Perhaps one of the more surprising transatlantic success stories, Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip are causing a bit of a splash across the pond.
The hirsute UK hip-hop duo are gearing up for their debut album release over here in May, but meanwhile their deeply English breakthrough single ‘Thou Shalt Always Kill’ is all set for a proper release in the States, after causing a mighty buzz on a MySpace tip. So will they have to change all the references to Hollyoaks, and the like?
“When we play it live in the States we change Stephen Fry to Mitch Hedberg,” admits Le Sac – Hedberg being the late, lamented US stand-up. How about their other single, ‘Letter From God To Man’, has that caused any offence in the Bible belt? “Not that we’re aware of,” he says, “but I did offend some people on the Channel 4 website by claiming God was my imaginary friend until I was about 12…”
Le Sac and Pip have certainly been busy since the mighty ‘Thou Shalt’ broke big a year ago. They’ve toured relentlessly, supporting Mark Ronson on his recent jaunt, released another couple of singles, including the similarly anthemic ‘Beat That My Heart Skipped’, fought off a fair bit of label interest, and finally signed up with one: Sunday Best. “They’re simultaneously big and small enough to do it right,” says Le Sac. “Also to be honest they just signed Kid Carpet so it’s a good opportunity to get some free KC stuff.”
Speaking of which, we’ve got a nice selection of their new independently-produced, anti-corporate clobber to give away, including the trademark Scroobius cap.
The guys have a big few months ahead, with a new album, tour, and a full-on assault on the States. Le Sac talks us through it.
Clash: How’s the album sounding? Any surprises on there? Did your mate Kate Nash get involved?
“The album is sounding great but then I’m expected to say that. More importantly the album tastes delicious, the cover is by a lad called Jock Mooney and looks like sweets which accounts for it being a taste sensation. We had a bit of a problem with the guest stars we were working with, they all just kept getting famous so you’ll just have to cope with our friend Yila playing a bit of bass and drums.”
You held off signing a deal for a while – why go with Sunday Best?
“It just makes sense in this day and age to do the right deal, not the deal that offers you the most money. Sunday Best ended up being the perfect label, they’re simultaneously big and small enough to do it right, also to be honest they just signed Kid Carpet so its a good opportunity to get some free KC stuff.”
A couple of your singles are getting a proper release in the States now too – will Thou Shalt Always Kill be in its original form, with the Hollyoakes references, etc?
“When we play it live in the states we change Stephen Fry to [dead US comic] Mitch Hedberg but I doubt we’ll change it for the single releases, you never know we might do it on the American LP release but we’ll see. Most of the people who know us in the states are anglophiles anyway so might not matter.”
Have you annoyed any religious types with your track ‘Letter from God to Man?’?
“Not that we’re aware of, but then we’re not talking totally about any one religion. I did offend some people on the Channel 4 website by claiming god was my imaginary friend until I was about 12 but that’s another story.”
You’ve got an interesting ethic with your merchandising – how does that work?
“It’s simple really, as a band its your responsibility to promote all the other bands and artists you like as much as possible, word of mouth being the only good way of the world finding anything out, and we’ve just extended that to merch, so all our hats are made by Redshift Rebels, badges by Emma Ferguson, t-shirts by Bonbi Forest. All these kids make great stuff and we think the world should know…”