Back in the summer I came across the video for Birmingham, UK duo Table Scraps, Motorcycle (Straight to Hell) and since then it’s been an obsessive love affair. I ordered the vinyl of their latest record – More Time For Strangers, (with a t-shirt!) and the CD that came with the package hasn’t left my car in three months. It’s safe to say that the album is on my best of the year list.
Table Scraps stir up a potent brew of loud, trashy garage rock with wicked heavy metal riffs, stand-up drums and sneering vocals, kind of like a Frankenstein monster stitched together from The Kills, White Zombie, and early Motorhead.
Crank it up!
Scott Vincent Abbott, singing and guitars
Poppy Twist, drumming and singing
How did you become Table Scraps and what’s with the name?
Scott: We were neighbours and both our previous bands came to an end so it just happened. We went to a small damp room and made a racket. The name was something that sounded trashy and tough but throwaway and about not being too precious about things.
Birmingham has an amazing musical history – Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, The Move, ELO, GBH, Swell Maps on and on. Tell us about how the city’s history affects you as musicians and what is the scene like now?
Poppy: We’re not scene-reliant or anything. If there is a scene in Birmingham it’s a pretty nebulous one, but we have a lot of friends here – God Damn, for example. I do like that the city has a ‘thing’ for unpretentious heavy music. The more underground side of Birmingham, the parties in shitty warehouse rooms and the like – are pretty ace too.
I love the record! Punk, garage is obvious, but to me I hear a heavy metal vibe – there are some wicked metal riffs. What music has had an influence on your sound?
S: We’re both big metal fans so the influence is there, but I feel it’s nice to strip it of it’s machismo and pomp and nail the riffs over more straightforward beats.
Tell us about your live show…
P: I will get quite drunk and throw my sticks violently onto the floor at the end of a song at least once. I don’t know why I do it but it’s like clockwork.
What influences the band lyrically?
S: A few songs I try to write around a subject matter e.g horror stories (Vampyre’s bite), but mostly they begin as a stream of consciousness rant. The results are usually hate – centric whether it’s self loathing or directed at others!
Best concert we’ve ever seen…?
P: Patti Smith when I was 13. Sex Pistols when I stupidly decided to wear six inch heels but was able to use my height to protect a kid wedged at the front from the swell of moshing middle aged men. The Slits (RIP Ari Up) and The Cramps (RIP Lux). Gone too soon.
S: Too hard to say, I pass.
If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….
P: I like a lot of current music and I don’t like to bog myself down too heavily with ‘the way things were’. It’s a trap I probably fell into as a kid, but it ensures you never feel good about the scene as it exists today.
What tunes are currently on heavy rotation for you…
P: Davila 666’s excellent cover of ‘Hanging on the Telephone’. King Tuff’s ‘Staircase of Diamonds’. Also currently going through something of a Sisters of Mercy Renaissance.
S: Women ‘Feel Bad Hits Of The Winter’ is incredible, and I’m obsessed with Big Black again at the moment.
If you could open for any band right now who would that be and why?
P: Someone with access to PYROTECHNICS!
S: It would be nice for someone to open for us once in a while, watching a great band before you play gets you psyched.
If you could only bring ONE record (you can all answer if you like) in the tour van/bus/plane what would it be?
P: Probably Soft Cell’s Non Stop Erotic Cabaret. It’s the only vinyl I’ve ever actually burned out from overuse, and for some unknown reason it’s the only album that I can listen to on indefinite repeat and it doesn’t piss me off.
S: Pissed Jeans ‘King Of Jeans. All day.
When you’re not playing and have some time off, where could we find you…
P: Working on a video installation at home in my studio, or in a charity shop searching for something stupid.
S: In bed eating crisps.
What’s up for the rest of 2015 and 2016?
S: We have a couple of shows to finish the year up and putting the finishing touches to our new EP out early next year!