Music Interview Interview

They’re still finishing their exams, but South-East London’s Scors have their sights set on post-school ventures. Refreshingly down-to-earth, the eighteen-year-olds are taking everything in their stride.

Their self-appointed “subsonic slinky jangle jazz” genre is probably the simplest way to convey their sound; picture a Mac DeMarco/King Krule mash-up and you’re in the right ballpark. They released their debut EP Visitor? last year, which intertwines such eclectic elements in soft ballad-like Sunday Showers, the rise and fall of Peach Rings and instantly danceable Calpol. Their new single E The Real You is a taste of what’s to come – no more pencils, no more books, and a lot more time for the artistic pursuits that matter to them.

We caught up with the band to chat influences, hobbies, and the lyrical genius of Kendrick Lamar.

Clementine Zawadzki: How long has Scors been going?
Jake Passmore: We kind of all went to secondary school together, but the band itself is quite new…
Piers Sanders: Yeah, we’ve been gigging for about a year?
Jake: Yeah, but me and Max…
Max Rampton: We’ve known each other since we were like five years old?
Jake: Yeah. Me and Max were in Piers’ class since year seven, and met Tom a little bit later, mainly because we were all really into music, so we kind of gravitated towards each other and then decided that we wanted to be in an actual band to see what we could do.

CZ: What were some of those influences that sparked your friendship in the schoolyard?
Jake: We have similar music taste.
Piers: I think for all of us bands like Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes…
Max: I sort of grew up listening to more bluesy music, like Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, stuff like that.
Piers: And then we’ve got Tom the drummer who likes EDM [laughs]
Jake: Yeah, if it doesn’t have a drop then he won’t listen to it.

CZ: I think what’s really cool is how those early indie influences come through…
Max: Definitely. We obviously have older influences as well.
Jake: Yeah. I also have quite a strong, jazzy kind of background, I listen to a lot of Ella Fitzgerald and I’m just really into the experimentation aspects of jazz. We’d completely be lying through our teeth if we said we don’t listen to new bands and don’t take new inspirations, like Tame Impala are mad, Connan Mockasin… there’s so many good bands around now. I remember when we started we spoke about what sound we would have and Echo and the Bunnymen were a big influence because I have a deeper voice, and Piers likes good solos and stuff, so I predicted we’d sound a bit like them but then we didn’t really…
Piers: I guess we had more energy than I thought we would.
Jake: Yeah, because our philosophy is we wanted to get the energy of the old indie that’s kind of been lost and watered down now, because not many people have that… I hate the term, but that “classic rock ‘n’ roll” kind of energy.
Piers: It always seems a bit manufactured now…

Scors, photograph by Holly Whitaker

Clementine: What’s your process like?
Piers: We sort of write all our own parts. Jake will come over one day with this little chord sequence he’s written in his bedroom…
Jake: Or sometimes I’ll hum something on my way home on my bike and then I’ll work it out on guitar and be like, “Oh.”
Piers: And then we’ll jam to it, sort of make a little melody, Max will get on the bass, Tom will get on the drums, and we jam it out. When we have a basic theme for the song or a little structure, we start working on progressing the song and working out the little parts. Tom helps a lot with that because he plays piano as well.
Jake: Sometimes we have ideas of what kind of song we want to make before we start, but it can really vary from song to song. Once we have a structure, me and Max will sit down together and write the lyrics and do the vocal melodies, because while we’re jamming I kind of spew rubbish.
Max: We’ll record it on our iPhones and then we put the jigsaw together. I think lyrically too, the words are really important to us, so we put a lot of effort into adding layers. We enjoy playing around with words and sentences that don’t quite make sense.
Jake: Big influences lyrically are people like David Bowie, Alex Turner and Kendrick Lamar.
Max: Kendrick Lamar definitely, he’s incredible. 

Scors, photograph by Holly Whitaker

CZ: What do you get up to when you’re not doing band related things?
Jake: We all do different stuff. I’m an artist, which actually carries over to the band because I do all the artwork and have clear ideas of future videos we want to come out. We’re all just finishing sixth form at the moment – I’m doing an Art Foundation afterwards. Piers is a dancer…
Piers: Yeah, I’m a contemporary dancer, so I’m going to uni to do that for a degree.

CZ: How do you balance everything?
Jake: With much difficulty. We’re also not the most organised fellas.
Max: We need a kick up the arse a lot of the time. But I wouldn’t say we’re lazy…
Jake: No, just unorganised. We find a way because it’s what we love to do. As well as it being a possible career, it’s also a massive hobby, so we’re always itching to play at some points. We’re just eager to get better as well, there’s always room for improvement, and so we might as well keep going.

CZ: What can we expect from a Scors gig?
Piers: We play a lot at this place at Off The Cuff in Herne Hill, and it’s local for all our mates and they’ve just started getting bigger.
Jake: It does get a bit hectic.

CZ: What’s next for you guys?
Jake: E The Real You is our latest single on SoundCloud, but we’re currently working on an EP. We’re yet to properly announce it, but hopefully late summer… but we don’t want to make too many promises yet, because last time it took us quite a while.
Max: We want to be more professional this time [laughs].

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