Recently releasing their debut record Scorpio Leisure, Edinburgh’s The Stagger Rats deliver high-energy, melodic, and lyrically clever music. The band’s answers were quite humorous and show off their cheeky personalities. Have a read as we spoke to the band about falling off stage, being in an elevator with Ron Jeremy, and a film titled Jangle Your Extremities!
AMBY: How would you describe The Stagger Rats’ sound to those unfamiliar with your music?
The Stagger Rats: Our sound has recently undergone a fairly serious change. I’d call it more classy, more melodic, they’re more piano-led these days since Callum stopped playing organ and moved over to acoustic guitar, and I swapped the telecaster for piano. So big changes. But there’s still an element of some form of 60’s garage rock kind of thing. Let’s just say it’s difficult to pin down and people can put their own labels on it. But, most importantly, it still sounds like us, albeit a more mature us.
AMBY: You have recently released your debut album Scorpio Leisure. Which tracks are your favourites?
The Stagger Rats: I think one of the best things about Scorpio Leisure is the variety. There are many different kinds of songs on there, and so I think there’s something for nearly everyone, within reason. There’s no Norwegian black metal or Papua New Guinean tribal shit on there. But, personally, my favourites are Shasta Cascade and Shine a Light. Thought it depends on what mood I’m in etc.
AMBY: Fuzzy Fuzzy is such a catchy song, what is the story behind it?
The Stagger Rats: Fuzzy Fuzzy started with the main riff. It just came into my head when I was in the kitchen, but in a weird sort of oriental style for some reason. So it was just a matter of transforming that into a song that could be fitted into our style. Someone told me it sounds like the Wheel of Fortune theme, which is amazing. That should’ve been the video really, maybe Callum in a torquoise sequined suit with white gnashers, introducing the rest of us on a shan game show. Lyrically, its got a lot more depth and darkness than it seems, its more of a sex song than a summer love song.
AMBY: Who influence you as a songwriters and musicians?
The Stagger Rats: I think we get such a varied sound from all having pretty different influences, but mine include Randy Newman, Adam Green, Captain Beefheart, The Doors, The Ronettes, The Strange Boys, The Coral and many others. We all like similar stuff and different stuff and it changes from time to time.
AMBY: If you could tour with anyone, who would you chose?
The Stagger Rats: If we could tour with anyone I’d probably pick Adam Green, he’s my favourite musician and he seems like he knows how to have a good time. So there’s some good reasons, and he’d be a great collaborator. Also, he’s on Rough Trade, who we’ve always respected a lot.
AMBY: What would a movie based on The Stagger Rats be called?
The Stagger Rats: That’s a difficult question. I’d like to see a film called ‘Jangle Your Extremities’, so I’m going to go with that. The connotations are mind-blowing.
AMBY: Which three albums changed your life?
The Stagger Rats: The three albums that changed my life are probably Safe As Milk by Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, which is probably our favourite album collectively, it’s just one of the greatest albums ever, unparalleled. The second one is going to be L.A Woman because collectively they’re probably our favourite band and I think it’s the Doors best album, and the rest of the boys would probably agree with me. Number three will be Anything by ABBA because sometimes you’ve just got to embrace the cheesy campness.
AMBY: What is the funniest thing to happen to you at one of your gigs?
The Stagger Rats: Our gigs are always very lively, there’s always people coming up on the stage with us, or throwing stuff at us or jumping into the crowd. But I think the funniest was when I fell off the stage at Linkylea Festival. Well it wasn’t very funny at the time, but it is now.
AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?
The Stagger Rats: We’re most excited about the prospect of possibly doing a new album for 2013, though it is pretty undecided at the moment. But if we could get that done, I’m sure we’d be very happy chappies. We’ve got all the material down pretty much, and we’re doing the new songs live, but nothing is recorded as yet. We’ve got the album named and everything, but we’ll reveal that at a later stage.
AMBY: If you could create a law that everyone would have to follow, what would it be?
The Stagger Rats: I would make everyone walk faster in the street, I would ban reality TV and the phrase ‘lol’, I’d ban wearing your trousers below your boxers and I’d sterilise Peter Andre.
AMBY: Who would you like to be most and least stuck in an elevator with?
The Stagger Rats: I think being stuck in an elevator with Ron Jeremy would be fairly upsetting because he’s fat so he’d take up a lot of room and probably sweat a lot, and he’s a famous porn star so it would only be a matter of minutes before his libido and famous wanger needed tended to. The best would therefore be the opposite, someone small, thin, aromatic, asexual and notoriously under-endowed…like Tin Tin.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about The Stagger Rats that nobody knows yet?
The Stagger Rats: Something about us that nobody knows yet. We’ve got a lot of exciting things in the pipeline that we can’t talk about yet, think outside the box, some crazy stuff. But that’s all I could possibly say. Thanks for your time.
Thank you The Stagger Rats, for giving us your answers!
Alicia, Yaz, & Madison Atout