2 Apr

Screen Vinyl Image

“Happiness Is a Warm Drum (Machine)”

by Ryan Muldoon

They say it takes two to tango – apparently, it also takes two to create a massive wall of overdriven, electronic, ear-splitting musical beauty. Or at least that’s what the two members of Screen Vinyl Image have a reputation for doing.

On their most recent album, “Interceptors,” the duo known as Screen Vinyl Image (Jake and Kim Reid) make the most of countless waves of guitar layers, synthetic beats and keyboard craziness, coming together for a sound that’s dangerous – but somehow, delightfully digestible. When performing live, SVI seek to answer that eternal question, “What would happen if Goblin did the score to Dario Argenta’s ‘Susperia’ after buying the world’s largest PA, bathing themselves in neon light and threatening to crack the audience’s backs through sheer volume?”

And the answer is, “It would be awesome.”

What can you tell me about your commitment to providing a visually stunning live performance? Was that a natural progression or something more of a pre-determined goal for Screen Vinyl Image?

We used to use visuals in our old band Alcian Blue. We started out with a 16mm projector and found films on eBay and then we moved onto doing our own stuff with a digital projector. When we started SVI we wanted to continue that tradition so we started out with oil projectors and strobes before moving onto the digital projector and editing our own visuals. Kim also wanted to do something different from the white strobe effect which is why we use color gels. It’s a big inspiration from watching Italian horror movies. We also try to change up the visuals every few months so you might see some of the same stuff, but then a lot of new material as well.

We really like all the psychedelic light show stuff from the 60’s/70’s concerts but we also went to raves during the 90’s and there is a definite correlation between those two movements and we wanted to have that element in our live performance. Give people something to escape into for 30 or 40 minutes.

At the same time, it would seem unfair to paint Screen Vinyl Image as just a live experience, with your recorded sound so impressive in its own right – dark, dense and (dare I say?) danceable. Do you view these two aspects of the band from different perspectives, or is it just two sides of the same coin?

We record and mix all of our stuff in our home so we have the opportunity to take our time recording and experiment with anything from sampling to different guitar sounds or synth sounds etc. The studio isn’t just a place for getting something right for release but it’s also a place to be creative. Because of this, a lot of times we have to take what we record and figure out how it will translate live with just two people in the band and a lot of times that opens up another side of creativity for us. But, the thing about playing live is that it’s very in the moment. You aren’t stopping to make sure it’s perfect; we never even sound-check other than line checking the electronics. We like to just turn it all up and hit go and see where the set takes us.

Are there any bands that you personally feel excel in the live performance setting, more so than you enjoy their recordings? Conversely, can you think of any records that you’ve fallen in love with, only to be dissapointed with the live performance?

It’s really hard to comment on. We look at those things as very separate gauges because they are totally different experiences, and being a band, we know you might sometimes catch a band having a bad night or an off night and I think being too critical on one performance isn’t very fair.

What’s the origin of the name Screen Vinyl Image? What does it represent to you? How often have you been mis-identified as screen-printers who specialize in vinyl image reproduction?

We were looking for a unique name. We saw the words “Screen Vinyl” somewhere and thought they sounded cool together.  We added “Image” as the words also made us think of a projection screen.  Basically, we just liked the way the words sounded and looked together.  We don’t often get confused with screen-printers, but whenever people ask for our band name they always have to repeat it back to us to make sure it is right.

How has your own musical history informed the music we hear on “Interceptors”? I’m reminded that I once heard someone remark that they can’t decide if Screen Vinyl Image makes electronics sound warm, or if you make analog gear sound cold. I’m inclined to think … neither?

Or maybe both, ha ha. We use analog synths and we use drum machines both old and new, we use amps, we sometimes direct in, we use samplers etc. It is kind of a whole culmination of processes that make up how we recorded Interceptors. From a musical history standpoint, I think there is a lot of shoegaze influence and I think that will always be the case because it’s what we both have always been into. But, we also listen to all sorts of other music from 50’s/60’s rock and roll to 70’s/80’s film soundtracks to a lot of the different electronic movements that have come out over the years like minimal wave, darkwave and the Dutch scene. But, we don’t sit down and say this is going to sound like this or that, rather we take a lot of ideas and build something out of that which always ends up sounding like us.

One thing that I think is a fair description if your live sound is the word “LOUD.” How do you address the balance between providing a live show that actually engages the listener through massive volume … and the buzzkill of the word “TINNITUS” constantly flashing thorough your mind?

Some people are turned off by how we sound live. I’d say 90% of the time it’s people who come out to a show and want to socialize with their friends. People that don’t mind the volume level seem to understand that at the heart of live music is feeling the music, letting the music overtake the surrounding space it encompasses so you can really concentrate on what is happening. There are also certain sounds you can get by playing loud and also the type of music we make has a lot of layers and when you turn it all up those layers start to really drift in and out of focus. We’re not just playing loud for the sake of it, it’s partly what I said above and also partly just what we grew up understanding about rock n roll. It’s meant to be loud, obnoxious and crazy.

Do androids dream of electric sheep?

We were beginning to suspect this interview was a bit too much like an empathy test, now we know!

What music have you been listening to lately?

We’ve had the Ceremony “Someday” 7 inch playing and Soundpool’s “But it’s so” 7 inch on the Killerpimp label and the new Puerto Rico Flowers 12 inch on Fan Death Records.

Also been listening to some of the early Bunker series stuff, Unit Moebius and Rude66 and some albums by Danny Wolfers. Been spinning the new Thrushes full-length which is fantastic, I typically always have a Rosebuds record nearby and we’ve also been listening to some earlier stuff like The Seeds and The Troggs, Buddy Holly, Ricky Nelson, etc.

Are there any bands that you yourself are especially looking forward to seeing at Austin Psych Fest 3?

Well definitely our friends we’ve played with a bunch like The Vandelles, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor and Ringo Deathstarr. A friend of ours told us to check out Warpaint back in winter and we were stoked to see they were on the bill. Also we’ve never had the opportunity to see the Angels live or Spindrift but we are very familiar with their records so that is equally exciting. We’ve been checking out all the other bands too – we’re going to make a massive mixtape for the long-ass drive to Austin.

What can you tell us about the upcoming remix record?

It’s going to be 6 tracks and is coming out on Custom Made Music who released Interceptors. We have remixes from Hypefactor, Remarkably Spry (Christo from The Vandelles), I.H.M.C., TeenageSinTaste and we did two remixes of songs ourselves. Most of the stuff is pretty club friendly and the rest is nice for listening on your headphones. I’m pretty sure we’ll have copies when we’re in Austin, and they’ll be special limited editions.

We’re also releasing a 7 inch with Fan Death Records which will be out soon, it’s called Siberian Eclipse and we’re really stoked about how the songs turned out. And, later on we’re releasing another 7 inch with CMM for our single Too Much Speed.

Screen Vinyl Image –


One Response to “SCREEN VINYL IMAGE”


  1. SCREEN VINYL IMAGE GETS SOME STRANGE « Revolt of the Apes - March 13, 2012

    […] time than we would like since we checked in on Screen Vinyl Image, one of the first bands ever to tolerate our ridiculous interview questions – though truth be told, they’re never far from our mind (as evidenced by the Screen Vinyl Image […]

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