M caught up with Leeds-based band Scams to find out about their debut album and what they've got planned for 2012...

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 2 Feb 2012
  • min read
Leeds-based Scams wear their influences on their sleeve; the tropical guitar sound of Paul Simon gives way to the catchy US rock of Weezer, with British inspiration coming from Radiohead and The Cure.

They’ve played showcases everywhere from Europe to the US, and are now preparing to release their eclectic debut album Add and Subtract.

M caught up with the band to find out more…

How and why did you get together?
Scams started around a year ago. Prior to that we were working under a different name, in a different city, with a different line-up, but new members and a new outlook led to a name change and formed the band we are today.

What's behind your sound and how did you come to it?
We listen to a lot of different music, so it's really hard for us to stick to playing just one style. We do try and keep things coherent though with a big focus on melody, lyrics and cutting the fat. Our songs are usually short and to the point without unnecessary bullshit.

What equipment do you use and are there any particular reasons for your choice?
Aside from the usual, guitar-wise it's all Fender. A Roland SPD-S is also essential to our sound as we use a lot of samples but are really against not having anything in our songs that we can't play live so that keeps our drummer pretty busy. We also use a use a Roland SP-808EX in preference to any modern samplers. We love the noisy, real sound of old equipment; the new album Add and Subtract was recorded to tape on vintage equipment and the whole lot, including mixing, remains analogue throughout.

Where was your first live show and what was it like?
Our first live show was in Berlin supporting US band New Politics. It was a memorable affair with Andy having to go onstage five minutes after having an allergic reaction to some Chinese food which gradually managed to shut down his throat down by the end of the show.

What's next for the band?
We're currently focusing on getting our new album and artwork into a completed state over the next couple of weeks as well as confirming shows for the next few months so we can get out and actually play these new songs. The next show show is on 11 February at The Wheelbarrow, Camden and we are playing a very special acoustic show as part of the Music Week Breakout event at Proud, Camden on 15 February.

What bands/artists are you into at the moment?
Best way to do this is a list of some stuff that's been catching us all out recently -  Marnie Stern,  Youth Lagoon,  El Guincho,  The Maccabees,  Tim Fite and The Black Keys.

The video below was recorded at the o2 Academy in Islington, London, with Live Connection. To find out more about the Live Connection professional demo service, read M's story here.