Scroobius Pip chats to Elisha Mansuroglu about Beach Break, Celebrity Big Brother and the possibility of shaving his beard off.
E: So, you’ve been touring your solo material recently! How’s that been for you?
S: It’s been amazing. It’s a long one. It was a full month without coming home at all but I’ve enjoyed it, I can’t really complain.
E: Any particular highlight?
S: The London, Manchester and Glasgow shows were probably the best. They were such excited crowds. We’ve just been doing France, and France is fine but they’re a bit of a stand offish crowd, so to go from that kind of crowd to Manchester and Glasgow and the London crowd even, is a bit different. The London crowds have been some of the rowdiest which is kind of rare. Normally the rowdiest crowds are always up North.
E: I definitely agree! So, the spoken word is obviously really important to you and so is music. What do you think combining these two art forms achieves for you?
S: They have always sat hand in hand for me. On the spoken word front, I’ve always written quite rhythmically, so it was never a big deal to bring music in. They just exist nicely together. I think there’s plenty of room for them to live together.
E: Did you get into the whole poetry/spoken word scene before music?
S: I got into poetry and spoken word as a necessity. It was a thing was I was writing and I live in a small town in Essex – there’s not a producer or a band on every corner. Spoken word was something I could do completely off my own back. If I succeeded it would be on my own fault – if I failed it would be my own fault. I couldn’t blame the drummer who never turned up for practice or the bassist who couldn’t make the gig – it was something I could do completely on my own.
E: So, your from Stanford and Hope in Essex. Do you think living in a small town has influenced your writing and music?
S: Yeah, definitely. I get inspiration from everywhere, all the time. So, the fact I’ve lived here for my whole life, it’s definitely influenced me hugely. I like small towns. I think if I’d lived in London – it would’ve affected how I’d write about things because I’d be in London. I’d be going to the places musicians go to. Rather than sitting in my flat in Essex. It makes you a lot more grounded. I don’t get recognized much. It’s just a standard little town.
E: So, would you say that you’re an artist that isn’t doing this solely for the fame?
S: Yeah, any fame that comes with this is welcomed but it’s not the target. I got an enquiry about going on Celebrity Big Brother this year. I find it a fascinating programme but I don’t want to get exposure or fame just for the sake of exposure or fame. If I’m going to be on TV, I want it to be doing something that I’m good at and that warrants me being on TV. I’m very good at not doing anything but I don’t think it should be celebrated on TV.
E: One thing that is evident in your writing and music is that you’re an extremely honest guy – do you ever feel exposed being so honest?
S: I don’t really think about that when writing. I’m just in the moment of writing the song. By the time you release it – as sad as it sounds, it doesn’t mean as much as it did. At that point, it’s just lyrics in a song. I could be listening to somebody else’s song. So I’ve never that that conflict of being particularly exposed.
E: I’d find it quite difficult writing about my life and experiences all the time.
S: It’s the only way I’ve ever known. I do mix things up a bit. I’ll rarely write a story or a song that’s a complete true story. I’ll draw from numerous stories and experiences and put them together to make something new. So I guess that’s my way of distancing myself and coping with it. It’s kidding myself that it’s not being as honest and open as it might be, I think.
E: So you’ve played Beach Break a few years in a row now. What is it about the festival that you enjoy most?
S: There’re loads of drunk, rowdy students. That’s always gonna be a good crowd – always gonna be a crowd that’s up for it and ready to go. It’s exciting because this is the first time I’ve played it with my solo stuff and my live band. So I’m excited to see how that goes down. I’ve done two tours with the solo stuff and the live band and we weren’t sure how it was gonna go down. People know Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius pip and it’s new. The reaction’s been amazing so I can’t wait for the festival crowds to get into it.
E: You’ve always been known as Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip .How are you finding the solo stuff without Dan?
S: It’s just a change. I used to be in little punk bands when I was growing up, who wrote a lot of distraction pieces with me and he’s the guitarist in my live band. I used to have a band with him, it’s not alien in that way because it’s familiar too. I’m really looking forward to writing and doing shows with Dan again but I’m sure after that I’ll be looking forward to doing the solo stuff again. I’m terrible at taking holidays, so the variation is really helpful!
E: So the beard (a question I’m sure you’re always asked), is the beard always gonna be there? Any plans to revamp the image?
S: I can see myself getting rid of it when I stop doing music. I can see it being the, “I’m done now, gonna shave the beard off and go back to normal life”. I’d like to see the reaction from people if it was cut off actually. That kind of thing excites me I guess.
E: I think you should keep it. It’s been amazing talking to you!
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