“It’s the most-listened to thing on my iPod” says Scouting for Girls frontman Roy Stride of the band’s self-titled debut.
It’s a refreshing attitude, a polar opposite from the majority of artists who claim never to listen to their own material, even though we all know they have their music on repeat. The reason for Roy’s love of Scouting for Girls’ contents, however, soon becomes clear.
I think the video should be a bikini beach party
“After recording the songs as demos and listening to them for quite a long time, we were well used to them, but then after listening to the new versions with all the things that our producer Andy Green added, they just sound amazing.”
Joining pianist Stride in the happy threesome are drummer Pete Ellard and bass player Greg Churchouse. Childhood friends, they played together in various bands for years in their native Harrow, North London, but only formed Scouting for Girls as we now know it just under two years ago.
As former Cub scouts – their name is a pun on the century-old outdoor pursuit manual Scouting for Boys – the trio continued to show initiative Baden Powell himself would have been proud of by producing their own online fan club, the Wolf Cubs.
“We sent out tracks and membership card to each of them,” beams Greg. “Each month we had to work out how many we could afford to pay for, and our CD drives are knackered from burning all those discs. I think it was worth it.”
It certainly was. Scouting for Girls now find themselves signed to SonyBMG-offshoot Epic, and, at the time of writing, their debut single She’s So Lovely (previous release It’s Not About You was only a limited edition EP) was riding high in the Top 10.
With song titles such as ‘Michaela Strachan’ and ‘Elvis Ain’t Dead’, you’d be right in thinking the band have a playful, innocent side with idiosyncratic references to the 80s, but you’d be wrong to think that quirky melodies and glassy-eyed nostalgia equate to a lack of substance – look just beneath the surface and you’ll find a host of regrets, worry and deeper meaning.
We sent out tracks and membership card to each of them
“’James Bond’ is a partly about wanting to be a super-spy,” says Roy. “But there’s that line that goes ‘I wanted to be someone else’ which is about that feeling you get in your twenties when you realise your life has turned out nothing like you expected it to when you were 13, and you think ‘fuck, is this it?’”
After releasing a debut as delightful as Scouting for Girls, though, there’s no way the trio could be upset with the way their lives have panned out. With an album, a tour in support of the record, more singles planned (“I think the video should be a bikini beach party”, laughs Pete) and radio domination upon them, OO7’s life seems quite pale in comparison.
Roy Stride’s iPod won’t be the only one with Scouting for Girls on it this winter.