Sorry, Scout: Putting
it all together
Story and Photos • Cory Weaver
“Rock is dead!” At least that’s what top music blogs, radio and Spotify will tell try to you. But, much like the beginning of every decade since the ’60s, rock music evolves, stepping back from the cliff edge that it was pushed to and nearly coerced to jumping off of.
Sure, the current installation of rock music isn’t our parents’ rock—it may not even be what Gen Xers and older Millennials associate with rock. It’s definitely the most confused genre in the industry. There’s alt rock, punk rock, progressive rock, roots rock, soft rock...the list goes on. And how do we classify bands with a heavier alt-pop sound like Twenty One Pilots, Imagine Dragons, Halsey and Billie Eilish? See? Confusing.
One thing that is certain: you’re not going to confuse the local quartet that make up Sorry, Scout as anything but straightforward rock...with a sharp edge.Sorry, Scout is Randi Whitaker (vocals), Nate Jones (guitar), David Anson (bass) and Zack Schultz (drums), and they’ll be releasing their new six-track EP, Barely Waking Up on August 10, their second EP in the past calendar year.
Their first EP, Never Asked For It, announced their arrival on the STL scene with a brand of emotional, punk-infused, call-to-arms rock often citing societal inadequacies and political turmoil on a personal level. Conveying the band’s message in true punk-rock form is Whitaker, a queer black trans man, and what better place to convey this message than St. Louis, a city with a history of divide for over 50 years.
Since the release of Never Asked For It, the band has scattered their shows at several different local clubs, mostrecently making big splashes at LoFi Cherokee and the 2019 RFT Music Showcase. But, maybe their biggest show since the release of their first EP is the release of their second EP, coming up at Off Broadway in a couple of weeks.
We sat down with Whitaker to learn a little bit more about the band and the new EP. After the success and positive feedback, the band couldn’t wait to get back to laying down more tracks, and honestly, we can’t wait to hear more.
You released your first EP Never Asked for It on August 30 of last year—did you feel compelled to record another EP so soon for any particular reason?
I think we were just excited at how well our first EP was received, both by our fans and local media publications. We also had to remain cognizant of the fact that our generation is one brought up immersed in instant gratification and constant content creation—we devour anything new and we always want more—so it was important to us to hit the ground sprinting.
Spending a week with Ben at Native Sound Studio, can you talk a little about the process of recording with him?
Ben is an incredible talent. Recording with him felt very professional yet so casual at the same time. We essentially reserved one day for each member to track their parts for the whole album, slowly layering drums, then bass, then guitars until we had a full instrumental bed upon which to lay our vocals. It was truly a marathon but once we were done, all we had to do was wait for Ben to work his magic.
Can you talk a little bit more about the new EP? How many tracks? Track names?
There are six tracks on Barely Waking Up:
“ACAB,” the ultimate protest song about police brutality that references St. Louis as an epicenter of sociopolitical movement.
“Freedom’s A Ruse,” a danceable tune that criticizes contentment under an oppressive status quo.
“Knots,” which hopefully will be our rst single, is a wild journey of instrumentation that really highlights the potential of our repertoire.
“Red Flags” mostly serves as a self-aware warning about putting one’s own intuition to the forefront, which has been another common theme in our songs.
“Steps Away” is a gloom-and-doom song about dogma with an intentional nihilistic mood that truly relies on the storytelling of the instrumentation.
“Take it All”, like with the title track of our last EP, Never Asked for It, references the increasingly conversational candidness of sexual abuse and trauma in a world rife with the constant doubt of truth.
It’s no secret now that your songs have politically driven lyrics, mixed with a humanist awareness of oppression of the black and LGBTQ community. For people who are just discovering Sorry, Scout, how do you assist in conveying the meaning in your lyrics?
To be truly honest, the lyrics in Sorry, Scout songs exist unapologetically. Our hope is that people can connect with and decipher them as they hear them and draw their own conclusions—even though they have a very personal intent, as well.
We tend to have the most fun on stage and that has de nitely translated as part of the performance. We are certainly not afraid to declare the intent and meaning behind what we write—and what better place than when we have command of the stage and your attention?
You manage the daily grind and real world problems then you get to go on stage and rock out for 30 to 45 minutes. Is there ever a “stop and smell the roses” moment for you guys—one minute you’re at your desk or what- have-you and the next, you’re making music?
At the risk of sounding cliché, we know it’s important to take a breather and exercise a little self-care. It’s almost become ritual to take a week off after a big show, just so we can recover and come back ready and refueled.