We caught up with Scrubs Studio CIC, a non-profit organisation that will offer subsidised recording sessions as well as unique artist development programmes.
Liverpool Noise: The Scrubs Studio Initiative is an exciting concept. How did it come about?
Scrubs Studio: We’ve been making and recording music for a long time now and it was similar artist development projects that allowed us to get started, giving us the resources and encouragement to do so. The concept came about mid-Lockdown early last year when we decided that we wanted to put that same opportunity back into the community and there’s not been a more appropriate time for new community arts projects to encourage young artists and tell them not to ‘rethink, re-skill, reboot’ but to: keep at it, stay positive and strive for what you want.
LN: Who does the team comprise of?
SS: The Scrubs team consists of director/producer, Harvey Semple and Jack Walsh. We also have our amazing film crew on board to make music videos for our artists as well as our very talented illustrator, Will Heldt, who will be designing logos and has provided us our artist development poster which is an artwork in its own right. Last but not least we have our digital marketing guru, Luke Burnett who will be advising artists how they can make the most of their social platforms.
LN: How would you pitch to an artist to work with you? What expertise can each member offer?
SS: Well we would start by finding out exactly what the artist wants to achieve and then tailor our approach in the studio to get to that outcome. One of our favourite aspects of the programme is the freedom to experiment in the studio to really pinpoint an artists voice and bring that to life in the recording. We also make sure the artist is heard and is able to get hands on and involved in the recording process.
LN: At first glance, it seems like you are offering a “production deal”. Is there any upfront costs to the artist?
SS: No. There is no upfront costs on the artist development programme or any other type of payment. Scrubs Studio Initiative is like a family we all support one another and we’re all in it together.
LN: What is striking – and refreshing – is your emphasis on collaboration within the context of artistic development. It really is a central thread of your creative manifesto. Why is it so important to you?
SS: It’s much more rewarding to grow and develop with other like-minded creatives, shared ideas and working with everyone on the same level lends to an easy atmosphere that brings the best out in creative people. Other artist development programmes often focus on divided roles – the student and the master, However Scrubs is all about a shared experience and equal opportunity.
LN: What do you consider the common pitfalls for an artist or band just setting out?
SS: A lot of bands tend to get stuck in a cycle of playing the same gigs with the same bands for the same audience where a band should be reaching wide and far always looking for different opportunities in new places. Also get recording and figure out which studio and which producer is right for you before you spend all your money on recordings that don’t justify your music. Find your artistic voice before you make a record.
LN: We feel that the COVID lockdown has produced a real “pressure-keg”, and there will be a massive creative release when restrictions are eased. Would you agree?
SS: Definitely, It’s already happening and Scrubs Studio will be one of many new collectives riding that wave and we can’t wait. The first gigs back in Liverpool have been a huge success and a tremendous release of creativity. Times of lockdown have always been followed by times of prosperity, this is going to be our ‘roaring 20’s’.
LN: Your vision for the next 12 months?
SS: Our goal is to work with as many different and diverse artists as possible. We love having an eclectic approach and in a year’s time Scrubs Studio will have a roster of bands and artists collaborating in the studio and on the stage. We hope to be a platform for progressing bands and artists careers and a big part of the Liverpool grass-root music scene.