Come Play With Me, the Leeds based singles club releasing split 7” vinyl is set to release the 3rd single in the series on 27th May 2016.
Described by Clash as ‘fast becoming an imprint to watch’ Come Play With Me’s latest single looks to continue the precedent it has set of highlighting the awesome diversity of great music coming out of the area with bands like Cinerama (The Wedding Present), Harkin (Sleater Kinney, Sky Larkin), Fizzy Blood and OFFICERS. The third installment of Come Play With Me will feature new tracks from ZoZo and Esper Scout.
Above was withguitars first, I know we’re later in the game, first introduction to the Leeds four-piece nevertheless impressed us with their contribution to the latest Come Play With Me single split with another noteworthy Yorkshire band ZoZo. We’re indebted to Vocalist and guitarist Sarah Statham and lead guitar Kirsty Morton.
Here’s the band’s first introduction, then some ramshackle questioning surfaces….
“Esper Scout are a rock band driven by empowering, characterful guitars and bass, passionate lyrical content and dynamic drums. Formed by childhood friends Kirsty and Sarah, who met bassist Rebecca as teenagers, the three began writing and collaborating together in various projects until a point of focus in 2011 when Esper Scout was born. In the 5 years since they formed Esper Scout they have constantly gigged, written & released their music through their own label Bomb the Twist as well as heading out on a UK tour supporting The Cribs. Both Esper Scout & ZoZo are members of Leeds DIY collective and rehearsal space Chunk.
‘We’ve known about Come Play With Me since the announcement of the label’s first release last year. There’s such a sense of community in Leeds and an endearing, connecting underdog spirit, to which in ways we can really relate’ says Sarah Statham of Esper Scout when asked about working with Come Play With me ‘CPWM understands this and want help how they can. That’s something we really respect and have been keen to work with. There’s a refreshing sense of honesty. You know so through what they say and do that their excitement and investment in furthering emerging music is simmering at its core”
Our song is rooted in Russia and other countries affected by the Cold War. Inspired by ‘How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin’, a documentary about the conflict of cultural control during a time of expressive restriction’
Listen to ‘Gaps in the Border Fence’
Esper Scout Interview with
S = Sarah Statham (vocals/guitar)
K = (guitar)
— Has your music philosophy changed much since you were younger?
S. I’d say that my expectations are less intensely charged, having noticed a more relaxed approach in terms of how much internal pressure I put on myself. We care very much, not only about our music but also the wider world, which can be simultaneously motivating and tiring. Releases over the last few years have taught us a lot about building relationships and creating bonds with people, which is one of the best parts about being in a band, as well as more technical aspects of music such as recording, mixing and more industry based information. Playing and writing is fun, first and foremost. A love for creating is why you do it. Having said that it helps to know what you as an artist are capable of in terms of getting your songs out there. A calm philosophy less naïve and more enabled.
— How would you describe Esper Scout’s sound in 2016?
K: Drive, drive, drive. Pushing the sound and striving for individuality, connectivity and community. Trying to put off growing up and settling down, but realising that maturity and learning happens regardless so that’s reflected in our music as we move forward.
— It’s been 5 years together, I apologise, this is the first I have heard by Esper Scout via. your split 7” on Leeds label ‘Come Play With Me’. How did that come about?
S. I’d met Tony Ereira through a friend of ours who invited him down to see Chunk, the co-op practice space and venue we help run in Leeds. I think we met up a few weeks afterwards and discovered a common ground in our love of positive productivity and people connecting to do good things. He spoke a bit about his projects and Come Play With Me seemed to make perfect sense to me in its aim of providing exposure for dedicated and deserving local bands. I didn’t expect for us to be considered having known how many options for each release they have to choose from. But having self-released for a few years under our label ‘Bomb the Twist’ the gesture of support has been welcome, forming further bonds with members of Leeds’ very active music community as a result.
Last September’s ‘In Foreign’
— You mentioned the band have know CPWM since before the label’s first release. Do you know ZoZo as well?
K : a Yeah, we have known ZoZo for a while! They joined ‘Chunk’ at the same time as us when the collective moved into a bigger building. It’s great to be doing a release with a band we love so much and that we share such a great co-operative practice/music/art space with.
— You’ve described ‘Gaps in the Border Fence’ as rooted in Russia and other countries affected by the Cold War. Inspired by ‘How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin’, a documentary about the conflict of cultural control during a time of expressive restriction. Could you expand a little on your inspiration?
S. Yeah I watched that programme on the BBC about five years ago and it really resonated with my belief in just how strong the human spirit can be if you care enough about something. Passionate, resourceful music fans desperate to keep in touch with current culture happening out-of-bounds. Beyond their ‘border fences’ I guess.
The title itself came from a photograph’s caption inside a book I bought when travelling around mainland Europe with Kirsty and Rebecca. It’s a digestible history of the Berlin Wall, bought from a pop-up stall at the city’s train station.
— The sound on ‘Gaps in the Border Fence’ is atmospheric laden. Was the song an easier to perform live than others?
K: I really enjoy playing the song live as I’ve always felt we are the most bonded during it. There’s something especially cohesive. It always seems to be the one song where we have more understanding of each others’ performance.
S. It’s one of our favourites for sure. Our set closer for the last six months. The build from minimalist guitar strokes to everything blaring is fun to pursue every time.
— Also we are having a fragmented debate on rock here at WithGuitars. Roughly our view remains that rock is in a good place only more fragmented with poor media coverage. But enough from our soapbox, what do you think?
K: There seems to be more diversity, increased media power and variety genres. But the coverage in all the wrong places. The range of exposure is too limited. Rock music has always been an exciting place to be but unfortunately the media only likes to let small parts trickle out and jade people’s perception of a vast scene.
— Are there plans to follow up the impressive Come Play With Me split with anything from further releases to shows?
S. We’re currently writing our debut album. It’s felt a while coming and has taken a few years to feel ready for various reasons. The timing is good right now. We’ve gradually learnt more about ourselves and what we want. I’ve had health problems with wrist tendonitis and we’ve allowed ourselves to settle in with Abbi on drums, who has given the band and music a fresh, valuable energy. You could say that time has gifted us perspective and being patient is paying off in terms of refining older ideas with more skill than we had previously. Both as individual players and a group.
2014’s ‘Belay’ via Kill Rock Stars