As a woman, I’ve always thought bromance was the most serious affair.
Actual brothers and male friends can fight like dogs in one minute and be over it in the next. I don’t think we women quite mastered that grudge-less existence. The Script lads on the other hand totally did.
One of the good people they brought to our attention was Jamie Scallion, a musician turned writer, former frontman to Officer Kicks, a London rock band that started in 2005, and had such names among their supporters as Noel Gallagher of Oasis or Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson. Not too shabby for 4 friends who met in school and played their first gig at the Russian Club, a tiny place in London.
It was through Officer Kicks that Jamie Scallion met the lads of The Script in 2007 when they supported the same band on tour. Later his band supported the Irish trio in 2009 on a number of tour dates, and this occasion eventually led to a close cooperation between the musicians.
Mark and Danny supported Jamie’s idea of a book about a teenage rock band, and they were hands on with the whole process and the accompanying music as well. But I’ll let Jamie tell you all about it, who graciously took our enquiring questions and answered them without batting an eye. (Or maybe he bat his eyes a lot, only I didn’t see it in his email. Coz you know, there’s no emoticon for eye batting and despite of some suggestions, I didn’t include a secret camera either. Lol)
First things first, your greedy readers put a gun to my head forcing me to absolutely and definitely ask you: when EXACTLY is the next, and when is the last book out, and what will happen after?
We think the last book and EP4 is out on the 31st of October but that might change. They will all defo be out this year.
(Editor’s note: It was previously confirmed that the third book would be released in March so let’s happily assume it hasn’t changed even though EP3 is still in progress according to Jamie’s latest tweet.)
Phew, now that gun’s out of the way, tell me: which of the 4 lads did you “meet” first, who was the first to appear in your head?
I met Burt first. He was inside me and two people I know. One famous (not Dan) and one not but wanted to be. Ha ha. He’s a archetype, and he’s a lot of fun to write.
As a musician you know this world first hand. Has anything similar happened to you or anyone you know? (Not pointing fingers, merely asking innocently 🙂 )
Ha ha. Yes, a lot of the things you read in the book have happened in one way or another. Either with my time in my own band, or as part of the touring group that makes up The Script traveling circus.
(Ever the careful wording 🙂 )
How did you get into music yourself? Was there a Bex for you whom you tried to impress?
There was and she was called Rebecca. Me and my best mate, Ben both fancied her. We were all best mates and she was a great laugh.
(Rebecca as Bex? I can totally see that.)
Without giving away any spoilers, things aren’t very good for some of the main characters. Do you ever feel sorry for them for putting them into such a mess? (How do you even sleep at night? 🙂 )
You know, I honestly often wake up and jot down plot notes, and then can’t sleep because my head is whirring. Yes, some of the boys are struggling. True.
(Note the silence about feeling sorry for them. I always knew writers are sadistic creatures 🙂 )
A lot of writers I know (myself included) sit down to a story without knowing where it’ll lead to. What about you, did you have the full 4 books mapped out in your head when you started writing? If yes, has anything major changed since?
I have an amazing editor called Penny, and I ring Mark an awful lot, and we chat ideas. But the main ark I had from the beginning. I knew where my main characters were going. Having said that, yes, on the journey inspiration or necessity have taken me in directions. But no, nothing major has changed.
Who did you show your first pages to and what were those pages about? What did they think when they first read what you wrote?
After Penny, my editor, Mark and Dan read it all first. Really depends. In the main they like it. At least they tell me they do. But, it doesn’t end there. Like is the enemy of love. You work on it until everyone is loving it.
(Spoken like a true perfectionist!)
I think every artist, writer, musician has doubts sometimes, and sadly some of them become so crippled by those fears that they give up. Have you ever felt any of that trepidation during the writing? What made you overcome those negative feelings if you encountered any?
Wow, that’s a good question. If you are asking me if I ever contemplated giving up. YES. It’s hard putting yourself out there and having people judge something you love. But, if you can, and I am just about able to, the best thing is just to make it the best you can, and then leave it and move on to the next challenge. I find that helps with the second guessing and fear factor.
(That’s an awesome advice, letting go is never easy but if you can’t control something, why lose sleep over it? Applies to more than just art me thinks.)
Who was your biggest cheerleader during the writing process? Pass on our biggest thanks to them please 🙂
My dad has been tireless in his support of my writing. But also, it’s boring but Mark and Dan have been unbelievably supportive.
(Did I hear you all go “aww”?)
Let’s talk about those songs a little. I mean it’s not often that a fictional band releases an EP. Was it always a plan from the beginning to make the songs from the book or how did that happen?
Yes. As soon as Script boys and myself had the idea of making music.
How were those songs written? You worked on them with Danny and Mark, was there any particular division of labour, one writes the lyrics, the others pitch in with the music or did everyone do a little bit of everything, a line here, a chord there?
Usually I would take a song seed into them and their production and songwriting collaborator, Jim Barry, and we work it up. Everyone jumps in on everything. Lyrics, music. It’s a very collaborative and organic process.
(It’s a cliché but damn, to be a fly in that studio! Although I’ve a sneaky feeling flies are not allowed in studios. The incessant buzzing and all.)
If we’re on about the lyrics: satellites and stunted cigarettes? How did you think of those for a love song? Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome, love the surprise of it all but that train of thought leading there must be quite something!
We were thinking of things that are high and low. A satellite is very high and a stunted cigarette is as low as you get. It’s been squashed into the pavement and it’s also got a stigma attached to it because it’s a dirty habit.
(Now you explained it, it sounds so straight-forward, I almost feel dumb.)
Is it a top secret or can you tell us who plays and sings in these songs? (Please don’t say Burt, Egg, Tea or Clipper! Lol)
It’s not top secret. Burt Windsor sings all the songs.
(Don’t I feel stupid now. Lol)
Now that the book is all about touring and playing live, when was the last time you played to an audience? Are you one of those lead singers who crave that energy or are you happy working behind the scenes? (Yes, I am trying to carefully feel it out which of your characters you identify yourself with the most! Is it working?)
I had my day in the sun and I loved it. I get it from lots of my mates who still sing live if I miss it, and I honestly don’t. I miss my band mates and hanging with them. I really do. I miss my old fanbase because they were awesome. But, hey, I feel like i replaced it all with stuff I love just as much. If not a little bit more. Why more? Well, because I always loved the writing aspect of songs and I equally love writing these books.
(And, do I dare to add, the books have an equally awesome fanbase as well 🙂 )
I have to say, you seem to be living the life I’m dreaming of: travelling the world, working with your mates, taking chances to venture into one harsh business from another, and you’re making the most of it all. So what’s in the future for Jamie Scallion now? More books? More music? A band? A movie? (I can totally see a movie there. You’ve already got “the script”… Bam! 🙂 )
You know what. It’s all a facade. The future is loads more hard work. Honestly. I’m not saying I don’t love the challenge and the fact that I work with awesome people is great but this project has a high expectation and we are all perfectionists. So, it’s not slap on our own back times. It’s get the job done. BUT YES, I CAN’T WAIT FOR THEM TO MAKE A MOVIE OUT OF MY LIFE!!!!!
Thank you for taking the time to talk about the book and the music, and I wish you the best for your great plans for the future which, of course, will definitely involve those two books the readers are so desperately waiting for!
No, thank you Andrea. It’s been fun.
Jamie is most available on social media, follow his twitter account and don’t forget to check The Rock’s Roll Diaries on twitter and Facebook. The Rockateers also enjoy the social media spotlight coz what’s a fictional band without a twitter or Facebook account?
You can read more about the books and the music here. Check out the cool collaboration we’ve got going on there.
Use the social buttons if you liked this interview, and remember, comments are cherished and lovingly cared for so leave one! 💚
PS: Thanks to Julia for letting me use her cool edit to make the character correct his author 🙂 Thank/follow Julia on twitter.