Monday, 23 April 2012

Scandinavia abandons recording in fight for survival

'Fragile and easily manipulated' - Samman and Neville
The crisis in the Scandinavia camp escalated last night as the coterie of yes-men surrounding the band were expunged from the Granary Studio premises amid rumours of a pending showdown between feuding band members Nadim Samman and Warrick Harniess. In a bid to save the band, bassist Thomas Parkinson and drummer Tibor Beetles made the decision to ban anyone from the camp who is not officially a member of Scandinavia. 'They're not welcome here anymore', drummer Beetles stated plainly. 'In retrospect, we should've known something like this might happen. Warrick and Nadim are fragile, and easily manipulated. But they're integral to Scandinavia, and Tom and I feel a duty of care towards them'.

'We were high' - Parkinson
At the centre of the row are renegade filmmaker Ted Byron Baybutt and Tim Neville, a self-styled 'musical mercenary'. In a statement released last night, Scandinavia vowed to abandon the late-night jam session they'd recorded with Neville, 29, after Harniess, 32, fled to a love nest in a neighbouring village. It read 'Scandinavia have deleted the files recorded with Tim Neville and the band remain committed to completing their second record, as planned'. Contradicting filmmaker Baybutt's assertion that the recordings with Neville sounded 'incredible', bass player Parkinson, 31, today shrugs off the notion that there was ever a chance that the project would be derailed. 'We were drunkenly jamming on the Who and the Stones, for a bit of fun. We might've joked about releasing it when we were high, but in the cold light of day it was never going to happen'.

With characteristic nonchalance, the unflappable Parkinson repudiated all claims of their imminent breakup. Drawing a line under talk of vicious disputes, he emphasized their vitality, promising Fandinavians a worthy follow-up to their debut album, Good Living. ‘I can’t say it’s going to please everyone, but we’re very, very excited about this new record’.

Yesterday’s reports from documentarian Ted Byron Baybutt, 32, have been dismissed as manipulative muck-raking by the songsmiths. ‘He’s a charlatan’ says charismatic lead singer Samman, 29. ‘First he came across as a professional, he was really friendly but the whole time he was actually playing a sick game’. The unethical filmmaker has now been unmasked as a modern day Iago, bent on sewing discord within the Scandinavian ranks. ‘I’ll admit, we haven’t always had a cohesive vision, but it’s really come together. We’re friends, and the creative tension has always come from a good place. But we’re not too big to put our egos aside for the sake of a tune’, Parkinson now says.

Bodge job - Baybutt
Bodge job

Contracted to produce a film about the making of Scandinavia’s second album, the unsavoury filmmaker turned out to be more bungler than Bertolucci. ‘He was out of his depth’, Samman relates bluntly. ‘He showed up in his Heath Robinson getup without an adaptor for his camcorder battery or even a toothbrush. At one point he jimmy-rigged a tripod out of a packet of chewing gum. He was unprepared, totally inept and a major headache. The shoot was a bodge job from start to finish, but the major problem was that he was just weird’.

Sinister Baybutt was unceremoniously ejected from the Scandinavia camp at 5pm on Saturday together with Neville, whose hand-wringing attempts to ingratiate himself with the band had begun to cloy. 

Pledge of unity - Scandinavia

With Saturday’s streamlining of the Scandinavia entourage, confidence has returned now that the band have circled their wagons and applied themselves anew. ‘It was Ted’s doing’, said eccentric guitarist Harniess. ‘He was always putting Tim forward as a cure-all for difficult overdubs. I think he was trying to drive a rift between Nadim and I for the sake of his film. But we’re stronger together and I really, really respect Nadim’s work’. Harniess, whose recent ethno-eclectic stylings haven’t always pleased Samman, was philosophical – ‘creative differences are okay, when they’re not being exploited by a machiavellian outsider’.

Sinister - Baybutt
Creepy - Neville
Asked for a comment on his rift with the Scandinavia, Baybutt was sanguine. ‘My style’s abrasive’, he acknowledged, smiling a little while leaning on the bar of a well known Soho media haunt, ‘and I won’t apologise for that. I get between the cracks to tell the real story. It ruffled sensitive feathers but in the end I got what I wanted. They may have deleted the jam session recordings, but my videotapes have it all and time will expose the truth – in a cinema near you’. Neville could not be reached for comment but is thought to be hiding out in a London suburb.

Scandinavia’s second album, The Gods, is released on 16 June 2012 at www.scandinavia.bandcamp.com. 

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