I Was A Cub Scout
Anne-Marie Douglas 28/11/2007
St.George's Hall, Bradford-02/11/07
Backstage at the prestigious St.George's Hall venue in Bradford, Anne-Marie Douglas caught up with a shattered Todd Marriott of I was a Cub Scout at the end of their nationwide tour supporting iForward Russia! and pre embarking upon a European tour with Minus The Bear…I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Despite obvious fatigue, I chat with a very down to earth Todd; passionate about their music, ready to flee England for a while and determined not to be pigeonholed, all this and not one mention of boy scouts or young men!
Hi there, how's you? How's the tour with iForward Russia! been?
It's been good, we're just tired, so, so tired! We're kind of relieved it's the last date of the tour because it means we get to go home briefly to our own beds and then we kind of get to appreciate it all for what it is.
So what have been the highlights and lowlights of this tour?
It's been hard to gauge crowd responses because of the earplugs but overall it's gone really well, Cardiff was good. We've loved having our friend Jack on tour with us, he's our guitar tech and our best friend from home and we all bully each other!
What do think of St. George's Hall as a venue?
It's nice to play a bigger venue: we prefer bigger venues.
What music have you been listening to on this tour?
The new Jimmy Eat World album…Trail of the Dead, Battles…we keep missing them, every time we miss them!!
So you're on tour with Minus The Bear across Europe next?! Are you excited, nervous?
We're excited, it's nice to be asked, it's cool. They're older than us; apparently their aim is to ruin us! We don't really drink or anything though!
I'd be excited to go to Munster, where are you looking forward to visiting?
I don't even know where we're going in Europe yet because we've been so busy recording the album. Amsterdam will be good, I've been to Paris on a school trip, I'm sick of England though. We're going to try and travel more at night so we can see some of the cities during the day.
What's the story behind the album name; 'I Want You to Know That There is Always Hope?'
I read somewhere that you can't have an eighteen year old saying that, but where we live, it's a mediocre town…you get sick of it. It was originally called 'Echoes' to do with the sounds we like. It's about how I am personally, the lyrics of the songs are personal, but also there's an aim that people can connect with them and it'll help them in some way.
On your internet forum, there's close to 3,000 users, they've been trying to guess the name of the last song on the album, so can you tell me?
Yeah, it's 'A Step Too Far Behind', its one of the lyrics in the song.
Why do you think 'I Hate Nightclubs' was unpopular?
For what it's worth, I really like it and it's a great song title.
It was kind of weird; it's hard to review your own songs, maybe because it wasn't so upbeat. Pink Squares is being re-released, but we possibly won't do a song like Pink Squares again and we've stopped playing Teenage Skin, we don't want it to be that dancey.
How long did it take to record the album?
One month! It was pretty rushed, recording took three weeks, and it was mixed in a week. The vinyl looks so nice; it's so much more interesting. A friend does our artwork. We try not to use itunes, downloads are the simple man's way. All the bands we like are left field, they don't get much exposure but they put so much more effort in.
Have you done any collaboration's on the album?
Yeah, there's Sam from Youth Movies on trumpet and vocals from Sarah of One Toy Soldier and “Tonight is Goodbye.”
How about live? Is it always-just tea for two?
Yeah live sometimes, if we're on tour with our friends, like Dartz, they might play with us.
I'd like to branch out, but Will would like to stay as a two-piece. There's so much more I want to do electronically, perhaps one more, a bassist maybe.
The Guardian described you as 'a duo of miserabilists who merge electronic, indie and emo' and calls your music 'melancholy computer rock - mourntronica'. I beg to differ; you have handclaps and everything! What do you think of this quote?
I really don't care about that quote, it's just people trying to make tags, like the 'new-rave tag', if you're asked you've got to be a 'pop' band or a 'rock' band, people want an easy tag, it's pathetic, and as for miserable, it depends how tired we are!
We have issues in how people perceive us; we're very self-enclosed and just have a small group of close friends. It's like when I see reviews, there's a song about Ket, and they put a tag next to me in the NME and it feels like they're trying to link me to drugs, and trying to link us to other people. We're very grounded and we're written about in a way we don't like.
And what will 2008 bring for I Was a Cub Scout?
For 2008, we want less of the music industry writing shit about us, when they don't know us at all and I suppose to get a bit bigger, to have more people interested in us, a small child, maybe a wife?!
Pink Squares is re-released on January 28th 2008. I Was a Cub Scout are asking fans to record a cover version of the song, the winning recording will feature as a B-side. See www.myspace.com/iwasacubscout, entries must be received before December 3rd 2007.
The new album 'I Want You to Know That There is Always Hope', mixed by Grammy award winning Hugh Padgham, is released on February 11th 2008 and, following their tour with Minus The Bear to December 20th 2007, I Was A Cub Scout will headline a UK tour from February 2008, with further touring planned for from March 2008 and beyond.
Photo by by Andy Willsher.