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  • Writer's pictureBrian Delaney

Scoobert Doobert: New Album, Being DIY and Thoughts on the San Diego Scene [INTERVIEW]

Over the last several years, there are few artists that have continuously landed in my inbox with a regular stream of high-caliber releases as often as San Diego based multi-instrumentalist Scoobert Doobert. Aside from his name being fun as heck, his music carries that same energy. With nearly every new release, I become more and more impressed by his ability to continuously create and release tunes with mass appeal. With his slick production, big mood-boosting vibes and energetic vocals, Scoobert Doobert always seems to stand out for me. Having supported many of his releases in the past, I figured it was about time to dive a bit deeper; so we hopped on a call and I took some time to interview this musical madman about all things Scoobs to support the release of his latest album, "MÖB."

"MÖB," is more than just an album; it's a musical journey that encapsulates his profound passion for creating music and his unwavering determination to overcome the odds. With a backstory as inspiring as his, it's no surprise that this LP carries an emotional weight and depth that is nothing short of exceptional.

From the very first track, it's evident that Scoobert's obsession with music is a force to be reckoned with. "MÖB," is his second LP in a single year, but as he attests, this is no result of haste but a testament to his unrelenting dedication. What's most intriguing about this album is its connection to its predecessor, "Moonlight Beach," released just a few months earlier, and its enigmatic closing track, "möbius, not how it ends." As promised, "MÖB" fulfills the prophecy and, like a Möbius strip, weaves a complex, interlinked narrative across Scoobert's musical landscape.

The artist's vision to create a series of albums that connect and evolve in mysterious ways is both innovative and refreshing. It's a deliberate move away from conventional single-album cycles and into the realm of multi-album narratives. The forthcoming releases titled "I" and "US" in the following year, leading up to "MÖBIUS" in 2025, hint at a deeper, more honest story that Scoobert Doobert is keen to share with his listeners. It's a beautiful metaphor for his personal journey of self-discovery and acceptance, as he reflects on his battle with Guillain Barré Syndrome, a harrowing neurodegenerative disease.

Scoobert's ordeal with the illness, akin to recent struggles, paints a vivid picture of the intense physical and emotional pain he endured. The album captures the joy and anguish of his journey, the love he discovered for music, and how close he came to losing it all. The music, in its emotional rawness, becomes a medium for him to express these feelings, and it's impossible not to be moved by his authenticity.

This record is more than just a collection of songs; it's a nucleus that connects all of Scoobert's work before and after. It's a turning point in his musical career, marked by an unwavering commitment to tell a story that goes beyond mere notes and lyrics. "MÖB" is the embodiment of Scoobert Doobert's metamorphosis from a musician into a storyteller, sharing a deeply personal narrative with every listener.

As if the music itself weren't enough to inspire, Scoobert's personal journey extends into the real world, as he recently run the Chicago Marathon just before the album's release, proving that the mindset is indeed the method. I t's a testament to his resilience and the indomitable spirit that has driven him to overcome the odds.

The project consists of 11-tracks fully produced, recorded and performed by Scoobert Doobert, only leaning on his network for final touches. With stand out tracks like, "Sunlight," "fuck it let's go bowling," and closer, "All I Need," he is able to create an incredibly cohesive project that wavers from track to track while continuously pushing boundaries and leaving listener fully satisfied and wanting oh-so-much more.

If you listen to nothing else today, make sure you check out Scoobert Doobert's, "MÖB," I promise it is worth your time. Keep scrolling to check out our interview while you listen. It's fun. He's fun. This project is fun. You have my word.

RDFO: Where did Scoobert Doobert come from? Only asking bc I dig it.

SD: My girlfriend read it out loud after she saw a meme. I was smitten. It’s one of the silliest combinations of consonants and vowels. Just awe-inspiring absurdity. I had to associate my art with something that smile-inducing. It's hard to be too serious, even if I'm called Mr. Doobert.

RDFO: How old were you when you picked up your first instrument? What was it? Did you get Into it on your own or did someone else introduce you to it? Were you immediately hooked or did take time for you to really get interested? SD: I picked up guitar first. I think I was about 12 or 13. My friend won an acoustic guitar in a raffle and brought it over to my house. Luckily, she didn’t mind that I borrowed it. For a long time. I obsessed over it. I scoured ever virus-ridden crack of the internet to find tabs... and bootlegged Hal Leonard books. My parents caught on that I was into this thing. It was probably because I practically stopped sleeping, waking up early to play and staying up late to get the riffs just right. We walked into a local shop in San Diego called American Music Exchange (AMX), met a teacher named Jeff, and from that day on, I spent every moment I could in that shop. I asked questions about amps, repairs, lessons, favorite CDs, all of it. I learned a ton. And that shine still hasn’t worn off.

RDFO: Since then, what other instruments have you picked up? SD: A bunch of my friends started acting in Junior High. I didn’t really get why until I saw my homie star in the musical, Sweeney Todd. I started singing soon after that. It was too cool. Then I joined my first musical, Urinetown, and during all the dead time between my scenes (I had a very small role), I asked my buddy, Ziming, to show me the ropes on piano. That obsession quickly eclipsed acting. And so, as I grew into better roles, it became harder and harder to find me for my scenes. I was usually found locked in the band room, trying to find cool chords on the upright piano tucked in the corner. Soon after that, I joined my first band. It was a funk group, and their bassist Sean Sobash, was leaving for college. So they turned to me, barely a freshman. I played guitar, but figured it couldn’t be that different. I was wrong, of course, but playing bass as an early instrument was a real gift. We gigged at practically every all-ages venue in San Diego, homecoming, etc. I then started my own thing, fronted a blue trio, played some garage rock, usual stuff. I then picked up some percussion and drum skills during college, but I’m still not that great at it. Just good enough to get my ideas down. But I think it's yielded a pretty cool good arc. If you listen to my drumming on my first LP, Finding SD, it's kinda night-and-day. I really like capturing varying degrees of instrumental ability throughout my catalogue. It's organic! It's real! And it's proof that artists grow. Not too long ago, I learned ukulele when I was teaching guitar to a 6-year-old girl. Her hands just weren’t big enough, so we turned to the uke, and her eyes lit up. Uke is a magical first instrument. I highly recommend it. I love it so much. And it’s such an easy companion on hikes. And I’m currently learning tenor sax (heard on a few of my records, but mostly as an auditory joke) and mandolin. I hope someday I’ll be good at those. I'll be sure to document the process on my songs! I also dabble in banjo, harmonica, and melodica, and a few other odds and ends.

RDFO: Which are your favorites to play and which do you think you are best at?

SD: Bass might be my favorite at this point. It’s like playing a guitar riff non-stop! And it’s an instrument that dances with the vocal and drums. It creates so much glue, so much movement, groove, and goodness. I’m still best at guitar though. On that instrument, I play things cooler than what I can think of. Does that make sense? Like, I can consciously conceptualize a part. But then I get on guitar to play it, and accidentally play something cooler. My fingers just take over. Or there's a better connection to my soul there or something... muscle memory paving the way to better access to the muses? Maybe.

RDFO: Have you always lived in San Diego?

SD: I lived in LA for a few years. I loved it, but fate brought me back home.

RDFO: What are your thoughts on the indie music scene in San Diego?

SD: I think SD suffers a bit from an LA art-drain. I know so many great musicians that just end up there. Not that I have any hate towards LA, I love going and go often, but it’s just a powerful magnet. And it tends to keep the scene down here from fully actualizing. We get a sound and then that sound moves 100 miles north. I bet other places LA-adjacent or NYC-adjacent might feel the same way. That said, I really love a lot of acts down here, and I want to be a part of localizing the scene. Check out Mrs. Henry, Thee Sacred Souls, Aviator Stache, and Peace Cooler.

RDFO: Are there any local venues you’d love to perform in if you haven’t already?

SD: I want to play the North Park Observatory SO BADLY. I lived down the street. And I hope to someday to afford to move there again and just walk to gigs. Oh and, Humphreys by the Bay too. It's the most yacht rock venue on the planet.

RDFO: Seeing how often you release music, what is your usual work flow when it comes to starting, finalizing and releasing a song? SD: It changes every time. I just try to be open to stuff. If I sing a stupid melody in the shower, I nab a voice note of it. If I’m jamming on guitar, I record my favorite riff. If I’m bored on a train, I program some drums. It’s like having my antenna up. By doing that all the time, I can make more. I'll never get to shaping all of those ideas. There are just too many of them! For finalizing, I do a combination of active and passive listening. I dig deep into the mix, then leave it on in the background as I do other work, then go deep again. Also going running is critical in my process. On a run, things sound different. Gaps are exposed. Sections that are too busy get revealed. And space is created between the studio and the mind. After a run or walk, I usually find the thing I’m looking for. The process is very non-linear, and by letting it flow, it actually goes faster.

RDFO: What are your systems that you think help you maintain such a regular flow?

SD: I’m very aware of my mortality, and I have too many ideas. That combination keeps me going every day.

RDFO: Throughout the process of making music, how much of it do you do yourself and are there people on your extended team you bring in for anything?

SD: Excepting collabs, I do every step outside of mastering. I record, produce, and arrange holistically, so mixing goes pretty quickly. It’s all part of the same process. It's all just making and shaping sound to hit just the right vibe, feel, and framing for the vocal. Mastering is the final step where I really need objective ears. I've heard the song a few thousand times already, so it's good to pass it on for the final polishing. My mastering engineer, Riley Knapp, can gut check me, and we have a great back-and-forth.

RDFO: What has been a few of the most exciting moments of your career so far? Any collabs, shows, support, etc?

SD: Working with CHAI was a dream come true, and I’m so glad we continue to create together! I’ve practiced Japanese (mostly self study) for about 10 years, so being able to combine my passions of music and Japanese has been the best! And it helps that CHAI is the best band in the world. Just being around them makes me feel like a more artistic person.

RDFO: How do you think your recent health scare has affected you as an artist? Any longer term effects that you think have hindered or helped you? Did the illness affect your overall plans/strategy/outlook as an artist?

SD: It's hard to know how much value something has without losing it. And I’m a lucky one. I lost it, and got it back. There have been no long term effects to this point. I've very grateful and enthusiastic. I think that’s a powerful combination because it comes from love and loss then more love.

RDFO: Regarding this new project, how long did it take to put together?

SD: It’s still being put together. And it always will be! That’s the beauty of art, of bands, of it all. Object- and self-permanence are illusions. But to really answer your question, this project started around 2018.

RDFO: Are there any people you want to shout out that played a part in this projects creation?

SD: My family showed me what great music is. Lamont Dozier taught me what artistic abandon is all about. Patrice Rushen gave me groove and pocket. Andrea Stolpe showed me techniques to write songs quickly and get out of my own way. Sam and Max from Beformer push me to be better and freer. And they unblind my blind spots. In that music collective, Marco is our guru, a real backbone of the whole absurdist exercise of making a little career in music. I’m also really blessed to have a worldwide network of collaborators and just great human beings. From Sweden (hey Håkan!) to Japan, it’s all a growing good vibe of creative energy and encouraging competition. We’re going to go higher because we’re doing it together, with humor and joy.

RDFO: Which tracks are your personal favorites?

SD: I really love Gonna Go to Japan (because it's a simple, goofy song about loving my Japan trips) and Getting Easier (because it's a love song in a unique way).

RDFO: Are there any lyrics on the project that you really love?

SD: Quoting myself feels weird! I'll do MEMORY LAN because it's silly to see these lyrics in poem form:

Feeling drunk off Cactus Cooler On AIM acting cooler than you. Cause I got new ASCII art To copy-paste. Everybody brought a TV Getting ready for the LAN party We sleeping over tonight Don't fall asleep first Or you'll wake up with a tattoo
 And I wake up with a tattoo Mustache and a unibrow Looking like Anthony Davis Before he had a stylist

RDFO: In as few words as possible, can you tell us what this project is about, what it means to you or why you hope people can take away from it?

SD: Lofi hifi wifi. Seriously absurd. Music for a day at the beach and a night by a bonfire.

RDFO: What are some of your long term hopes and plans for Scoobert Doobert?

SD: I just want to make music 12 hours a day. My hope is to earn the time and money to do that — to create music, all around the world, with a bunch of artists that are way better and way cooler than I'll ever be. I hope to always be growing, amplifying voices and collaborating with new and exciting artists from all over the place, to be a positive change for the world, and a good dude for my family and friends. It's ambitious, but it's also quite simple. I just want to do all I can to be the best musician and friend I can be. But I guess that's not a long-term plan. It's the daily one!

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