We had the chance to chat with alt-pop duo The Screens, who are based out of London, England and Malaga, Spain! The Screens are made up of Neil Watson and Colid Wade, who collaborate via distance on songwriting and production of their music. Both members have immense history in film and music, as they have worked on projects such as Kil Bill 2, Superman Returns, and collaborated with artists such as A Tribe Called Quest and members of The Cure. The group will be releasing a new album in October on Paintbox Records. Check out our interview with them below!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
"Neil worked in A&R for Zomba records and Warner Chappell before deciding to become a composer for film and TV. Colin was in a few bands but earned more money doing session work. The Screens have only been together for two years."
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
"The fact that Colin lives in London and Neil lives in Spain means the writing is the result of endless file sharing. We spend hours on the phone talking nonsense but always about music which provides subliminal guidance for Neil to create a song structure and melody. Neil will send it to Colin who then writes the lyrics. We both like it because it means we can get on with doing our bit without the other interrupting or disturbing the flow. It works well for us being in separate countries."
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
"Inspiration comes from such a diverse palette of artists but songwriters and arrangers seem to be something we both like. John Barry, the film music composer and arranger, The Zombies, The Hollies, Brian Wilson, Bacharach and David, Simon and Garfunkel....."
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
"Because our sound is very much reflective of the sixties having old gear is really relevant. In the studio we have guitars like-a 1968 Gibson 335, a Watkins Rapier 44, an early 70’s Ovation Balladeer, a Watkins Copycat, a Vox AC30, a Fender Twin Reverb, an original Cry Baby Wah, a 1964 Neumann U57, plus a bunch of modern plug-ins that replicate gear from the 60’s. We use a Revox B77 and record all our music onto tape before sticking it into Logic Pro X."
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
"Live is an unknown beast for us as a band. We’ll play live once the album's out but right now the main focus is getting the album sounding right which means experimenting with players and instruments. Once we have that complete we will know the type of line up we want to take on the road."
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
"Essentially The Screens have no intentions of writing and releasing music for the benefit of record sales alone. There’s too much manufactured music in the world, driven and governed by market research people in record companies. We gravitated towards the sound of the sixties for three reasons 1. Most of the music involved musicians playing live in the studio, no gimmicks or tech to help their playing. 2. The songwriting was better; some may disagree but let’s see how many people are playing Drake or Justin Beiber in 50 years time and who’s playing The Beach Boys, The Beatles etc....3. We wanted to write and play songs that made us feel different to what everyone else is doing, inspired and feeling free.....Listening to music from record labels now is like being a baby all over again, not being able to make your own choices like what you eat and when you sleep. The sixties embodied a period where people said fuck conforming, we wanna be free to make our own choices."
7. Do you have any upcoming projects you would like fans to know about?
"The album comes out in October. If it’s well received and people ask us we’d love to take it on the road.
The next album is already half written and it’s really hard for us to put the brakes on as we love writing and recording."
FMI on the screens visit their website.