New York based singers Scott Rudd and Jo Schornikow are currently touring their ethereal acoustic indie-folk around the UK. We managed to grab a moment with the pair before they took to the stage of The Continental, Preston on July 6. We spoke about Scott’s unlikely link to Preston, Jo’s band The Shivers and why both prefer tape to digital when it comes to recording.
Hi guys. Is this your first time in the UK?
Scott “I’ve been to London before but I’m excited to see the rest of the country. A long time ago I visited Edinburgh but I don’t remember much.”
Jo “It’s my 3rd time touring the UK.”
What brings you here this time?
Jo “I have a record to promote and an EP too. The EP is the newer of the two.”
This is your solo material, have you plans to go it alone or will you return to playing with The Shivers after the Tour?
Jo “Both. I play with a couple of bands, it’s good to be able to do both. The Shivers will be back in the UK to play End of The Road in September”.
That will put you on the same bill as Graham Coxon and Mark Lanegan?
Jo “That’s right, it’s exciting!”
I’ve read you’re both Australian but have ended up living in Brooklyn…
Scott “I was actually born in Canada, but grew up in Australia. My dad’s dad was actually born in Preston. I’m going to be taking loads of photo’s while I’m here as a memento for my dad who’s never visited Preston.”
Did your Grandfather have any memorable stories about his time in Preston?
Scott “I have no stories sadly. I know my Granddad eventually moved to Australia and owned a grocery shop on a corner. He dealt in illegal bookmaking too and ended up getting busted in the 1960s!”
Are you likely to have relatives remaining in Preston?
Scott “Maybe, but I don’t know where to find them. My Grandad’s name was Thomas Rudd, if anyone knows of any connections it would be great if they got in touch.”
Jo “We did see his name written on a church earlier…”
Scott “But it’s unlikely to be connected to him”.
Jo, how did you end up living in New York?
Jo “I went to New York to study. I met my band mate Keith (Zarriello) and decided to stay and concentrate on The Shivers.”
The Shivers have recently had some live coverage on BBC Radio One haven’t they?
Jo “That’s right, we recorded a Maida Vale session”.
Scott, you started performing three years ago and were touring Europe a year after. How was this experience? Any particular highlights?
Scott “I loved Barcelona, Spain was quite beautiful. The German crowds have been the best – so far! That may change tonight here in Preston”.
Any bad tour experiences?
Scott “This is the first time I’ve travelled with someone else, I’ve done it twice before. I got sick in Hamburg when on my own, food poisoning or something. It was really scary being in that situation on my own.”
You both have a unique approach to recording – straight to cassette and tape rather than digitally. What inspires you to do this?
Scott “I always wanted a 4 track cassette recorder. When I was younger I would experiment by hooking up stereos. I’m really influenced by Elliot Smith and his style of recording. I love the sound of overdubbing…
Jo “That hissing sound…”
Scott your main job is being a photographer, do you utilise a similar lo-fi technique, using film rather than digital?
Scott “I mostly use digital at work, but have used real film for my own album cover and for The Shivers ‘More’ cover.”
Jo, why do you prefer tape to digital?
Jo “I like the simplicity, limitations and warmth. I hate that bullshit of listening to an album with all these multi-tracks. Recording to tape keeps you honest.”
Scott “I agree, but some of the songs on my demo EP were recorded on a computer. If the song is good, it doesn’t matter how you’ve recorded it. I do love the sound recording to cassette brings though, the flaws.”
Jo “We recorded the last Shivers album in Manchester over four days in an all tape studio called Analogue Catalogue. We found them on the internet and our label, Fence, also had lots of links to it.”
You’re touring the UK together, but how did you both first meet?
Jo “I played on a record where Scott was the cover photographer. I know him mostly from his hanging around with The Shivers.”
Do you ever collaborate?
Jo “I sometimes play music with Scott on stage, I will be doing so tonight”.
Good luck with your tour!
For tour dates and to listen to/buy Scott Rudd’s album Lonely Life and his Demos EP, click here.
You can listen to and buy Jo Schornikow’s album First Time, Long Time and the What Could Have Been EP here.