You better believe there’s a battle raging over who’s going to come out with the best pandemic-related song, and in the raw power garage-rock realm, we may have found the victor.
Table Scraps is a raw, fuzzy, and uncompromising garage rock band from Birmingham, England, sonically comparable to garage rock all-stars new and old, such as The Melvins, Oh Sees, King Gizzard and Black Flag.
Propelled into the spotlight of the UK garage scene by their aggressive and feedback-drenched live shows, Table Scraps’ sound is one that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The group’s self-awareness and ability to avoid overthinking allows them to craft timeless and catchy hooks that pay homage to riff-rock legends.
Table Scrap’s knack for writing ear worms materialized with their LP, Autonomy, in 2018, which was released in the U.S. by the legendary Burger Records. Their latest single, “I Wanna Stay Home With U,” was also released via Burger Records on April 16th.
The song wittily remarks on the reality of our day-to-day lives during these times of COVID-19 induced quarantine. It’s a topical track and is accompanied by a homemade video of the band members (among others) playing their parts via webcam in the comfort and safety of their respective homes.
We got the chance to talk with Table Scraps about Burger Records, upcoming releases, and of course, the reason behind the track.
So how did Table Scraps come together?
Scott and Poppy were next door neighbours, and both of their recent bands had come to an end so it made sense! Both had a very no-bullshit approach after having just been through a few years of the music industry wringer, so something immediate and with as few people involved as possible was (and pretty much still is) the plan. TJ came to some shows, and eventually married Poppy, so he filled out the low end after a couple of years of two-piece mayhem.
Can you describe the journey from local sensation to being signed by Burger Records?
We’ve always dug what Burger does. They’re great people and our ethos definitely aligns with theirs. We played Burgermania in Austin at SXSW last year, which was a real bucket list moment. Getting on their radar mostly came down to us taking the time to put in the hard yards on our own and not coming at them with anything half-baked. They put out our first LP on tape and then, when we had our second LP, Autonomy, out on Zen 10 records here in Europe, we were delighted when they wanted to license it and put it out on cassette too as we’ve always loved and put out tapes – despite how much they may spend on someone’s shelf whilst they stream it on Spotify!
When Burger’s ‘Quarantunes’ compilation landed in our inbox, we knew it was such a great idea. It made us get the creative process going under lockdown, and we were super thrilled that they included us on it!
What was the process of writing and making the music video for “I Wanna Stay Home With U” like?
When the call for ‘Quarantunes’ came in we had some tracking of jams for the next LP on various hard drives and cassettes, and this track seemed perfect to take in that direction for a lockdown song. Scott had transplanted the contents of the studio to home (to the neighbours’ dismay) and was able to write and track everything for “I Wanna Stay Home With U” in a day. Everything fit perfectly. The idea for the video was to show how many of us are in the same boat and to spread some cheer in these tough times.
After the release of Autonomy, I see y’all embarked on a sizable European tour with Monster Magnet. What was your favorite show of that tour?
For a band used to the DIY scene, spilled beer, taped up equipment and the audience’s breath, it was a few shows when we were in Copenhagen when we felt the transition to a loud, slick rock machine capable of filling big rooms. It was like a jet taking off. We learned so much on that tour! German shows were always very big and they were super receptive. Having Dave Wyndorf’s approval (and him trusting Magnet’s audience to get us) definitely made us a good fit.
Aside from shooting DIY music videos, how are y’all keeping sane during quarantine?
Beer, sunbathing, beer, recording the next LP, beer.
What’s the first thing you plan to do after quarantine has lifted?
Get straight to our spiritual home, The Hare & Hounds, and have a massive pint.
Any plans for future releases?
We’re recording the next LP, somewhat of a concept album, so we wanna hit the ground running with that.
If you could have coffee or beer with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?
I think you’d be hard-pressed to beat Lemmy on a good day, surely? We’re not too keen on playing up to big connections or the like, so if the situation were to ever happen hypothetically we would most likely have an argument about whether we should go and say hi, decide it would be lame to do so, and then probably end up getting distracted by a swimming pool and beer.
What is your favorite thing about life in Birmingham?
It’s a real underdog and gets written off a lot, which has always been a good thing for us: minimal interference, almost no coked-up industry losers boring you all night. It’s the UK’s second biggest city with over two million people but still feels like a close-knit community of weirdos. There is obviously an amazing legacy when it comes to Sabbath, Napalm Death, GBH but it’s kinda nice that there aren’t statues of Ozzy all over town like there are in Liverpool for The Beatles. Having the past bear down so much on new bands up there can definitely be limiting.
What is your ultimate goal for music?
Never. Fucking. Stop