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WITF Music: The Scouts

They made their first album on their own...and survived.

  • Joe Ulrich

 Jeremy Long / WITF

Lancaster band The Scouts have been playing since 2017. The indie shoegaze band has a handful of recordings available but last year marked the release of their first full-length album title Growing Pains. The band consists of frontman Nathan Yager, guitarist Tom Hartman, bassist Justin Buckwalter, his brother Josh Buckwalter on drums and keyboardist River Leo. They performed a few songs from that album in our studio recently and talked about the challenges of recording the album on their own.

Joe: You put out a full length album, right? That’s the first full length?

Tom: First one. It was so up and down. One month, we’d be on top of the world. Just like, yeah, we’re tracking. This is a good time. Everything’s coming out great. Ideas are good. It’s flowing. And then next week, it’s ‘we’re never going to put the record out.’ We might as well just cut six of the songs. Let’s just get it over with.

It was all doing it ourselves for the first time. Nate mixed the whole record and he did a great job. And he recorded all of us, and he’s also the front man.

Joe: So you have some audio engineering experience. Had you recorded a full album for anyone before?

Nate: No. [laughs]

Joe: So this is your first time doing a full album. What are your takeaways from that process?

Nate: Just different things like knowing that as an engineer you’re a little bit of a therapist at the same time. And as bandmates you’re kind of therapists for each other. And especially on this time crunch that we had set for ourselves there were just so many restraints we had put on ourselves that had hindered us creatively and … yeah it’s a crazy time.

Tom: Another thing is we all, except River, we all live together, too. We spend a lot of time with each other at home already. We’ve been in that house for around two years in Lancaster.

Going to the studio every weekend, you work a full work week, and then you see your bandmates every day, and then you work more on the weekend, basically. We all love each other as friends. So it all worked out. It can get stressful sometimes.

Josh: The big thing was just communicating our needs to everyone. A lot of times, like me personally, I felt like my kit doesn’t sound great. But it’s like whatever, it’s fine, not [wanting to feel like] you’re bugging Nate about changing something and just being like, “Hey I don’t think this sounds the way it should.”

Nate: There’s something weird about your friends, roommates, whoever it might be in your band, just kind of getting on their nerves a little bit, thinking you’re getting on their nerves because everyone knows how they feel personally.

And none of us tore each other’s heads off. There was never serious ill will. It was mostly just a little bit of burnout here and there and ups and downs, the rollercoaster of emotions.

The Scouts will be opening for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on Friday, March 29th at Tellus360 in Lancaster. You can see their performance in our studio at

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