Scouting for Girls frontman Roy Stride on success, touring and what’s to come for the band
With their debut album going triple platinum, four Brit awards and single This Ain’t a Love Song holding the UK number one spot for two weeks, Scouting for Girls are one of the more iconic indie bands of recent years. Their Greatest Hits album came out in July this year and they will be embarking on a new tour in November. Roy Stride was discussed the past, present and future of the band.
Roy Stride: No, never. I always thought that we’d be this cult indie band and I never imagined we’d have a number one record or play gigs at venues like Wembley Arena or the Albert Hall. It’s been such an amazing ride for us.
The band have an interesting story – you’ve all been friends since you were quite young, but have you always got along?
I met Pete when we were five, in the cub scouts, and I met Greg on the first day of secondary school when we were 11, so we’ve known each other far longer than we haven’t. We’ve always got on though; when we were 15 Greg left the band because he fell in love with a girl and we carried on without him for about six months, and then I think he dumped her and came back to us. That’s the only time we’ve been separated and that was nearly 20 years ago now! We’re all best friends and we just get on. Hanging around with them is like breathing – they’re always there.
You’ve played gigs of all sizes, ranging from a room above a pub before you were signed to big crowds at Glastonbury and V festivals. What’s your favourite live performance to date?
I would probably say Wembley Arena. When we headlined there it was one of the best shows we’ve ever done. It was a real crowning moment and it felt like a huge achievement. When we first sold out that pub in Harrow it was amazing too, as it was the first time we got to hear a crowd singing back our songs. We’re going to be playing at the Albert Hall on our upcoming tour, and that’s one of my favourite venues so I’m hoping it will be up there as well.
Do you have any interesting on tour stories you’d care to divulge?
There are so many, but two really stand out: I once ripped my trousers onstage in front of 13,000 girl guides. That wasn’t good. The dressing room was so far away, my guitar technician had to gaffer tape my trousers back together. Greg cracked his head open and knocked himself unconscious once, which was quite a good moment; we had just finished playing an amazing gig in Oxford and he jumped up to punch the air, but he didn’t realise the ceiling was so low! It was very funny.
My musical heroes would be R.E.M., Oasis, Blur, The Beatles, The Kinks and Brian Wilson. They’re my top acts. R.E.M are my favourite band of all time – they’re really the band that got me into music in the first place and I got really geeky about them. We were playing at a festival with them on the main stage and there were three or four other bands between us. I was queuing up for catering at this festival in Ireland and suddenly realised I was standing next to the guitarist Peter Buck. I couldn’t even say anything, I just felt sick and nearly fainted! I had to leave the queue. I’ve also met Ray Davies of The Kinks and he’s one of the nicest guys ever, really down to earth.
Greatest Hits contains some new material – is that a hint at another album coming out in the near future?
I’m not sure. This is probably going to be our last tour for… It may actually be our last tour. We’re not ruling anything out but we don’t have anything planned. We’re actually releasing an EP when the tour starts. When you do a greatest hits you’ve got write a single, and we wrote about ten songs. It’s a bit of a mopping up as there were three or four songs that didn’t make the initial cut but we wanted to bring them out them anyway. We’ll never stop doing something as we’ve been together for so long, but this might be the last chance to see us play live!
What’s your favourite Scouting for Girls song?
My favourite song is Keep on Walking, as it’s the first song on the first album and the first song I ever wrote when we started thinking about Scouting for Girls. I think it sums up the story of the band in a way because it’s a nostalgic love song and it’s about never giving up. It took us ten years to get a record deal and that song feels like it had a message in there about carrying on and doing what you believe in whether it’s about another person who you love, or anything else. That’s my favourite song.
For further information about Scouting for Girls and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Keep on Walking here: