TEB Interview – Scotty Stacks (The Manor)
It is a big week for South London trio The Manor who perform at the PFA Awards, release a new single on Monday and head to Box Park on Tuesday to perform at the Palace End Of Season Awards, so TEB had a chat with Scotty Stacks about the two things that make the world go round – music and football.
Q. So Scotty, let’s get started with the most obvious question for you – why did you become a Palace fan?
I can’t believe I’m admitting this but when I was really young my older cousin brainwashed me into being a Liverpool fan – my old man is a Palace fan and I have no idea how or why he let it happen! Then at about 11 or 12 years old I went to a few Palace games with a mate and loved it. I started going every week and used to see loads of people I knew from the local area. One day I went home and looked up where Liverpool was on a map, realised how much of a wally I’d been for my whole life and never looked back from that day on.
Q. Who is your favourite player past or present?
It’s difficult to choose between Andy Johnson, Julian Speroni and Wilfried Zaha. AJ was single handedly responsible for so many match winning goals, the hat-trick against Brighton etc. He’s probably brought me more joy individually than any other Palace player. Jules has become an institution over the last decade, from that moody turn in his own box when he lost the ball and gave away a goal at the start of his first season with that silly barnet he had, through to the dramas of Hillsborough and to still being around now during our longest ever stint in the top flight. He bleeds red and blue and embodies everything that is magic about Palace. Wilf is the most talented player I’ve ever seen in a Palace shirt by miles. He is top top quality and feels like a family member after watching him all the way from his debut until now. If I had to pick one out of the three I’d go with AJ just for the hatty against the scum.
Q. Which game will live long in your memory?
Hillsborough. I’ve never experienced emotion like that at a football game and I doubt I will again – hopefully not anyway! Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced emotion like that in any walk of life let alone at football.
Q. How do you rate the season?
It’s been a funny season for us. We shouldn’t really have been anywhere near a relegation scrap this year with the squad we’ve got. We’ve nicked some amazing results away from home and we look set for a half decent mid-table finish, but it’s hard not to feel underwhelmed. Quite a few people have got on Hodgson’s back this season, including me, but if we finish up a couple of points off the top half, which it looks like we will, it’s difficult to knock him objectively.
When you look a bit deeper though, tactics have been often frustrating, we’ve dropped a lot of points in winnable games, home form has been incredibly bad and in-game management is sometimes neither proactive or reactive but borderline non-existent. It has been difficult for him though as we’ve got serious problems up top and have done for a while now. We went from a severely misfiring £30million, to no striker at all, to a top player in Michy Batshuayi who just doesn’t seem to fit our system with his style of playing on the shoulder of the last defender. Combine the striking issues with the loss of our midfield playmaker in Yohan Cabaye who has been so important to us for so long without a replacement and I don’t think you can rest all of the blame with Roy. With a bit more firepower and a deep-lying creative centre midfielder next year we could really challenge for a solid top half finish.
Q. Let’s get on to the music, so tell us how it all started for the band?
We used to be known in our local area for throwing the best house parties. A few years ago we started rapping for a laugh, then we started taking our music and parties in to clubs and bars and were quickly headlining our own events. In 2015 we sold out the O2 Academy Islington in a few minutes, signed a record deal off the back of it, quit our day jobs and here we are now.
Q. We get the impression the music industry is as difficult to break into as football, so how much work did you guys have to put in to get that first record contract?
A lot of artists get good numbers on platforms like YouTube and Spotify but struggle to sell hard tickets to gigs. Something about our brand seems to make people want to come to concerts and experience it first hand. The amount of tickets we sell has always been a huge advantage for us. Now that we’re in a major label deal, the next step is the hard part which is to break a commercial single or release a high-charting album. When that eventually happens we will all go supercar shopping but there has been and will continue to be a lot of hard graft put in before we get there.
Q. How would you describe your style/sound to those that have not listened to your music before?
It’s difficult to place as a genre. The best way to describe it is that it’s very London. All three of us are from quite different cultural backgrounds but were born and raised in South London so it’s all of those experiences from our local area combined with our musical influences growing up in the nineties and noughties that make our sound what it is. We were raised by our parents listening to everything from reggae to rock and roll to punk to rare groove and soul, and then grew up in the eras of house, garage and grime. So it’s a big mash up of all of that which somehow hasn’t ended up sounding too bad.
Q. If there is one person you could choose to work with on either a track or an album, who would it be?
We just finished touring with The Streets which was absolutely mental as they were a huge influence on us growing up. To do a track with Mike Skinner would be very cool. But from an ‘all time dead or alive list’ I’d personally go for Amy Winehouse.
Q. What would you consider the pinnacle for the band?
We’re performing at the PFA awards and the Palace End of Season Awards this year which are both very very cool. We’ve also been on Soccer AM twice. So as a football fan it doesn’t really get any better than those. Brixton Academy has always been a big goal. It’s not the most ambitious target in the world but being from South London, headlining Brixton is a big deal to us. We just did five of them as support for The Streets so we’re even hungrier for our own.
Q. It will be great to see you perform at Box Park, a small venue but is that your preference or would you prefer to fill somewhere like Selhurst Park on a warm summer evening?
We can see it now … 🙂
Performing at Selhurst Park would hands down be the best thing that could possibly happen in life. I wouldn’t even need to worry about getting married, having kids or any of that jazz. How could life get any better???
CHECK OUT THE MANOR ON ALL GOOD STREAMING SITES – THEIR NEW SINGLE DROPS ON MONDAY WITH AN EP TO FOLLOW ON 17TH MAY