S.C.U.M.’s Tom Cohen – Christmas Q&A

Here, S.C.U.M.’s Tom Cohen chats about the weirdest gift he’s ever received from a fan, his dream Xmas party guestlist and his resolutions for 2012.

What was your highlight of 2011?
“I think in terms of the band, it was doing the I’ll Be Your Mirror ATP show, which was curated by Portishead. It was a pretty awesome line-up to be part of, and the Alexandra Palace was incredible. I’ve got the stage times at home still; it went from Liars to us, and we’d only had one single out at the time. I was definitely one of the moments where you take stock of your situation.”

What about the low point?
“Not getting the record out earlier, I think. We wanted it to be out at the beginning of the year, but hopefully it will mean everything will just continue into 2012. The delay wasn’t from the band. We weren’t holding back; we were raring to go. It’s just one of those industry things that happens.”

What’s the weirdest thing that happened to you this year?
“We played a show in Amsterdam, and this girl gave me a teddy bear of myself. It was incredibly accurate; it had a fake earring and everything. I think that’s the most insane moment I’ve had with the band. It’s sat on my fireplace now…”

What’s on your Christmas wishlist this year?
“A mellotron. I don’t know if I’ll get one. And I don’t know I I’d get sick of it or not.”

What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
“Probably an effects pedal, which I got when I was 12, a year after I’d got my first guitar. It wasn’t that great, but I couldn’t really play the guitar at that point, so it gave me the confidence to keep going. It’s probably the present that’s had the most impact.”

Worst present you’ve ever received?
“I don’t think I’ve ever been given anything that bad… not to make out like I was Oliver Twist, but I never really got stocking fillers, and I think that maybe where you normally get the bad gifts.”

Worst present you’ve ever given someone else?
“I gave my friend Luke £10, about three of four days later to pay for a record he’d already bought on Ebay. That’s pretty bad, isn’t it? It probably just went on his Oyster card or something.”

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2012?
“It’s the same New Year’s resolution I’ve had for the last three or four years: learn how to play the piano. One year I actually brought a piano that just needed to be tuned, but I thought it couldn’t be rectified and was beyond use.”

What’s best NYE party you’ve ever been to?
“I was really young, about 17, and we’d just formed SCUM properly – I think it was the first night Sam had joined, so we took a photo for a cover of a fanzine and then went to the last ever [dance party] Boombox. I just remember Sam cutting his band open and blood literally projecting everywhere in the room…”

Who’d be at your dream Xmas party?
“I always think it’s really odd to invite either people who are dead or that you really admire to come into your house. So I’d probably invite people that I know and who I’m close to. And I’d get Bob Dylan to come over and play his Christmas album for us, because I’m a really big fan of it.”

Wham! Or Slade?
“Slade. But I prefer Wizard. Have you seen Slade on that Top Of The Pops performance from 1982, which gets wheeled around on the Christmas specials? Everything is fine except for the drum count, that’s so bad. Every year that makes me laugh.”