Roy Stride (seen here in the centre), lead vocalist with Scouting For Girls, chats with Kevin Cooper about playing in the middle of a rainforest in Papua New Guinea, working with 5 Seconds Of Summer, the release of their latest album and their forthcoming tour.

Roy Stride is an Ivor Novello and Brit nominated musician, songwriter and producer with his band, Scouting For Girls. Together with Stride, the band consists of childhood friends from London, Greg Churchouse on bass guitar and Peter Ellard on percussion. Having formed in 2005, they signed a four album deal with Epic Records in 2007. They released their self-titled debut album that September and it reached number one on the UK Album Chart and went triple Platinum in terms of total sales.

A second album Everybody Wants To Be On TV was released in April 2010 and peaked at number two in the charts. This was preceded by the single This Ain’t A Love Song, which went to number one in the UK Singles Chart. Having sold over 2 million records, their third album The Light Between Us was also very well received before the release of their Greatest Hits album in 2013.

Whilst busy rehearsing for their forthcoming tour, he took time out to have a chat with Kevin Cooper, and this is what he had to say.


Hi Roy how are you?

I’m great Kevin thanks, how are you today?

I’m good thanks and thanks for taking the time to speak to me.

It’s my pleasure.

And I have to ask, how is life treating you?

It’s really good Kevin in fact it is really, really busy. We have a new single, a new album and the tour so to be honest with you it’s all go at the minute. Even though we have been working on this album for the past two years now it feels as though everything has come together all at the same time. We are trying to enjoy every moment because it all can be over so quickly these days (laughter). So I would describe things as hectic but fun (laughter).

Were you pleased with how well the Greatest Hits album was received?

It did what it did Kevin (laughter). We had great fun touring the album although a greatest hits album is always a weird one. We didn’t really have any plans after that to do anything plus it was also the final album that we had with our deal with Sony. We had no record deal after that. We had just completed the tour and then found ourselves with no record deal which really does draw a line under a band. So what we all intended to do was to take some time out but that didn’t quite materialise (laughter).

Didn’t you find yourselves in the middle of a rainforest in Papua New Guinea?

(Laughter) that’s right Kevin. One of the gig offers we received for the following year was to perform with the Huli Wigmen tribe in Papua New Guinea, as part of the Singing In The Rain project. We wrote a song with the tribe, and that kind of rejuvenated the band. We spent the next year playing anywhere which made us all fall back in love with the band. The better we got performing live then the songs just started flowing for a new album.

On the subject of the new album, is it all finished and ready to go?

It was all written about a year ago now Kevin and we took three months taking our time recording it. Then by the time that you deliver the album you start discussing when you want to release it and then you start doing different mixes on it (laughter). It really does feel like I have lived through it. I have had it for a while now. For most people it feels brand new but to me it almost feels like a toddler now (laughter) and I am pleased to say that I still like it. I haven’t put it up for adoption just yet, it’s still in my CD player.

Tell me about the album. What can we expect?

It’s a slightly more grown-up version of our first album. It’s upbeat and positive with some quite summery fun songs. It’s almost as if you have crossed She’s So Lovely with This Ain’t A Love Song; that is roughly where we are now. There is an honesty and a heart to the songs on the new album.

Are you looking forward to touring the new album?

We simply can’t wait Kevin because this will be our first proper tour for a new album since 2010. We did the Greatest Hits which was fun but it is so nice touring with your own band; it is such a privilege. It is the reason why you join a band.

So for you is it festivals or intimate venues?

I have to say Kevin that I love them both but having just played a load of summer festivals they are so different to intimate venues. At festivals you play all of your hits and you have all of your good material on show whereas on a venue tour you are a couple of days into it and you know so much more about each other in the band. You are so much more up close and personal with the audience. I am so much looking forward to the tour.

This will be your third time playing at Rock City. Do you enjoy playing here in Nottingham?

Yes Kevin we do. We have played Rock City a couple of times and the crowds are always amazing. There is such a history behind the venue. In our time we have played in the smallest room’s right up to the Arena we played once. We have played everywhere possible in Nottingham and we love the city. Nottingham has always been pretty good to us, it’s always a lively night whenever we play up there. I think that there is music in the blood in Nottingham.

What can we expect from your gig at Rock City?

Well we always try to put on an entertaining show Kevin. We will be playing a few new songs along with the greatest hits and perhaps even a few cheeky covers (laughter). It is all about having a great time. It is getting close to Christmas so it will be like a very large Christmas office party, fingers crossed (laughter). I’m really looking forward to it, I can’t wait.

You have been working with some big artists including One Direction, 5 Seconds Of Summer, McBusted, Jasmine Thompson, Olly Murs, and Nina Nesbitt. Who would you say has given you the greatest pleasure?

That would probably be 5 Seconds Of Summer as I really did enjoy working with them. I was involved with them before they had a record deal and I have now known them for almost four years. So for me to see them move on to such amazing success especially over in the States has been such fun for me. I love the fact that they still come across as being a bunch of mates and not just a band which is pretty much the same as our band; friendships are so important to us Kevin. That’s why I love those guys.

Turning that on its head and putting you on the spot, is their anyone who perhaps you didn’t enjoy working with as much as you thought you may have done?

Erm (laughter) not really Kevin. I think that most of the people who are in this business are a kindred spirit really. If you find yourself sitting in a room writing a song with somebody there is something special there. You find that you have so much more in common than probably 99% of the population. I have been so lucky to be able to work with so many talented people. I really enjoy it.

Roy, on that note let me thank you for taking the time to speak to me and good luck with the tour.

Thanks so much Kevin and I will give you a wave in the pit at Rock City.