Interview – Table Scraps

Table Scraps

Brummie garage rock band Table Scraps premiered the video for their new single ‘I Wanna Stay Home With U’ on Facebook yesterday, amassing 6k views in the first 24 hours. The video takes the form of a Zoom conference call, with cameos from over fifty of their industry pals. Rowena caught up with the band via Zoom (naturally), to chat about the video, positive heckling and how their band name came about.

How did you guys meet?

Tim: Poppy and Scott lived next door to each other for many, many years. Poppy had just left [Poppy &] The Jezebels, Scott had just finished with The Big Bang [band].

Where did the band name come from?

Scott: I think I said something like, we want something that’s kind of punk, but can be trashy and throw away, like fucking ‘table scraps’ or something. And then went, “Table Scraps? Is that alright? Yep!”

Tim joined Table Scraps on bass in 2016. How did that come about?

Scott: I had an operation on my hip and couldn’t walk for nearly a year. Before that, we were working so hard to compensate not only for just two people being on stage, but then also recovering [from the operation]. I was also writing songs that had big bass lines. We realised it would be a lot easier if we there were three of us. And then Poppy somehow married Tim.

Poppy: Quite by accident [laughs].

Tim: There were quite a lot of two-pieces around at that time and there was this sort of idea that you could just jump in a car and be a two-piece.

Poppy: It’s really hard, though. I think that’s the thing; being in a two-piece is really hard – especially playing live.

Scott: You work really, really fucking hard on stage.

Tim: I remember watching Scraps gigs as a two-piece and they’d be working so much; they’d have no time. Poppy used to have a little stand-up cocktail kit; Scott used to have a wall of amps – he would loop a bassline and then start to bring in the other stuff, and it would just be like a proper workout wouldn’t it?

What was it like playing in South by Southwest Festival in Texas last year?

Scott: It was amazing. It’s the best; one minute you’re playing in somebody’s backyard with actual chickens pecking your big muff pedal – and then the next minute you’ve got some corporate sponsored thing being given Jansport rucksacks. It’s a complete culture shock, it’s amazing. We were doing like, three shows a day. It’s just the best.

You guys toured Europe in 2018 with Monster Magnet – how does touring in Europe compare with the UK?

Poppy: It’s massively different. I mean part of it is because we were on tour with a big act, but also it’s the closest thing to traditional touring. It’s not a DIY thing, it’s more of a touring-career-band-vibe.

Tim: It’s the sort of thing where there’s A4 printouts of tour schedules in dressing rooms. The main difference is that the money is just so much better, the infrastructure, the support, the culture of people going to shows and paying money. It really shows up how poorly funded or just how
saturated [the UK tour scene] is. [The UK is] such a small place with so many fucking bands. [In Europe] the money is a lot better, the hospitality is a lot better, and the respect for what you’re doing is just implicit. You don’t have to justify [your music]. It’s not like after you play, they’re like, “Oh shit, you’re actually quite good! Cool, let’s have you back!” You get taken a lot more seriously.

Poppy: I think Germany is by far my favourite place in terms of touring. Germany is wicked. Merch sales in Germany were like, woah! Guys will buy one of everything. They’ll ask if you have anything rare or anything you haven’t put out, as if you’ve just got a secret stash of stuff.

Do you have any funny tour stories?

Scott: I think the bizarre, lost-in-translation positive heckling was the best thing. In Copenhagen – “very impressive! It was very good music!”

Poppy: I think we shouted that at each other in the tour van like every day for the rest of the tour – “very impressive!”.

Tim: There’s very little dry, sarcastic UK humour there. People who literally said, “I like this!” and they mean it.

Scott: Please play some more songs to my ears!

If you were stuck in a desert island with each other, which Birmingham band would you pick to keep you company?

Poppy: The Cosmics surely. I think The Cosmics are one of my favourite bands on the new video. They are the twins Irish dancing in the cupboard, nearly falling over each other. It’s pretty epic! They’re just really cool, they’re really good live – and on record.

Tim: They’re the antidote of any serious band. They’re seriously chill, and they’re really good – they’re really fucking good.

Scott: [Showing off his Cosmics t-shirt] They get on stage and just absolutely rip. They’re just great.

Do you have a favourite gig that you’ve ever done?

Poppy: The last gig at Hotel Vegas at South by Southwest was probably one of my favourites for me, that stands out. Part of it’s just the vibes of finishing the tour, being in Texas but it was also just a good gig there. It was the coolest venue, we played there twice. Scott left the venue while we were
playing, went down the street with his guitar to a Taco truck!

Tell me about the new single!

Tim: It’s out on Thursday 16th April, on Burger Records, which is a cool label on the West Coast. They put out our last album. Once the lockdown kicked off, Scott said, “why the fuck don’t we just adapt this into a quarantine-friendly track?” And then I suggested we do it as Zoom call with everyone we know, and do a rolling roster on Zoom of everyone bored out of their minds, dealing with isolation. Scott got the song mixed over a weekend, I started putting calls out to people almost immediately, edited it in two days and Burger signed off for it like two days later.

Scott: We’d call friends up that we haven’t spoken to in ages and be like, “Wannabe in the video?” And now every time I see it, I feel really happy. And I think that’s what people are tapping into when they see it. We’re not doing it to make any money; it’s not about that. The feel-good factor is what
people tapped into, which is why it’s been so successful today, which is just great. It’s a drop in the ocean compared to what some people are doing, but that made me feel good for one.

Tim: Until you can be back at gigs and seeing your mates and swapping LPs, this is as close as you’re gonna get to that garage rock community feel without being able to leave the house for a long time. There was a reason why everyone was like, “yes, we’ll definitely do that!” Even the bigger names didn’t think twice about it, because it’s why they got into it in the first place.

Don’t miss the new single, ‘I Wanna Stay Home With U’, out Thursday 16 th April on Burger Records.

Rowena Goodman