Recently, Bravo Brisbane had the immense privilege to sit down with songwriter, vocalist and guitarist, Casey Charteris, from up-and-coming Brisbane band, Scouthouse. On their Facebook page, Scouthhouse describes themselves as “Your favourite surf rock space cowboys and you don’t even realise it yet.” Check out what Casey had to say about the band below!
Tell us a little about Scouthouse and how you got started in music?
We’ve been playing together for about 4 years now as Scouthouse, I’d been doing another band with Sean that just never really came together properly. Nick and I started jamming together and he started showing me all these super cool surf rock bands so that’s what we started going for. Goosebumps by Boyscott was the first album that really clicked as a sound I wanted in the style we were trying. We got started on 3 songs in the first jam session, I doubt there would have been many early writing sessions where there wasn’t at least one new idea being introduced. It was a really exciting time, there was just a lot of trying different ideas and seeing what worked.
After a couple of months, we had 5 or 6 songs, so we reached out to Sean about playing some drums for us and our original bassist, Andy, hopped in around the same time.
By the time Sean and Andy had been caught up there were a few new songs as well.
By the time we had 7 or 8 songs it just felt so much more real, 10 songs was always the arbitrary number of songs I wanted to have written for a show even before Scouthouse.
I have to cringe a little bit in retrospect because I definitely rushed out some half-baked, probably should have stayed in drafts ideas so that we could start doing shows as soon as possible and it took a good while before we were able to replace the rush jobs.
How did you guys meet?
Dylan, Nick and I all went to school together. Sean and I met through some mutual friends.
I’m a little ashamed to admit but I’m not sure any of us would have been in close contact had we not started the band, but they are absolutely some of my closest friends in the world now. I have so much respect for each of them as musicians and just as wonderful human beings and I am profoundly proud to be a part of such a special group of guys.
Where did your band name originate from, what does it mean?
There was a coffee shop we used to go to after band practice near Sean’s old house. On the way home we’d always have to walk past these really mean kids that’d throw rocks at us and call us names. One time they even punched our first bassist, Andy, in the stomach so hard he vomited. He was so traumatised by the event that he swore off music forever and left the band. We always used to practice on Thursdays and I guess that lined up with troop meetings; we ended up dreading having to walk past the “scout house” and it just kind of stuck.
The real answer is the words just sounded cool together though.
Who would you list as your main influences and why?
Vundabar is the mother bird to our sweet little Scouthouse chick. I’m not even really sure I could pick out what it is exactly that makes them so important to me, but everything about it just works. The guitars, the experimental vocals, the obscure lyrics, there’s just something so inspiring to me about bands that are willing to have a little fun with their music instead of taking it too seriously. They’d be just about due for another album release so I can’t wait to see what cool new creative direction we’ll be stealing from them next.
I have to give credit to the Arctic Monkeys too. I don’t really listen to them as actively anymore, but they spent so many years woven into all of my playlists that their sound has been carved into my subconscious. They don’t get nearly enough credit for proving huge riffs aren’t just reserved for heavier music either.
Who writes your songs?
I do most of the writing. I’ve always got a few riffs or ideas floating around that need expanding and a backlog of old unused stuff that I can go back to if I’m bone dry on ideas. I’ll usually just give the fellas a general outline and they’ll do their own thing with it to give it a little salt and pepper. If I had it my way, it’d just be all guitar and vocals but it’s actually really hard to look busy on stage during a section where you’re not playing anything.
How long have each of you been writing and performing music?
I couldn’t really a get a straight answer from Nick about this one, but there’s an old urban legend that when he was first born, he immediately reached for a guitar and started strumming a tune. He wasn’t very good because he was just a stupid baby, but I guess that gives us an answer of 24 years.
Casey: 14 years
Sean and Dylan: 12 years
What is your favourite song you have written and why?
‘Clothesline’ is always going to be a special song for me. July 2020, I wrote and recorded a 4 song EP at home and ‘Clothesline’ was the only, even remotely passable song that came from it. The whole EP process drastically changed my approach to writing and was a very important steppingstone in establishing my voice as an artist and our identity as a band. ‘Clothesline’ to me represents all the time I have spent working on my craft paying off.
What do you guys hope listeners will gain from your music?
All you can hope for is that they enjoy it. It’s a very, very intimate thing to share so publicly. If there’s just a toe tap or nod to the beat, what more could you ask for?
Do you have any shows coming up?
I’ve got a couple of dates we’re just waiting to confirm but nothing is set in stone at the moment. We got caught a little out of practice by recent lockdowns so the focus for the moment is getting back into the groove and bringing some new tracks into the rotation.
Are you working on anything new or exciting at the moment?
Sean and I spent many days locked up in his basement recording and re-recording ‘Clothesline’ until it was perfect. We’re just waiting on a mix and master from someone with much smarter ears before we release it as our first official single!
What inspires you to write and how do you go about penning a new song?
My process is very boring and meticulous. Most of the time it starts with a riff and I’ll just play it over, and over, and over, and over, and over again, trying out different filler notes in between, trying it in different positions, and eventually once I’ve all but written it off as impossible, and lost all faith in myself as an artist, I’ll get slapped in the face with the seemingly obvious answer that was in front of me all along and the process starts all over again, now a 1:30 snippet of an idea instead of 1:00 flat.
It’s a remarkably unrewarding experience most of the time. It’s kind of like starting at 0000 and working the way all up to 9999 on a pin lock. It’s a lot of work, but you get a sweet new bike at the end of it!
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MEMBERS OF SCOUTHOUSE:
Make sure to follow Scouthouse to keep on top of everything they’re getting up to and to see when they release their new single ‘Clothesline’!