The Bats’ Robert Scott is not running out of ideas anytime soon
21.09.2020

The Bats’ Robert Scott is not running out of ideas anytime soon

WORDS BY AUGUSTUS WELBY

NZ guitar pop luminary Robert Scott joins us for the latest episode of the Turning Heads podcast.

Turning Heads episode 16 features Robert Scott from exemplary NZ guitar pop outfit The Bats. The Bats formed in Christchurch in 1982, but are more closely allied with Dunedin, a smaller city on the southeastern tip of Te Waipounamu. It was there in 1980 that Scott joined brothers David and Hamish Kilgour in The Clean. He played bass and performed occasional lead vocals on a number of EPs and singles from The Clean in the early-’80s, which have come to be regarded as indie rock classics.

After moving to Christchurch, Scott was keen to establish an outlet for his songwriting. So, having struck up a friendship with guitarist Kaye Woodward, he set about forming The Bats. Bass player Paul Kean (Toy Love) and drummer Malcolm Grant (Bilders) completed the lineup, who played their first show in Dunedin on NYE 1982. After a couple of EPs, The Bats’ debut album, Daddy’s Highway, came out in 1987. In November 2020 they’ll release their tenth studio album, Foothills, with the lineup of Scott, Woodward, Kean and Grant still intact.

Over the years, The Bats have become one of the most influential guitar bands of their generation, turning on the likes of Yo La Tengo, Dick Diver, Real Estate, Twerps and stacks more. Scott has also made albums with Magick Heads, as a solo artist, and intermittently returns to tour or record with The Clean.

We speak about Scott’s career, his influences, the making of Foothills, what’s kept The Bats original lineup together and his recollections of the fabled Dunedin scene of the 1980s.

Check out the podcast episode below:

I will be back with a new episode of Turning Heads next week. You can find the podcast on SpotifyPodbean and through Apple.

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