Friday, March 31, 2006

Mini-Interview: Film School

Several months ago, Beggar’s Banquet released the San Francisco-based Film School’s self-titled album and the band has been playing their particular brand of haunty, echoey guitar work across Europe and the US since in support of it.

At least, they’re doing it as best they can after their equipment was recently stolen in Philadelphia in an event that -- hearing vocalist Krayg Burton describe it -- sounds like something straight out of a 70s crime caper film.

We checked in with Burton to find out the status of the missing equipment, how the band first came together, and what to expect next from them.

I'm really sorry to hear about your gear being stolen in Phili. Have you had any luck getting any of it back?

Yeah, it's pretty unbelievable how it happened. We had our van in a paid, secured, well-lit lot at the Comfort Inn Hotel we were staying at. Yet these thieves still found a way to cut through our steering wheel to remove the club, rig the ignition with a screwdriver, plow through a gate, and drive it off. We got the van back with some damage, but there's no trace of the gear.

You had to cancel a few shows because of it, but you played SXSW. Did you borrow friends' equipment for it? How did you work that out?

People have been so generous and kind. It's amazing how people in the music community, many of whom we don't know, have rallied to help us out. The Cloud Room let us borrow some gear while we were on tour with them and we've had friends who have let us borrow some gear here and there.

Also, Gibson and Ludwig have both let us borrow instruments until we're able to purchase some new ones. Unfortunately, we couldn't make all the shows because we had to deal with bringing everything together, but we're gonna try to get back soon to the towns we missed. I'm thinking we should be back by June latest.

You posted a spot on your web-site where people could donate money to help you get new gear. What's the response been so far?

People have been donating whatever they can afford and we're so appreciative. Wellesley College even donated the money that we were supposed to make at the show, which is something we didn't expect at all. Definitely want to do something special for them next time we're out there.

What's the response been like to your recent album? I know I've been really enjoying it.

Thanks, Joe. It's been pretty good so far I think. We just try to continue doing what we know and not pay too much attention to the chatter. Our band is new to lot of people right now so we're in the spotlight in some ways. Everyone has an opinion. But the people that get what we're up to are all we're concerned about. We're not trying to be everything to everyone.

You've released a number of EPs before this, right? How can people track those down? Any plans to collect that material?

If your neighborhood mom and pop store doesn't have it, I'd say is the best bet. We released an EP on Amazing Grease in 2003 called "alwaysnever." It's still being distributed through that label nd as far as I know is available in most stores. Full Frame Records released the "Harmed" 7" in 2005.

Once we signed to Beggars, they released the "On and On" EP/single early this year and I think that's in most stores. We're about to release our next single "11:11" and backed with a new song called "Walked til Sunday". That should be available in April I think.

Maybe we'll collect all that material and put out a "B-sides" someday. If so, I'd like to add some really rare stuff like mini-disk recording in our rehearsal studio, but we'll see. That seems a ways off to me.

How long have you all been together as a band?

I started the band in 1998 as a two-piece, but after some solo writing and lineup changes Film School finally settled as this group of musicians around 2001, just after the release of "Brilliant Career".

Since then, we've been writing more collaboratively, I'd say for the last four years. Donny our drummer joined us two years ago.

What's next?

Tons of touring, I suspect. Beggars wants us out on the road most of this year, which is good for us. We really give and get a lot playing live. I'm thinking we might have a little time off this summer to work on some new songs and possibly record, but it all depends on the success of our current album I guess.

Last question: Who are you listening to these days?

I saw Celebration play a couple shows and really liked it.

Thanks for your time, Krayg.

Film School is playing with The Cloud Room and Space Mtn on Saturday, April 1st at The Troubadour, which is located at 9081 Santa Monica Blvd in the West Hollywood neighborhood of LA. Tickets are $10-12 and doors open at 8.


Blogger Poll said...

Hello !!

Nice to meet you.

9:09 AM  

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