Music & clubs

Five questions for… Scout Niblett

INTERVIEW. The star-gazing indie gem Scout Niblett brings her latest, It's Up to Emma, to the Berlin stage. Scout her out for yourself tonight, Mon, Jun 3 at Volksbühne.

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Photo by Devin Ludwig

Born in Nottingham, Emma Louise “Scout” Niblett has been carpetbagging through the US (currently Portland, Oregon) for over a decade, as that’s where her idols Daniel Johnston, Henry Rollins, Mudhoney and Steve Albini – producer of several of her records – come from.

Her latest, It’s Up to Emma (Drag City), finds her in break-up mode, poignantly conveyed with a cover of TLC’s “No Scrubs.” She flirts with Berlin on Monday, June 3 at the Volksbühne.

Do you do anything nowadays besides making music?

Yes, I do astrology charts for people.

And do you charge money?

Yes, I do.

Is it complicated?

It’s really complicated because – well, it’s not so complicated. The matter is that there’s just so much to learn because, in a way, it’s an experiential thing. So things that happen in the news – I like to look at what’s going on and then see why that’s happening in terms of the position of the planets at that point when they happened. I find that fascinating. You can see how it makes sense astrologically.

Do you read tarot?

No, but I think there’s a relationship there, because in any system you use there’s an element which you’re carrying around in your energy field of who you are as a person. In any moment, there’s the capacity of some people to be able to tack in to where you come from and where you’re going. You can get to that information in different ways, but the astrology I’m interested in has more to do with the journey of your soul. For example, in this life I came in as, the idea that I kind of take on is that in another life you’re going to be someone else, and in another life before that you were someone else. And so, when I look at the chart I try to see what the intention of your soul is this time: Why did you choose this body and this place to be born and what lessons are important for you in this life? Because you’ve come from this way before and you’re going to this other one.

How can you be so sure?

Once, over a few weeks, I was really ill and I was in bed trying to get better, and I had a couple of experiences where I came out of my body and I could see my body on the bed. That kind of changed a lot of my feeling about who I am because I realised I wasn’t my body. It kind of destroyed this attachment I have to my body. I feel like I’m the consciousness but, basically, it’s like renting out this body for this lifetime: It’s not who I am. And I also grew up with my mother and my grandmother and my auntie – they used to take me to these séances where there would be spiritual mediums and they would contact the spirit world for people. So, I kind of grew up with that awareness that you don’t need your body to be alive.

Scout Niblett w/ Ólöf Arnalds Mon, June 3, 20:00 | Volksbühne, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Mitte, U-Bhf Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

Originally published in Issue #117, June 2013