“We played the world’s most dangerous game of pool. It involved lots of alcohol, cricket helmets and lots of flying pool balls”
Hastings folk punks Matilda’s Scoundrels have a busy schedule at the moment playing lots of festivals across the UK, but we managed to catch them just before they hit BoomTown festival. We spoke to guitarist Dan Flanagan about their hectic year of releases, touring, festivals and what’s in store for the Scoundrels in the future.
Broken Arrow: Tell us a little about how you started, what were your influences and what were the goals from the beginning?
Dan: We were all connected to each other through our local music scene and skateboarding. A few of us went out one night to a local folk gig and decided we should start something. There is a big variety of influences in the band as not all of us were influenced by punk and folk. The main goal for the band was to spread the Hastings spirit in our music across the country.
Broken Arrow: Do you feel you have achieved any of those goals?
Dan:Yeah definitely, I think this year so far has proved that. We’re always up and down the country looking for places and crowds to play to.
Broken Arrow: In the last 18 months you’ve been rather busy releasing new music. An EP, a split and a single, with plans to release more already on the cards. Do you find it easier to release music in drabs of a few songs at a time?
Dan:It’s cheaper and quicker to put out EP’s and splits, especially as a new band. We’re working on our first full-length album so keep your eyes peeled.
Broken Arrow: Whose idea was it to do a split with The Barracks, and to cover a song from each other?
Dan: I can’t remember exactly how it came about but we’re all great mates and it was talked about for a while. We all had new music to release and we thought it would be fun to cover a song each to see how they came out.
Broken Arrow: What is the common songwriting process for Matilda’s scoundrels? Who had the most ideas?
Dan: Someone brings an idea to the table, whether it’s lyrics, chord progression or a lead line. Then we all get together to structure it. Quinn (vocalist) brings the majority of ideas but everyone has their say.
Broken Arrow: What influenced the idea to write a song about Aleister Crowley?
Dan: Quinn reads a lot of books, which leads to song ideas. Aleister Crowley was one of them. As soon as we heard he was writing a song about him we jumped at the chance to finish it, having a Hastings connection.
“The great thing about these festivals is we get to see our friends we don’t get to see often, whether they are in bands or not.”
Broken Arrow: Over the last year you’ve gradually been building a live reputation, getting on some established festival bills. How does it feel to start getting some decent recognition?
Dan: It’s exciting and scary at the same time. It’s come as a surprise to be included on some major festivals so early in the band’s lifespan. But we feel the same whatever the show is, we all want to play live and have a good time.
Broken Arrow: Boomtown and Rebellion are the most notable festivals on the list, how was Rebellion and what are you excited for most about Boomtown? Do any bands stand out to you on either lineup?
Dan: We were blown away by the response we had at Rebellion and we’re really looking forward to playing Boomtown. The great thing about these festivals is we get to see our friends we don’t get to see often, whether they are in bands or not. There are too many bands to name but obviously the Levellers, Roughneck Riot, The Lagan, Casual Nausea, Faintest Idea, Bar Stool Preachers, Ed Ache, Hello Mabel and so much more.
Broken Arrow: What have been some of the highlights from touring and playing these festivals so far?
Dan: James (Baughurst, bassist), comedy gold moments. The best thing about it has to be meeting a new people and bands.
Broken Arrow: Can you tell us some funny tour stories?
Dan: Sorry but it’s probably not wise but we did play the world’s most dangerous game of pool in Kidderminster with Black Volvo. It involved lots of alcohol, cricket helmets and lots of flying pool balls.
Broken Arrow: There has been some talk about you guys doing a music video with jousting, is that still a plan?
Dan: We come up with loads of stupid ideas for videos so you never know.
Broken Arrow: You are touring Europe for the first time next year, are dates and locations confirmed?
Dan: Yeah it’s something we’re looking at but nothing is confirmed just yet. We want to go as much as we possibly can and hopefully get on some European festivals.
Broken Arrow: Are you excited for it?
Dan: We’ve only heard good things about touring Europe so everyone is looking forward to it. Especially the beer!
Broken Arrow: Some of you have started promoting shows too as ‘Toxic Wotsit’ Promotions, can you tell us about that? And about Wotsit Called Fest?
Dan: Wotsit Called Fest came about as a way to thank lots of bands that have helped us out throughout the year, whether it’s getting us shows, helping release some music or given us a place to stay. It’s Saturday 3rd September at The Union Bar, Hastings and tickets are only £5 in advance!
Broken Arrow: What are the future plans for Matilda’s Scoundrels?
Dan: To keep on doing what we are doing, to get the album out and try not to die of liver failure!
Broken Arrow: Any messages for our readers?
Dan: Thanks for coming!
Reviews featuring Matilda’s Scoundrels:
Matilda’s Scoundrels – Crowley’s Curse
Matilda’s Scoundrels – Beasts In Disguise
Matildas Scoundrels & The-Barracks – split
Wonk Unit – The Union Bar, Hastings
Faintest Idea – The Union Bar, Hastings