Simon Scott is now fronting Televise. The rest of the band consists of Alex Dowding on bass and backing vocals, Jamie Armstrong on guitar, and Nick Ring on drums. They will be joining us for our next Pennyblackmusic Bands Night at the London Spitz on the 24th July.

Simon has a long career in the music industry and has worked as both a drummer and a guitarist. He drummed for Cherry Red's the Charlottes,and recorded with them various singles and also an album, Love Happy'(1989), before joining Creation Records' Slowdive again as a drummer and appeared on their classic second album 'Souvlaki' (1992).After leaving them he fronted Fierce Panda's Inner Sleeve, whom released a single album 'Looking Up' before splitting. He then joined Lowgold to return to drums, and, after that, formed The 360's which he wrote the songs for. When the 360's singer left they renamed themselves Televise and Simon went back to the role of frontman and vocalist.

I spoke to Simon at Televise's third gig. To quote him in this interview about his career and Televise, Televise will "hopefully tear peoples fucking hearts' out".I would agree. It's mind blowing rock 'n'roll.


PB : The first thing that you played in a band was drums.

SS : Yeah.

PB : How did that happen ? You were very young at the time, weren't you ?

SS : Yeah , I have got an older brother and sister with really big record collections and I got into music through raiding
those. There was stuff there like Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Hendrix, and also stuff like Motorhead as well. I started really getting into into the rhythmic side of things first of all and began by playing the drums on biscuit tins and then bought a £25 drum kit when I was eleven.

My brother bought an acoustic guitar, which I stole along with his records, and so then I started to play guitar and that really began to take off when I heard Johnny Marr play. When 'This Charming Man' and 'Hand In Glove' came out, I just wanted to play guitar like that. So I played drums and acoustic guitar and then I got a electric guitar for £15 or £25. No, in fact I swapped a computer game for it in a burger bar, so I then had an electric guitar which I plugged into the stereo and I then just taught myself how to play music really. From getting into the Smiths , it all got kind of linked up, and I got into other stuff as well like the Byrds and 60's garage stuff.

PB : Which was where Johnny Marr was coming from anyhow.

SS : Yeah, My brother was into blues and stuff. He was a biker and he used to have a lot of Led Zeppelin and heavy blues stuff and he was into Muddy Waters stuff as well. As far as Televise goes , I dont think there"s any Muddy Waters influence in there. There's no blues jams.

PB : Your first big band was the Charlottes. How did you meet them ? Were they mates that you already knew or did you meet them through some kind of social group ?

SS. I can't remember. How did I meet them ? Oh,I know, I was in a sixth form band, when I was like 13, playing typical sixth form songs like Magazine and Banshees covers and this band the Giant Polar Bears-these were all guys who were in their 20's- saw a gig and invited me to join them , which was kind of weird.

Suddenly I was this 13 year old kid smoking spliffs with 28 year old men. I thought "Fucking hell. This is scary" and then Graham Gargiulo from the Charlottes joined that band and we sat down one day and said "Lets not do cover versions anymore. We can do our own stuff" . With the Giant Polar Bears, we were doing covers of people like the Mighty Lemon Drops and so we started jamming and writing our own material instead . Graham then started going out with Petra Roddis whom became the singer with the Charlottes. Then David Wade whom was a work mate of Graham's came and played bass and that's how the Charlottes formed.

PB : And they did a couple of singles and one album?

SS : It started off on Molesworth Records, which was a guy in East Anglia who put out records . We did two singles ' Are you Happy Now ?" and 'Love Happy' and then we did three tours with Ride and released the album and also some singles. Then Slowdive came and saw us, playing in Reading, because they needed a drummer and I joined them.

PB : You retired for a while from music after Slowdive. There was a long time before you formed your next band, Inner Sleeve, with whom you played guitar. You then went back to playing drums with Lowgold. Was it weird going back to drumming, because you said, after Slowdive, that you didn't want to drum anymore?

SS : Not really, because after so long of not drumming, it was really nice to go back and I realised why I started to drum in the first place. It was nice to know I could do more than one thing, but with Lowgold, theres no big story, I just toured with them and I'm only on one track on the album.

PB : The new album?

SS : No, the new one,' Welcome to Winners', I'm not on any of it. It was their first album, 'Just Backweard of Square.'

PB : But you're still in them?

SS. No, I left them. I left them to do this, which they weren't too happy about.

PB : Televise's sound is very much in your face guitar rock as was Inner Sleeve. Whereas Inner Sleeve were a bit like Ride, Televise remind me of Slowdive, and a bit also of My Bloody Valentine and Pale Saints. Would you agree with that ?

SS : .Er....

PB : It's because of the carved out and clever guitar lines.

SS : I guess Inner Sleeve were more like Ride because they were poppier. There were pauses that were similar.

PB : I know it's before its time but Slowdive were post rock before there was a thing called post rock.

SS. Yeah, that's a thing I have a passion for. If I walk into a record shop, I often tend to dig out something that might be the second cousin of David Paidole playing accordian or something. I'm into a lot of obscure stuff. I hate the term post rock but I collect that sort of stuff

PB : Slowdive were ambient and chilled out but with guitars.

SS : Yeah, Slowdive influenced a lot of post rock bands, I know a couple of guys in Mogwai and they always used to be down the front at Glasgow gigs by Slowdive.

PB : They are meant to be the biggest Slowdive-influenced band around,

SS : They' re definitely one of them. I would say Televise has a post rock feel to it also, but I"m trying to do something different with it and to use the guitar sound more than I did with Inner Sleeve.

In Inner Sleeve there was a lot more noise in there and also the Mary Chain pop thing going on and a little bit of noise between the songs.

I don't know about Televise yet. It is really new. With each rehearsal with the four of us and with each new gig, it just evolves, so in six months time God knows where we will be. It's going to be great going into the studio.

PB : How would you compare the 360's to Televise ? They sound like twp different bands,but it's the same line up bar the singer, isn't it ?

SS :Yeah, more or less. The reason why it had to change was because I was writing the songs and sitting down with the singer and working stuff out and he was pulling it in a completely different direction. We were only together for a few months. It didn't make much sense. I would say "This is how it should sound, so can you try and sing it like this ?" And it didn't seem to work. He was a bit flakey and he eventually left and it was no big deal. I was like "Fuck those songs !" and I went and wrote some more and that's what Televise are now. The 360's aren't even important now. It wasn't really a band.

PB : You gave me the one track CDR. Is there a record deal yet?

SS : No, we are going back to the studio in about a month to record a load more songs. There's a guy who runs a small independent label who wants to put out an album but we are open to offers at the moment.

This is like our third gig, so it's really early days. We have the songs now, and we have worked really, really hard the last few months. We rehearse every day and have banged out the songs and worked
on it and we are going into the studio to record and Simon Williams at Fierce Panda is putting us on again.

PB : How do you think your music has changed since 1999 ? I think the music you have been writing since '99 has changed, but it's hard to put a finger how. It's probably more in a song way.

SS : I suppose it has just over time.

PB : Is that because you have grown a bit ?

SS : It is because I spend all my money on records still and buy loads
and loads of different stuff that I read about in the Wire, and on websites and in fanzines. Five times out of ten I get something
out of it. Sometimes it's genius and sometimes it's really disappointing.

I'm most interested in emotions in songs really and I think the emotions that Televise have got are much more powerful than a band like Denim and Slowdive who had at some points 4,5, even 6 guitars on their records, and who used the guitars to the point of overload.With 2 guitars , it's just a case of getting the point over and hopefully tearing people's fucking hearts out!

PB : We spoke last at the end of Brit Pop, and you thought then that
music was a great place to be in. Do you still feel music is a great
place to be in, because good music now is so limited and it's also harder to find?

SS : I think it's there if you can be bothered to go and find it. It's like you pick up a magazine like The Wire and I'm not into lots of electronic infused folk or whatever the in thing is at the moment, but there is some really interesting stuff there and you can also go on websites and read about bands who people are raving about.

PB : That's a good thing that has come along since our last interview because now you can check stuff out online, whereas before you had to go to a record shop and if you couldn't find it that was it really.

SS : But now people are fucking lazy. They go to the supermarket and
buy their toilet roll, and toothpaste and their brussel sprouts and pick up the latest Stereophonics album. If they have it, fuck it, they'll buy 'Robbie Live' instead and it's getting dumb and dumber.

I thought a lot of Brit Pop sucked. I hated it, I thought every single label thought "Right,we need an indie band" and now every single major is kind of frightened to get bands that are doing something different. I think alot of indie bands aren't pushing themselves. They are doing it as a career. They are doing it to leave their office jobs and to fuck off.......


We spoke for a lot longer but most of the rest was about good records. Simon Scott recommended records by the Secret Machines and Jet Plane Landing.



Televis will play the 6th Penny Black Music Night at the Spitz on the 24th July supporting Glen Matlock (ex Sex Pistols).











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