom: For me, music is a way to express myself. There is no other feeling like getting up on stage and playing live. It’s even better when people appreciate what you do and enjoy the music you are making. I have been in numerous bands over the 12 years I’ve been playing music and I don’t know what I would do with myself if for some reason, I physically couldn’t play anymore. It is the only creative outlet I’m any good at so I am extremely grateful that I can be in a band. It’s not only playing music too, I’m always on the hunt for new bands to listen to. Another great feeling is when you go to a gig and see a band that completely blows you away. Music never fails to greet me with an emotional response.
Who is your least favourite cartoon character?
Jamie: What a question! (C – I like these guys!) I used to watch Tom and Jerry and I used to hate the fact that Jerry always came off as being on top. He always looked pretty smug at the end of an episode. I’m not really a cat person but even I felt for the guy. Sometimes, there’d be a twist in the tale where Tom would capture Jerry and it looked like Tom would finally see out the end of an episode without being made to look like an idiot at the hands of that pesky mouse. However, it always looked too good to be true and it always was. So yeah, I’d say Jerry. Tom and Jerry kids was even worse though. The Jerry on that had a massive head and it really didn’t look like his tiny frame could support it. The massive head came with an even smugger face. It’s actually making me feel quite angry… I’ll leave it there.
Tom: Scrappy Doo. What an incredibly abhorrent little mutt he was. He always thinks he knows best and can solve the gang’s mysteries with brute force, and as we all know; violence is never the answer. It was his voice, his face, his personality and his general demeanour that really boiled my blood. If he was ever in an episode of Scooby Doo, I had to turn over. It sometimes made me think though – who raised him to be like that? Scooby was always a stand up guy and a loyal dog, but I reckon part of the blame has to lie with him for not being the disciplinarian uncle that perhaps he should have been. Scrappy Doo needs counselling in my opinion. He obviously has father issues and small dog syndrome. (C – I really like these guys! Tom gets it!)
What can we expect to hear from you in the next few months?
Jamie: The Confidence EP is coming out on the 10th October, which will include a release gig. We’re really looking forward to it! We’re releasing a music video for ‘Stalemate’ later this month too, so like us on Facebook to keep up to date with that. We’re going to sort out some merchandise too. We’ve started writing some more songs and we’ve been dabbling with a few cover songs, but we’re not going to say what they are yet.
Anything you’d like to add?
Tom: Thank you for having us. We’ve really enjoyed this interview.