Interview: Scotchka Dish on Long-Awaited Debut Record

Albany, New York’s Scotchka are finally back with their forthcoming debut LP, A Dozen Red Roses, Please.

The act have infused emo, pop-punk, and alternative sounds to create their own energetic, introspective style. They first formed under a different name in 2016, moving forward to release their first EP, Locket, as Scotchka in 2018. They landed on their current lineup in 2019 and started working on their new album, due August 12.

Ahead of the release, we caught up with Scotchka to find out more about the new album and what else to expect from the band.

Hi there! To start, how are you all doing? How’s the year been so far for the band?
Hello! The past year has been very cool and gratifying, but also hectic.  Finishing the album and rolling it out has been a learning experience, but we’re finally seeing the rewards.

All in a pandemic, no less. But you’ve released a number of singles since your debut EP, Locket, too—I’m curious how the band, your sound, themes, influences, and beyond have shifted or, alternatively, how the band have honed in on what you all explored on that initial project?
Part of the reason the album took so long to make was because we really didn’t have a coherent sound. Our influences have always been diverse, but our sound in the past has always been characterized by our limitations. This time around, we were finally in a position to make more active choices about how the album was going to sound.

Thematically, the album is an evolution of Locket. The core ideas and messages have remained the same, but the album covers more ground and presents it in a more refined manner.

And three years later, how does it feel to finally be ready to share the project with listeners?
We are very excited and relieved, but also anxious. After sitting with a project for such a long time, it feels weird to finally share that with an audience. Like you said, it has been years in the making, so in a way those natural feelings of self-doubt get amplified.

I’m sure it’ll be a relief to finally have it out there. What was the process of creating the album? Did you find that the pandemic had any influence, on the production and recording but also on the album’s content?
The pandemic definitely played a large role in the production process.  Most of the sessions were only two people and most of it was done remotely. This was also the first time we had someone producing the record, as opposed to someone just recording and mixing it. That shifted our ideas about what the album could actually sound like. Simultaneously, our perspective changed about ourselves as individuals, musically and personally, which in turn transformed our band dynamic. As you mentioned, the process took years, which gave us the space to iterate on both ourselves and the songs.

How would you describe the sound of the new album and the themes it explores?
Ambitious, dynamic, emotional. The songs range from upbeat and accessible to dark, almost abrasive, at points. Like we mentioned, we tried to take themes that existed in earlier works and explore those limits. It wasn’t an intentional choice so much as a natural result of how we’ve changed and how the world has changed. We’ve talked about self-harm before, but one of the songs on this record is about suicide. We’ve had lighthearted songs before, but some parts of this record are kind of absurd.

I think sometimes that variety is nice, more reflective of the spectrum of the human experience. What do you hope folks get from listening to the album, and from Scotchka’s music as a whole?
Ultimately, we are just trying to connect to people emotionally. These songs genuinely mean a lot to us, so we hope other people can connect in a similar way.

As far as themes, sounds, new endeavors, and beyond, where do you see Scotchka heading in the future?
We recently went on our first tour, making us realize we would like to tour way more. Beyond that, we want the next project to be made with much more in-person collaboration (and take less time lol). We’re also trying our best to cultivate an active community. We make a point to work with local artists and creatives. This creates the chance for us to mature alongside other passionate individuals in ways that are mutually beneficial and help to build that kind of community.

Well, congrats again! Do you all have anything else coming up that you’d like to tease?
Nothing specific lol, but we are actively working on a number of things behind the scenes.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you, this was fun.

Stream A Dozen Red Roses, Please in full here:

For more from Scotchka, find them on Facebook, Instagram, and their official website.

Photo courtesy of Danny DeRusso

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