An Interview With Dan Le Sac/Scroobius Pip

Posted on May 7, 2010


OB: How long has the tour been going for?

Scroobius Pip: its been going for two weeks now, it ends tomorrow, well the U.K leg and then we’ve got a few days off before starting the European stint and then Ireland.

OB: How do you go down in the U.S?

SP: There’s the odd town where it’s like we shouldn’t have come…but it’s weird, we get small crowds of 30-40 people in some places like Ames, Iowa which I’ve never heard of so I’m surprised people have even heard of us…

DLS: There are always subtle differences in audiences in America like there is over here, there’s a difference between a London audience and a Manchester audience.

OB: Could you describe the musical climate that you grew up in?

Dan Le Sac: I come from the same town in Essex as Pip but we didn’t really have so many heroes, you know  like how Oxford’s got Radiohead. We had Dépêche Mode and Yazoo and …Alison Moyet. I’m a fan of the Mode but they were not like an inspiration to me. Going to school most of the kids I knew were into Metallica and played guitar and stuff and I’m just not that good a guitarist so it was exciting for me to start messing around with synths and realise I can make music all in one go, I just thought wow this is brilliant.

SP: Yeah it’s the same with me you know…the small town thing. I mean I grew up loving punk and then getting in to hip-hop and I was in punk bands and all that but the way I got in to spoken word and then hip-hop was as a listener. I got into spoken word via hip-hop and then as a performer I got in to spoken word. With the punk bands and stuff it’s the same as Dan really, there’s always problems arranging a band practice, like a drummer wouldn’t turn up or whatever and spoken word gave me a chance to do things on my own….

OB: Saying that, spoken word is still quite prevalent in your sound, yet in tracks like ‘Back From Hell’ you show yourself to be comfortable moulding your lyrics to a beat, has this always been the case or did you have to ‘restrain’ yourself?

SP: Yeah it’s just all about getting variation. That’s the thing I’ve noticed in reviews of the new album that people often assumed my part as a spoken word piece, but not all the tracks on there will be. Others that are about fitting around the beat, still trying to have good content and nice word play but with things like ‘Back From Hell’ its about fitting around the beat.

OB: Dan, your name is from the French for ‘in the bag’ is it not?

DLS: Yeah kinda, I had previous names all with sac in them and it’s just like a natural progression from that. I think the last one was sac boy, which was slightly offensive I suppose but that’s when I was making breakcore and gabba and stuff and everyone’s got those names

OB: What accomplishments are you most proud of as musicians?

DLS: Just that we’ve been given the opportunity to have done two albums, it’s not like we’ve sold hundreds of thousands of records but we’ve found a label that are willing to support us and they’ve not really made a penny out of this stuff. It’s often perceived bands make millions of pounds and they don’t!

S.P: Yeah and labels as well, they’re always seen as the big evil. On the whole with illegal downloading it’s always shouted out what does it matter if these labels lose out on a bit of money, they’re all big wigs. Our label Sunday Best are people who are passionate about the music and are not making a penny

OB: Did you go to university and if so have you got any fond memories you’d like to share?

DLS: I went to Reading School of Arts and did photography and digital managing and I got a 2:1, he went to Wolverhampton to do photography as well but decided he couldn’t be bothered after a year I think. Not really any stories, its just a big haze. The first two years I spent working 30 hours a week, going to uni and with whatever spare time I had was spent trying to have sexual intercourse or get drunk or both.

OB: How many times have you been to Oxford now?

SP: A few times now, we had a really weird gig here early on, it was like one of our first gigs outside of London and it was upstairs at a pub, I can’t remember the name…

OB: The Port Mahon was it?

SP: That was it and it was with a U.K rapper who was a bit gangster and then we talked to him after and he was a relatively posh Oxford student; but he was all in his red cap, matching red t shirt, big watch being all really gangstery. Haha. And yeah I did some spoken word here back in the day… we’ve practised at the o2 a couple of times ‘cos our sound guys work here when they’re not touring with us so its familiar ground for us

OB: You’ve played a lot of festivals, which one stands out to you above the rest as performers?

Both: Bestival!

SP: Bestival’s always great. Its been consistently our best crowd and its one of the only festivals we make sure we stay for the whole weekend. A lot of the European festivals are really good as well, a lot better ran than most over here.

OB: You’re doing BeachBreak as well aren’t you?

SP: Yeah we’ve done that two years on the trot now so its become a staple for us in our summers, it’s always been really good, really responsive and reactive crowd so we’re really looking forward to that.

Ash Hiden

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