International duo Scratch are on the verge of releasing their debut album despite their two members living as far apart as physically possible. Born in India, the duo of Ruzbeh Irani and Avinash Lalwani went to school together before making their separate ways to New York and Perth, Australia.
They kept in touch and have managed to collaborate together despite the 12-hour time difference between their two cities on completely opposite sides of the world – which is quite the impressive achievement.
Their most recent release It Was Good While It Lasted But We Have To Agree, Things Are Not How They Used To Be has to be up there with the longest song titles we’ve seen. It’s also pretty damn awesome.
The track opens up with a nice light guitar lick, which continues under fuzzy guitar support then drops into an opening verse of screechy vocals supported by a piercing guitar lick.
A cool punchy riff comes in then high-pitched vocals finish the chorus, before another verse of wild vocals and guitar. A laid-back guitar solo takes over, with a lingering bass and light cymbal support, before eventually kicking into a huge distorted guitar smash with a wild solo over the top to bring the track to an energetic ending.
The band’s previous releases give us plenty to get excited about, including the lively, grungey Grave Groove (Call You Out), which includes heavy rock sections and a little Eastern influence to keep things interesting. Give it a listen below:
We’re also huge fans of Soak, which begins with a light guitar lick then drops into heavy guitar chords under a fun guitar solo, before light verses are contrasted by a big catchy chorus. Give it a listen below:
We had a chat with the guys to find out more about their fascinating collaboration. Read on below…
GR: Who are Scratch?
Scratch: “We are a rock band from New York, US and Perth, Australia and consist of members Ruz and Avi. We grew up in India and have been friends since we were 10 years old. We hit it off quickly due to a shared interest in joking around, getting into trouble and other classroom shenanigans to make school less boring. And as we discovered a few years later, a shared interest in music. Music was the one thing we loved in an otherwise strict, academically focused, all-boys catholic school.”
“Our first gig was in the 10th grade, where we played three cover songs at a school concert. Shortly after that Ruz moved to Australia and Avi to the US. We stayed in touch over the years, with music being the common recurring theme. We’d share bands we heard or songs we’d written in our rooms.
“Both of us were in a few bands throughout those years, trying to do our own separate thing musically. But through that time, we had a mutual liking for each other’s musical style and taste, and a strong belief that friends make the best bands. So it was only a matter a time before we decided to start our own thing. And that’s how Scratch was born.”
GR: You just released ‘It Was Good…’, which has to be the longest song name we’ve ever seen! What should people be expecting from the song?
Scratch: “Ruz had the initial idea for the song and very quickly had the intro, verse and chorus in place. The song was initially called Slow Bluesy because of it’s slow bluesy feel. But when it came time to write lyrics Avi felt that there was also a yearning in the guitar riffs. So, inspired by that feeling Avi added the lyrics. It was after that when we decided to change the title of the song.
“We wanted to tell a story of a couple trying hard to hold on and stay together despite being miserable. And yes, we also wanted to have a little fun with the title too.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
Scratch: “Grunge/alternative rock. Right now, our sound is everything we’ve listened to and loved our entire lives. We didn’t want to restrict ourselves to a genre, or a target audience with this album. There were no intentional musical directions taken. We let ourselves write what we’d love to hear.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
Scratch: “Sometimes we’ll focus on the whole forest and sometimes just the one tree. A few themes we cover on this album are friendship, politics, helplessness and insecurity. A vocal melody or a guitar line often start the songwriting process, but we’re writing some new songs right now with specific themes and stories in mind.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
Scratch: “Our influences include Led Zeppelin, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Silverchair, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles. We’d also probably want to throw Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, Metallica and A Perfect Circle in there.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
Scratch: “We have four more songs to release before the end of the year, which would complete the release of our debut album. Most of last year comprised of playing shows and marketing our music, so we’re ready to get back to recording our second album.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
Scratch: “Working together on an album while living in different countries with a 12-hour time difference has been a unique experience. Google says that the furthest city from New York is Perth. So we couldn’t get any further even if we tried. But with hard work and with the help of technology we were able to get this album made. And we can’t wait to start writing the next one!”