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Dave Gahan told Steve Wright:

"When I first heard that song, when Martin gave me his demo, I just couldn't wait to get my teeth into it. That's right up my street. It's punchy, and it's rant. He's pretty angry at someone, I think."

Dave also told Billboard:

"There are songs that are quite literal on the album. “Scum” for instance, it was a lot of fun recording that song and singing it. Great lyric. But to me, I internalize that: “Hey scum, hey scum, what have you ever done for anyone?" I immediately take that in, and I ask myself that question. That’s how I perform that song... really, it’s from my own fear, like, "What the f--k have I ever done? And what am I doing? Am I really helping those around me that are less fortunate? Do I really care?" I don’t know."

Martin Gore said in Myśliwiecka 3/5/7:

"During interviews, quite a few people asked me, "Who made you that angry? Who is that about?" It would really take away the power of the song if I would just tell you, "I wrote about this person", because it's better for a listener to listen to it and imagine, because imagination is far more powerful."

Martin also told Radio Eins in 2017:

"I like 'Scum' particularly because it's very different for us. Quite aggressive, but it's also got a real kind of sleazy groove to it. There's something very unusual for us about that song."

Andy Fletcher told 91.9 WFPK:

"I really like 'Scum', it has the weirdest rhythm. In fact we're not playing it live - we're not sure if it can be played live. It's some weird beat."

Keyboard programmer Matrixxman said in an interview with

"I didn’t personally work with the vocals at all during the album but in reference to Scum, I’m pretty sure Martin’s original demo had heavily distorted vocals on it. So that would explain why Dave’s vocals had the same treatment on that particular tune."

Dates with available recordings of Scum

  • There are currently no recordings of Scum available to download.

Dates where Scum was played

2017-2018 Global Spirit Tour

Scum was played only once during this tour.