This week we spoke to British indie band Scouting for Girls. After their huge recent success, Roy Stride, the band's front man, reflects upon their recent charity work, their new single, and what we can expect from the guys in the new future. Don't want to Leave You, the third single off their album Everybody Wants To Be On TV, is out now.
CM: So you've recently been doing a lot of charity work, for example cycling from London to Brighton on chopper bikes in August, raising Â£20,000 for WellChild. Is philanthrope work important to you guys?
SFG: I think, yeah, it's something that we've always done before. We had a little bit of time between finishing the album and its released date and we suddenly realised it was something we had never really done and we were in a position now because of what we do now for a living, people take more notice and we can raise more money. I've always strongly felt that it's important to do something like that.
CM: With it being a 60 mile trek, did it require a certain level of training or fitness?
SFG: Yeh it did. We spent six months beforehand going on tour which is the worst preparation you could probably do. We did ride on children's bikes. We thought that it could be quite a good gimmick, which it probably was, but it was quite painful. It was also quite embarrassing as we started to hit some towns [laughs]
CM: Talking of fitness, you also were lucky enough to play in the nets with the England cricket team at Lords, how was that?
SFG: Amazing, it was a dream come true. It was fun, really good fun. There was no real winner. We had to announce our retirement from International cricket after that but don't think we'll be missed to be honest [laughs].
CM: So your new single, Don't Want To Leave You, the third off your album, is out on Monday. What were the influences behind the track?
SFG: It was just a very simple song which we had for a long time but it just took a long time to get it right when we were recording it; a long time passed whilst we worked out which direction to go with the band and how to really make the song work. The song was originally composed on just a piano, so it took a long time to work on the production and the lyrics.
CM: The single was actually quite incongruently called 'Silly Song' originally. Why the change?
SFG: It was actually because we were never going to release it as a single originally and it was just what we called it when we were recording it. The second line is 'it's a silly tune I write for you' and we thought it was quite a nice name. When it came to releasing it as a record, people were saying that they didn't know what the song was called. So we thought when releasing it as a single, we'd change it to something easier for people to find on Itunes.
CM: It's a great track, I hope it does very well for you, like your number one last Easter with This Ain't A Love Song. How important is chart success for you?
SFG: I think we just want to write good songs. I think the songs that have always done best in the charts have been the songs we have enjoyed writing the most and playing live really. I think it's amazing to have chart success but I don't think it's why we write music.
CM: I'm guessing also that touring your album, which you have been doing all year, has been loads of fun?
SFG: Too much fun. We have an absolutely amazing time. Because we have been friends so long, it feels like one big long stag do essentially, for six weeks. And all the beer is free.
Any great tour stories to share?
SFG: Not that we can share unfortunately [laughs]
CM: The Daily Star reported that you guys have landed a huge advertising campaign in America. Is this true?
SFG: Yeh. It's not started yet. It's a song which isn't even on the album, but is a bonus track that we're going to remix and put out so people can hear it. It's been exciting. We're on Epic in America as well and we're looking at ways of going out there and promoting it. This Ain't A Love Song is starting to pick up radio plays and it's such a good buzz without anyone having to do anything, just on the strength of how it did in the UK, and what it is as a song. We've been played on American radio a few times and as a band I would absolutely love to go back out there, I really would.
CM: How important is it for you to crack America?
I don't think I have expectations of cracking America. I would love to go there and play some shows and work on it. It took us essentially a year and a half constantly to make a name for ourselves in the UK, and America is like fifty UKs so it would be an opportunity of a time. It would be lovely just to build some pockets of fans and go there to play for them.
CM: So what should Scouting For Girls fans be expecting from you guys in the near future? Is there a new album to be looking forward to?
There will definitely be some new songs. We're writing new songs at the moment. There was two and a half years between this album and the last one and we want to make sure we give our fans music as a display, and that we don't leave it too long. As a service to our fans, we just want to make sure they have got new songs. We've got a bit of time after this single so we'll make some songs and come back in the New Year.
CM: Will you be going in a new direction on that?
I think, in a way, the difference is like the one between our first album and a song like This Aint A Love Song, in a way. At the end of the day, we have always been like a proper band; we write our own music, we play properly and we excel when we play live. We just want to make music that is honest to ourselves, with integrity, and with a little bit of that Scouting for Girls sound that we have always had.
CM: It's obvious you take pride in making your own music. Do you have negative views of bands who make it big from reality TV shows?
Not really, it's always happened in the music business. There's always been manufactured bands. I think it's always going to happen and it sometimes comes out with some really great pop music. I judge every band by the strength of their songs and how good they are at entertaining people live.
CM: If you could sum up in a few words, what would your motto be for what we can expect from you guys in 2011?
New songs and bigger shows.
Thanks to Scouting for Girls.