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Southampton in Europa... But, will The Red Stripez make a triumphant return?

It's almost time for the Europa League draw. We live in hope of the triumphant return of The Red Stripez.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a Southampton fan who didn't like The Red Stripez's celebratory song, Southampton In Europa, when it came out last year.

I really, really didn't want to like the song. But, I couldn't help it. It's catchy as hell, the guys don't take themselves too seriously and Paul Jones even features on the video! James and Mark, the men behind the outfit, also donated all proceeds from the song to local Southampton charities. Bang on.

The song and corresponding video still has major replay-ability - even if it's been slightly dampened by the likes of Ronald Koeman, Sadio Mane, Victor Wanyama and Graziano Pelle leaving the club.

But, that latter point led me to wonder whether we would get a second iteration of the song? After all, Saints have made it into the Europa League group stages at this point.

With the group draw looming, I had to find out for myself. Please enjoy our interview below.

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St. Mary's Musings: What do you guys do outside of creating music?

James: We drink Red Stripe most days, of course, and work on other musical projects. Last week I read the Kelvin Davis book! I would have a go on the Le Tissier one, but there's not as many pictures and the letters are too small.

SMM: What did you make of our European exploits in 2015? Did you get out to Arnhem or Midtjylland?

Mark: The lads did well, but it was a bit of a new experience for all concerned. It all felt a bit pre-seasony.

The passion wasn't there at the home leg of the Midtjylland game. All in all, it was probably for the best: we had a bloody fantastic season in the end, which we may not have had being in Europa.

We're well versed and prepared now to take on the Europa league straight in at the group stages this season now because of it!

We sadly didn't make it to any of the away legs last season, we were too busy hitting the cans of Red Stripe back home and doing guerrilla street & pub performances of our tune to raise money for the Mountbatten Hospice. But this time round, we'll be at all of them!

SMM: What are your thoughts on how the 2015/16 went?

Mark: Couldn't have gone any better. If only we got out of that rusty patch mid-season a bit sooner, we might have bagged an extra four points and would have been playing in the Champions League!

What about that Chelsea away game though? Blimey... and that home Arsenal game! Who saw Martina scoring that one before the match? Wish we put a quid down on him as first scorer.

SMM: What was the reaction like when you first released Southampton in Europa?

James: We had no idea all football fans would have an interest in it. We thought it was just for the Saints fans initially. We underestimated the power of rock and roll you know? Then we arrived at the Vitesse home game and it had all gone viral!

People wanted selfies and all sorts. One woman propositioned us, but she was from Paulsgrove so we said no.

SMM: How did you get Paul Jones involved with the music video and what was he like to work with?

James: We found him on Facebook and sent him a message! He was really supportive from the off. A top bloke, and I'm so glad he accepted our invitation to be in it.

SMM: Did you hear anything from the club after you released the song? If so, were they positive?

James: No comment.

SMM: Have you heard the song played in any unexpected places or seen it shared by any unexpected people? Me and a mate pretty much forced a Dutch cab driver to blare it out when we beat Vitesse in Holland!

Mark: Thank you for force-feeding our brand of Southampton patriotic Euro pop to our Dutch Uncles! Seeing it shared by Benchwarmers on Facebook and getting 800k views in a day was pretty surreal!

SMM: Now we're through to next season's Europa League group stages already, can we expect another song from you guys?

James: You can expect a refreshed version at least! It'll be hard to top the first one, we know that, but these Europa escapades deserve to be celebrated

SMM: What can us fans expect? Will you be reaching out for any other ex-Saints footballers or fan figures to appear in the video?

Mark: Well, If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Obviously, "Koeman is a liar", so we'll need to change a few lyrics. We're going to make the track sound even phatter too - we want it played at Creamfields! If not there, then a future Martines re-opening in Eastleigh!

We've shot some footage with a few ex-saints already, and any other ex-saints can be sure to bump into us and our HD video capable iPhone at one of their many public appearances!

We would like to thank The Red Stripez boys for their time. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for their new single and BUY IT!