How We Met: Dan Le Sac & Scroobius Pip

'On tour we have to have separate rooms, because Dan snores... And he's always late'


Dan Le Sac 29(real name Dan Stephens) is an electronic musician whose top-50 hit "Thou Shalt Always Kill", recorded with Scroobius Pip, has had more than 1.5m hits on YouTube. He lives in Reading with his partner

I knew of Pip from back when I was about 17. We both grew up near Basildon, Essex, and there was a club there called Bullseye that any indie kid from 20 miles around would go to. At that time I was seeing this girl who, a few years later, ended up being with Mr Pip for three years or more.

Even though I didn't really know him at all then, I have this photo of him with two other blokes dressed up like the Beastie Boys in the "Sabotage" video. (He had some sort of trucker 'tache thing for a while. The beard is more recent. It suits him. Without it he has a funny-shaped head and his eyes are quite narrow.)

He used to hang around and smoke weed at my college. Our groups overlapped, but I don't play too well with others, so it wasn't until I'd finished uni that we found ourselves working together.

In late 2001 he had a job as a Christmas temp at the HMV I was working in. He and these two guys there became this comedy team. They were the funniest people I'd ever seen. Then he started seeing this girl at work who I was good friends with and I think that's one of the reasons we didn't get close; there is always tension when you start seeing someone who has really good male friends. She was an ex of one of his best friends, it was all intertwined. They went out for years. To this day, we don't talk about all that. I suppose because we're blokes and don't want to offend each other.

We were always acquaintances rather than mates and since we've been working together we're close, but it's easy to see how we could irritate the hell out of each other. There is a certain distance too, because he will not engage. We can be talking about what is, in essence, our career and you literally have to pull him in to get anything out of him. He's in a world of his own.

We both have to want to do something to make it happen, but because I have to pay rent while he lives at home, I always say yes to everything, and some of his decisions astound me. We'll get offered a gig and I'll want to say yes, but he'll be like, "Oh, I was going to go and see a film that night."

For our first proper tour last September, he took one pair of jeans and ripped them in the crotch on the second night. He spent the rest of the tour taping them together with silver gaffer tape. By the end, he was going on stage looking like he was wearing one of those things you swing babies in.

Scroobius Pip, 26, is a spoken-word artist and musician. After working at HMV for five years, he left to put out a self-financed spoken-word album in 2006. This year, he collaborated with Dan Le Sac on the top-40 album "Angles". He lives at home in Essex with his mum

Before HMV we weren't really mates; in fact, we were probably verging on enemies at some points. I remember Dan from when I used to hang out at his college; he had this retro look, he'd wear thick brown cords and had those sideburns – I swear he was born with them. I noticed him because he was another alternative kid. He wasn't just a Ben-Sherman-shirt-and-white-trainers person, as there are so many of in Essex. So I knew him, but let's just say that I didn't have his phone number.

Then there was the history of this girl we'd both gone out with. When I started at HMV, though, all that was behind us and we never really talked about it. We didn't really connect musically. You don't really go around work going, "Here's this CD of my music, have a listen." But then, as cheesy as it sounds, I went to his MySpace page and there, while you're chatting, the music is all presented instantly. It really forced our stuff on each other.

He did some remixes of things I'd done, then he fired me over some beats and said, "Let's try writing together." Within an hour and a half, I'd rewritten something I'd been working on and emailed it to him. He created a MySpace page called Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip and put that track, "Thou Shalt Always Kill", on it. Suddenly, it went crazy – everyone was emailing the tune to other people, so the only thing to do was borrow £200 and make a video. We started to get radio play and bookings and it was only a couple of months later that we realised we were a band. It was never a conscious decision. Which is nice.

Now we spend a lot of time together but also realise that we are both individuals who need plenty of space. On tour, we have to have separate bedrooms because Dan snores. Also, he's always late, which causes tension, because I get to places early and hang about. So he'll get there and go, "I'm only 20 minutes late." But that will be nearly an hour late to me.

Even though we butt heads along the way, that's what happens with a working relationship. And funny things do come out of it. In Glasgow, on our tour last year, we had a support band and one of them met a lady. This guy was sharing rooms with Dan and he and this girl went back to the room and were about to perform a sex act when they realised Dan was in bed facing them and they couldn't tell if he was asleep. So they rolled him over to face the wall. He claims he slept through the whole thing. Now I think of it, all of our rock'n'roll stories are about antics our support acts get up to while we're asleep.

'Angles' is out now on Sunday Best Recordings. This summer they are playing at the Reading, Leeds and Bestival festivals

Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
VIDEO
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers