Interview: Roy Stride from Scouting for Girls

Ahead of the release of their new album, Easy Cover, RAZZ’s Outreach Officer Caitlin Barr chatted to Scouting for Girls frontman Roy Stride about creating during a pandemic, things to look forward to, and his new lockdown hobby.

How did you find the experience of creating and recording an album in lockdown?

Challenging! But also creative. I’ve done a lot of song writing on Zoom sessions which is weird, but actually after the first five minutes it’s pretty fun. I have a studio next to my house, so it wasn’t actually too bad.

Have you taken up any new hobbies during lockdown?

I’ve started to learn to fly. During lockdown I thought, “if this is the end of the world, I want to do the thing I’ve always wanted to do”, so I started learning to fly, which I’m absolutely loving.

I’m assuming in an aeroplane?!

Ha! No, just in my mind. Yes! I’m halfway through my course, so hopefully I’ll be going solo in the next month or so. Hopefully it all goes well, or I won’t be doing the show!

What are you looking forward to most about touring again?

I’m looking forward to the shows because they’re always such an amazing party atmosphere. We have so much fun on stage and offstage, it’s like one huge stag do where all the beer is free and we’re getting paid! It’s the best job in the world.

What’s your favourite song to play live?

Always ‘She’s So Lovely’. It’s fantastic because everybody loves it, the place goes crazy, and I know that it’s the end of the show and I can go and have a beer.

You have a very loyal fanbase – how does it feel to know that many people in my generation have grown up with the band?

It’s mental. I’m double your age! We were quite young when we got a record deal, and I remember doing university shows when I was 27 and 28 and thinking “this is mad, why do these people want to hear us?”. We do more university shows now than we did back then. We feel really really lucky that people still love our music. We’ve never tried to be cool, we’ve never tried to be trendy, we just have a really good time and I think people relate to that.

What’s changed for you in the decade or so since you released Scouting for Girls?

Oh my God, everything. I went from having nothing, no money, colossal amounts of debt, no wife, no family, no house, nowhere to live, to now… I’ve got a family, kids, a house. But a lot of things haven’t actually changed… apart from learning to fly! All I do is music. All I spend money on is music equipment or guitars or pianos. What I do now is very similar to what I did 15 years ago – I just write songs and play shows.

What are your thoughts on how people are listening to music now as opposed to 5 or 10 years ago in regard to TikTok trends and social media? Do you think selling and promoting your music is easier or harder as a result?

We’re not even on TikTok… we have a meeting with the record label next week to get us to do TikTok! But I’m loving the vinyl comeback. I grew up in the 90s and music was a much more precious thing. The more you invest into it, the more you get out. So, if you bought an album and you paid money and you had it in your hands, you’d listen to it more. I feel like you got more enjoyment out of it. There’s just so much you can do now online – you can watch any film, watch any TV, listen to any song, watch any video – you’re constantly bombarded with stuff, so you don’t always appreciate what you have.

Who would your dream collaboration be?

It’d be Paul McCartney.

Have you ever done any Beatles covers?

No – the new album is an 80s cover album, so none on there. It came about because of a bit of a bizarre party on a tour bus a couple of years ago. It sounded like a really bad idea, but we ended up doing it because of lockdown. I’ve never done a Beatles cover actually – you can’t touch that stuff, it’s too good. It’s genius. 

How would you sum up the vibe of Easy Cover in three words?

Just good fun!

Finally – why should people come to your show in Exeter in October?

It’s going to be a proper laugh. It’s going to be a big party, and we’ll play all of our big songs, cover some of the best songs ever, and its going to be the best party of 2021.

Thanks so much!

Thanks for having me!

Scouting for Girls will be playing at the Exeter Corn Exchange on Monday 25 October 2021.

Caitlin Barr

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