Music, OldVenue

Interview: S.C.U.M’s Thomas Cohen

How is the tour going so far?

Yeah it’s been going really good. It’s been the longest we’ve toured in the UK and we have never played here and a few of the other places before, but it’s been good.

How would you describe your sound to people who haven’t heard of S.C.U.M before?

I would say it’s quite vast sounding, it’s very ambitious. A lot of people say bleak, but euphoric – I’m not sure if I would say that, but I just did.

Which artists have influenced you?

When we were listening to the record we started listening to a lot of Italian composer Ennio Morricone’s soundtracks, and then going on from there listening to a lot of film soundtracks. I listen to Low by David Bowie a lot and I think that’s where the album [Again Into Eyes] being in two sections came from; I would fall asleep listening to that record a lot. I listened to Portishead a lot when we were making the album, like I always do. I think there are certain bands that we all can listen to together and there are certain things that certain members can only listen to on their own.

If you could work with any other artist who would it be?

There’s a French man called Jean-Claude Desmarty and he worked with Serge Gainsbourg on a record called Histoire de Melody Nelson and brought in big, lush string sounds and it’s my favourite record. I went on to look into his own music and there are lots of choirs and distorted guitars; it’s quite seventies and it’s very French and very eccentric. He is still alive so it is something I actually want to happen. A few years ago we said Throbbing Gristle and we ended up working with them.

What is your favourite part about performing live?

I really like performing live because it seems so separate from everything else. I lose all sense of consciousness pretty much every time we play now; it used to be that sometimes if we were playing songs that I didn’t particularly like as much it is slightly harder. But I think the separateness that it has from everything else is what I really love about it and that it doesn’t matter now where we play because I really love the songs that we have, which is really nice.

So what are your plans for the next year?

After the Koko show [the final stop of the Emerge NME Radar Tour] we are going on a tour of France with Bo Ningen, and then we are going to Europe for most of November. In December we only have one show which is supporting Suede, of whom I’m a huge fan, in Moscow which will be particularly freezing. In January we are going to Japan to do something for Summer Sonic and then for the rest of the year I guess touring and festivals: but after that I want to go back into the studio and do the second record. Because we did the album in 2010 I don’t want to spend two years without making a record as things will pass and ideas will change

Finally, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

This tour has been an introduction to a concept of ‘fan’ that we didn’t already know. There is one girl in Holland and on my birthday she sent me a picture of a teddy that she had made that looks exactly like me and she ended up giving it to me the last time we were in Holland. But as for what to say to fans; it does have an impact when people tell you that they really enjoy your music or that it means something to them.

Photo: Max Hetherington.


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November 2021
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