Interview: Thomas Cohen of S.C.U.M at Field Day

By on Monday, 22nd August 2011 at 12:00 pm

After S.C.U.M’s top notch performance at this year’s Field Day, I spoke briefly with singer Tom about their upcoming debut album and also the concept behind their single, ‘Amber Hands’.

Hello! First, I’d like to know about the choice of your band name – S.C.U.M. I know it stands for ‘Society For Cutting Up Men’. Having said so, you only have one female member, so why did you pick this name?
I think it was important to have a name that was not only a name but was also a visual and verbal statement; I wanted it to be almost as strong as the music. Visually it is quite a strong name, and we took the decision to leave one full stop off the end of the name just to make the name more symmetrical and enable the word to become an image. Although there are connotations to the name there is an underlying sense of humour.

I do think it has a very strong visual effect. And your debut album, ‘Again Into Eyes’, is out very soon. Can you tell us more about it?
The album was recorded in August 2010 in an isolated farm in the English countryside. The album consists of 10 tracks. Although the farm was secluded, it was 10 minutes from an army airbase that test flew Chinook helicopters so there was a constant presence. We were able to immerse ourselves in the month we spent recording and ‘Again Into Eyes’ is the outcome.

I really like the cover art and video for ‘Amber Hands’. They both seem really abstract, could you elaborate on the concept behind it?
‘Amber Hands’ was done with artist Matthew Stone I feel his own words explain it best, ‘Churning bodies dissect rhythmic windows that open onto varied states of concentrated being. A collage of limbs and interconnected consciousness, involving and depicting transcendental states, meditations and ecstatic dance, spin into contemporary motion. The body is shown and used to free the viewer from their own. Stone’s work revolves specifically around creative interactions and community, based on the idea that individual autonomy can be successfully combined with the power of collectivity.’

Many thanks to Sheryl for helping us set this up.

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