Sep 22 2013 – Very few things are as exciting as finding something new you love. Much like archeologists that dig to find hidden treasures, we here at T-Mak World really enjoy trying to find new bands that we love. Once we find such bands, we approach our favorites to request interviews for our Emerging Artist Spotlight series. Today we set our focus on a band from the UK named The Blue Screen Of Death. All bands we talked to are asked similar questions to each other so we can get to know them better. The description on the band’s website reads:
“Blue Screen are purveyors of heavy rock with pop sensibilities. Often combining mighty riffs with catchy vocal melodies, they also have a penchant for the quirky”
Here is what they had to say to us:
1. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Let’s start off with the obligatory introductions. Who’s in the band and what instrument does everyone rock?
Steve George – Frontman, rhythm guitar, and saying stupid shit to the audience between songs.
Harry “Shogun” Gardner – Guitar widdler, vocal backup, and hoarding effects pedals.
Paul Shott – Bassist and lurking at the back of the stage.
Guilliaume “Gizmo” Redonnet-Brown – Hitting things with sticks.
2. How about the history of the band, when did you get started and how did it happen?
We have existed in one form or another since about 2006 when Steve and Paul met at freshers week at Southampton University (needless to say the details are sketchy) and Harry was roped in as the only person they knew who would agree to play drums for them (despite being a guitarist). For reasons that we assume made sense at the time, Steve abandoned his first love, the bass, to play guitar and Paul switched from guitar to bass. Such was formed a group that was (as all new bands should be) entirely out of their depth, artistically confused, and rarely sober. Several years, arguments, and stylistic changes later we have left university (some of us even with degrees), Harry is on lead guitar, and BSOD has gone into the child labour business, recruiting current Southampton University student Guilliaume Redonnet-Brown as our new drummer (on the understanding we are allowed to call him ‘Gizmo’). We would like to say that he reminds the rest of us of what we were like at that age but quite frankly he’s far cooler. The global financial crisis and impending collapse of the established music industry seemed like a perfect time to attempt to turn our music into a career and we continue to build a following in the hope that by the time the band has become financially viable music is still perceived to have a value and the world hasn’t regressed to a medieval bartering system where goods and services are joylessly exchanged for sexual favours.
3. Who are some of your musical influences?
When we originally formed our diverse pool of individual influences lead to an often slightly uneasy mix of funk-rock, which owed much to the influence of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine, and heavier melodic stoner-rock music such as Kyuss or Orange Goblin (which formed the basis of our largely instrumental ‘Barbican’ live mini-album self-released in 2011). Our latest album, ‘Leave the Future Behind’, sought to keep the heavy rock basis but hone this into a more traditional song structure and make more of melodic vocal lines and harmonies. Often influences can surprise you and we have found ourselves referring to the tight vocal harmonies of The Beatles, the epic intensity of early Biffy Clyro, the filthy riff-age of Metallica, or the masterful silliness of Frank Zappa during the songwriting process.
4. So based on the above how would you describe your music to someone that has never heard it?
Melodic heavy rock: If you think early Queens of the Stone Age you’re in the right sort of area but maybe with a little more of a party feel (to be honest we have been hoping for some time that a reviewer would do a better job of describing our music so we can steal it and put it on all our posters).
5. Why do you believe that a music fan should come and see your show instead of all the other choices available to them on any given night?
Rock music should be fun, and we take pride in bringing the audience along with our own enthusiasm for what we’re doing at our live shows. We would like to think you’re going to see something that is a bit out of the ordinary and music that has a life of its own when performed live. No two BSOD shows are exactly the same. Plus, we will give you cake*.
*if we have any cake…
6. What is your favorite single line of lyrics the band has written and why?
“All you’ve got to ask yourself is what would Arnie do / There’s nothing that can’t be solved with one-liners and kung-fu moves”. Because it’s true… Probably.
7. What does the rest of 2013 and 2014 hold for you?
As well as keeping our live shows ticking over our attention has been turning to our next release. We have been working on new material for some time and should be self-releasing a single or EP in the next few months with a view to releasing the next album at the end of 2014. We are currently looking into options around funding and whether to go down the traditional record company route or look into crowd-funding or selling Gizmo as a rent-boy.
8. Imagine that you were asked to be the opener for any band’s world tour (both current and historical). Which band and tour would be your dream opening gig.
Possibly Queens of the Stone Age Songs for the Deaf tour 2002 / 2003. I think this was one of the great heavy rock bands at their best.
9. What is the future of the music industry? With the concept of the album and physical CD’s facing extinction, how will we be consuming music in 10 years? Are the economics feasible for emerging artists?
We’re optimistic in many ways: The increasing prevalence of social media, as well as new models for funding emerging artists such as ‘Kickstarter’ and ‘Pledge Music’, allow a band to reach huge numbers of people and have a much more direct connection to their fanbase than has been possible before. That said this puts a lot of pressure on acts to stand out in a crowd and it’s not an option for a band to sit back and expect fans to come to them any more.
We think there is always going to be a demand among true music fans for albums. A good album is more than the sum of its parts and has its own internal structure and logic. The songs that play before and after a track can significantly alter how it is perceived and you only need to listen to a Radiohead album to hear this being used in a way which is as artistically relevant to the track as the music itself.
We still think there’s something in having a physical product that connects you with music in a way that a digital download can never do. That said, it would be difficult not to imagine that physical media won’t continue to become less and less mainstream over the next ten years. The issue with this is that as things stand digital music is largely experienced in formats (such as MP3 and AAC) that reduce the quality of the listening experience (as opposed to lossless digital reproduction such as WAV of AIFF). The hope is that technology will catch up and lossless audio streaming will remove the need for compressed formats. Otherwise, it is possible the widespread use of MP3s will continue the vicious circle of tracks being mixed and produced to a lower quality to suit compressed formats which in turn reinforces the use of these formats over CD quality audio.
10. Where can people purchase or listen to your music?
You can find us on Spotify and iTunes but all our music can be listened to for free on Bandcamp (www.thebluescreenofdeath.bandcamp.com) where you can also get details of our upcoming shows.
11. At the end of 2012 we published our picks for top 10 albums of 2012. Lists like those are always a reflection of personal tastes so if you were making the list what are some albums you would you have had on it?
A couple of albums that really stood out for us in 2012 were ‘The Plot Against Common Sense’ by ‘Future of the Left’. It’s both instrumentally and lyrically brutal in its deconstruction of politics and culture and deserves far more recognition than it got. ‘Harmonicraft’ by ‘Torche’ showed that stoner rock was alive and well and put some new spins on what can be a genre that rarely seeks invention.
12. Any closing remarks for our readers?
Wherever you are, go see some live music tonight. It’ll be fun, we promise.
Thanks so much to The Blue Screen of Death. We hope that you can see them live.
Oct 03: The Railway Inn, Winchester (UK)
Oct 04: The Stags Head, Southampton (UK)
Oct 18: The Lectern, Brighton (UK)
Oct 19: The Tubman, Hastings (UK)
Nov 15: The Hobbit, Southampton (UK)