Interview with Simon Scott of Slowdive

Simon Scott from Slowdive surprised a few people recently when he unveiled his new band Televise. Following their track on the recent Club AC30 ep the band have been in the studio recording their debut single due this April. We caught up with Simon to find out what he’s been upto in the 11 years since he left Slowdive.

Cheers for agreeing to the interview. How are you?

Just out of the studio and all is good thanks.

You’ve kept a low profile since you left Slowdive. What have you been upto?

I’ve done quite a few things with other bands and released a few records. After leaving Slowdive in 1994 I went to Iceland and played with Chapterhouse at the UXI Festival and then wrote and recorded a song with them. The track was called ‘Feel’ and was included on a ‘Best of’ cd.

I also helped out loads of small and interesting bands with recording, I went to Italy to drum in Milan for a while and then came back to England and formed Inner Sleeve with Russell from Chapterhouse. Three singles and an album came out. Then I went off to drum for Lowgold touring with Coldplay and Grandaddy.

Now it’s Televise and I can never see this band ending, it’s the best band I’ve been in ever honest!

You joined Slowdive in 1990. Prior to that you were in The Charlottes whom if my memory serves me correctly toured with Ride…. is that how you joined the band?

Slowdive were fans of The Charlottes and came to see us in Reading when we toured there. After coming off stage they bought me a drink and asked me to join and move in with them so I did.

Were Slowdive signed to Creation when you joined?

I signed after the first single came out but they had met Mr McGee and agreed to let him release the records before I came in.

Were you into Creation before you were on the label?

Massively! It was my major ambition to be on Creation and then it happened. Finding myself signed to the same label as My Bloody Valentine and Primal Scream was fucking incredible. You’d walk into the office and Colm and Kevin Shields are there putting a beer into your hand, Alan McGee gives me a Byrds T-shirt and then Ride walk in to say they want us to go to the states on tour with them. That was a typical day really and it was the best label at the time, definitely! Especially for a band like Slowdive.

What memories do you have of that era?

Brilliant memories and I’m proud to have been part of it all.

You left before the Pygmalion album, what were your reasons for leaving?

Neil was taking so much time writing and he moved to London so the rest of us were stuck in Reading frustrated. We weren’t allowed to contribute and I wanted to keep playing music and wrote songs so I moved on.

I recently saw Nick and Christian and they said they wished they’d left when I went as I believe it all went stale. But I hold no grudges and would definitely like to see them all again. Christian has already been down to see Televise play live so hopefully the others will make it to a show.

Sanctuary recently released the ‘Catch The Breeze’ compilation. What did you think of it?

It’s great, but where’s my free copy?

Did it bring back a lot of memories hearing the tracks again?

Yes, good memories and it’s strange as it reminded me of so many other bands i’ve heard in the last 10 years. I was talking to Mogwai and they said they use to come and watch us live and Televise have just got an email from The Polyphonic Spree and Bloc Party saying what big Slowdive fans they are!

You’re now in Televise, how long have you been working on that?

It started in a North London pub where loads of Creative people hang out. I wanted to start Televise and then I met Nick the drummer and started jamming. The second night we played together there were about fifty Japanese students,  some other musicians including Will Oldham and Bobby Gillespie and this collection of LSD tripping artists all banging tables and chairs.

That night I met Alex and eventually this Syd Barrett look alike called Jamie eventually joined the band as second guitarist. Then our late night jams turned into songs. It’s odd that we never got banned but it turned into a happening I guess and the landlord made a fortune. We got to rehearse for free and play until the sun came up.

What’s it like being the front man in a band compared to being a drummer?

I’m singing because I write the lyrics and it’s as much fun as drumming. I don’t see it as being a front man as I’m just singing and playing my guitar. Front man is a term I always associate with wankers who have big egos, wear spandex and strut around the stage in stadiums. I don’t strut, I like to glide, preferably near the bar.

Can you tell me what plans you have with that?

To release amazing records and play great gigs where ever people want us to play. The response to our music has been outstanding and we’ve had hundreds of letters from all over the world. Hopefully all those people who want to see us will get the chance in the near future.

There’s a proper single due on Club AC30. When can we expect that to be released?

We finished it three days ago so it will be out in late April. It’s called ‘Outside Out’ and it’s probably the most up song we have right now and we are really happy for it to be coming out on the AC30 label here in England.

What are you listening to these days?

The Times are getting exciting again and there are loads of great bands popping up here in the UK and abroad. Ulrich Schnauss, the Japanese group Mono and Fennesz have lit my personal stereo up recently, as has the records released on Claire Records, AC30 and 4AD.

Finally, do you have a message for the kids today?

Never mix your drinks.

Interview February 2005