Scout Gillett: “You can expect to get to know me and my band a bit.” (4/19 at MilkBoy w/ Sarah Shook & The Disarmers)

We first met Brooklyn-based indie folk singer/songwriter Scout Gillett last summer, prior to the October 28th release of her debut LP, no roof no floor, an album she recorded...

We first met Brooklyn-based indie folk singer/songwriter Scout Gillett last summer, prior to the October 28th release of her debut LP, no roof no floor, an album she recorded in an actual barn with Ellen Kempner of Palehound, David Lizmi of MS MR, and producer Nick Kinsey.  The album, which came courtesy of Captured Tracks, earned praise from the likes of Brooklyn Vegan, The FADER, and Paste, who said, “At its highest peaks, it’s difficult to remember that a full-length effort as varied and confident as this one is a debut.”  Scout Gillett has spent much of the time since the album dropped on the road, including two jaunts supporting alt country outfit Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, the second of which she is currently in the middle of.  Next Thursday, April 19th, Scout Gillett and Sarah Shook & The Disarmers will be playing our very own MilkBoy, and Scout recently took some time to catch me up on what her life’s been like since dropping her debut.

Izzy Cihak: The last time we spoke was in July of last year, and you told me you were very intrigued to go to Fargo, North Dakota because of a plethora of weird laws that they have.  So, I have to ask how that trip went.  Did it live up to all of your expectations?

Scout Gillett: That’s right!  I had a feeling about Fargo… and it was intriguing and in fact sticks out from that tour.  Although it was one of our least attended shows on that run, everyone bought a lot of merch and shared their gratitude for the performance.  That’s a big reason I love going to smaller towns.  They don’t really get to see a lot of bands from the coasts… and you can tell that it means a lot to them and that’s a radical feeling.  Those are the kinds of fans that will stick around for a lifetime… the ones that saw you play a great and memorable show to 15 people in places like Fargo, ND.

Izzy: Were there any other cities or towns that left an especially big impression on you?

Scout: On that run…  We played a DIY spot outside of Milwaukee that was called “ the shed “ and it was a literal shed and it was surrounded by trees and woods.  The crowd watched from the lawn and it was some of the best folk, sound, and lighting we had on that run.

Izzy: It seems like you’ve actually been touring pretty regularly since we last chatted, so I’m curious if you’ve developed any road rituals, whether certain kinds of places you always like checking out, or just things you do to pass the time on long drives?

Scout: After load in and sound check I usually go on a walk by myself and try to digest the city as much as I can.  If there’s time, I’ll go to a record store to decompress and listen to records and buy a few.

The morning after every show, I listen to our set from the night before and take notes on the set.  This is really important to me because I’m always observing and learning on the road, and I like to figure out what works and what doesn’t.  Then I journal about travel, life, food, people, places, and whatever else comes to mind.  I also spend too much time at gas stations.  After being in a car for hours and showing up at a Love’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s really disorienting and I find myself taking way too long grazing at the aisles… when I already know I’ll be filling up on coffee, getting a banana, an RX granola bar, and possibly grabbing chocolate or Twizzlers impulsively at the front counter at checkout.

Izzy: Is there anything you’ve been listening to a lot of on the road, or that you might recommend our readers check out, in addition to your own amazing music?

Scout: I only listen to physical music and bandcamp and I also get really attached to albums at a time, so I’ve been listening to these a lot:

Laurie Anderson Mister Heartbreak

The Human Expression Love at Psychedelic Velocity

Portishead Third

Gram Parsons GP

Neil Young Unplugged

Roy Orbison Mystery Girl

Water From Your Eyes Structure

Nappy Nina Morning Due

Katy Rea The Urge That Saves You

Jaywood Slingshot

Cat Power The Greatest

Flying Burrito Brothers self-titled

St Vincent Actor

Izzy: Since the last time we spoke, you released no roof no floor, your debut full-length.  Have you had any favorite reactions to the album, whether things you’ve read, things fans have told you, or just reactions you’ve gotten from live audiences?

Scout: Oh yea.  Some of the writeups were really exciting, in Rolling Stone and Paste magazine.  It feels so good to have the record out and to hear that people love it!  My favorite responses from people are from them saying how our live show is really impressive.  On this last run multiple people said the set was visceral and had commented on the band’s chemistry.  I love hearing and experiencing that with audiences!

Izzy: You just wrapped about a month of live dates, including some SXSW shows.  How were those shows?  Any particular highlights?

Scout: The shows were great!  A highlight of the tour was Treefort Music Festival in Boise, Idaho.  We felt so welcomed and taken care of.  The festival was very community oriented.  Other highlights were Colorado Springs, El Paso, LA, and KC.  In Kansas City, my dad came up to me and sang “no roof no floor” with me and that was a top highlight.

Izzy: And you’re about to kick off a run of dates with Sarah Shook & The Disarmers.  What can be expected of your live show this time around?  I was at your show at Kung Fu Necktie last year and really dug it.

Scout: Thanks!  You can expect a solid and smooth set!  You can expect to get to know me and my band a bit.  The set will be a combination of songs from the record and some newer ones that I’m planning to put on LP 2.  You can expect some new show tricks and licks.  It’ll be a good time!

Izzy: What are your thoughts about Sarah Shook & The Disarmers?  I don’t know too much about them, but they seem pretty cool!

Scout: Their live shows are amazing!  We really got close to the band on the last run and are so excited to go back out with them.  Everyone in that band is so talented and are total sweethearts.  We learned a lot on that tour about being professional and what makes a killer cohesive set!

Izzy: Finally, what’s next for you, after these dates wrap?  What are you most excited about in 2023?

Scout: Well, I have a few shows in May that I’m really excited about…  A run of shows in the south in June… and then believe it or not…  I may take a break from the road and shows to gear up for recording LP 2 this fall. That’s what I hope to do!

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.