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Here is the second part of the interview with Scream, one of the core bands of the hardcore punk scene that developed in Washington D.C. during the ‘80s. After their split in 1990, they recently reunited, releasing, in 2011, the EP ‘Complete Control Session’, and touring both the U.S. and Europe. Toonari Post met Scream in connection with their concert in Vienna, Austria.
Scream’s music is available for purchasing in the major digital platforms.
Toonari Post (TP): The name of one of your records is “No more Censorship”. There has been much talking lately about laws and agreements like ACTA, which are presented to protect intellectual property rights, but that indeed restrict the possibility of expression of people, as well as their general privacy, due to strict control: what is your opinion about that?
Pete Stahl (PS): well those are pretty complicated issues, and I’m not familiar with the legislation. They should protect people’s art, finding a balance, without giving governments access to people’s information and be able to track them. I don’t mind someone using our songs to create something else, but I wanna be credited, and if they’re gonna make money out of it, I wanna be paid.
Our music is like a picture that you can cut out of a magazine and make a poster out of it, it’s fine. I think there are some other things that could be done out of a legislation. So I’ll leave it up hopefully to politicians.
TP: So your position is against free music downloading.
PS: I come from that era when we traded tapes, but it’s different now. It’s much more disposable. I think there is a whole generation of kids that doesn’t even value music the way we did. Music is not treated with the respect that should be. I don’t think the whole downloading thing is good for artists.
It’s hard enough for a musician to make a living, and now it’s even harder. Now the only way you can make a living is by touring, or by selling your music for commercials, and something like that. You could make a little bit of money out of selling your music, but now this generation doesn’t feel like they have to pay for music, even though it costs money to make it. You spend your whole life doing it. Now people are going online and try to raise money for it. I think people should be paid for their art.
TP: You said that you think a lot of kids nowadays do not respect music…
PS: I don’t think the new generation values music the way we did, it is just a different timing.
Kent Stax: There are people that do, just not in general.
PS: It’s not just music, I just don’t know if the kids of today are as much involved; I don’t know if there’s interest in the world, politics, art, as there was in our generation and the generation before. They’re more interested in wearing that kind of hairstyle. It’s cool to go to a protest just because your friends are there. They’re not really doing anything.
TP: Don’t you think that if a band, or an artist, makes a good record, people will buy it anyway?
PS: I think that people that care about music would feel obligated to pay for it, but I just think in general it is not like that. People grow up expecting music to be free; “I don’t have to pay for that, I can just get it here, why would I pay for it?” It just creates a culture like that; that might change. We don’t have much; all we have is music.
Skeeter Thompson: I’m with Pete in this. It’s bad that the industry is doing this to artists. A lot of people are taking music, and musicians, for granted. It’s not like we play for being the best or something, we play because it is a passion. It’s different when you’re doing things out of necessity, or you’re doing it just for whatever; and that’s how it goes now, like downloading.
People now don’t even wanna play the whole song, they just play a part and then skip to the next song. Back in the day we would be like “check this, man!” put on the music and listen; now when people put music on, they start talking, texting…
TP: Do you think that the music industry respects music?
PS: I think there are a lot of people involved in the music industry that are the same people involved back in the days, come from the old school, and have respect for music. They treat music as a craft. Ultimately it is a business. Every era has like top 40 and pop music that is for everybody. Most people that are in the music business are there because they love music.
TP: But we are the first era with talent shows…
PS: I don’t think there is much difference now. It’s just that today’s media is integrated in our lives in every minute. Before there was not like ‘Euro vision’, the entire world was not watching these. There are just more people watching TV, and now TV is like the church. It’s so crazy, because kids wanna be like that, and what’s more important to the people that want to be in the show is, like, losing weight, or dancing, or whatever. They don’t wanna be that fat person on TV, and that is sad. All you wanna do is be that one on TV. This keeps everyone kind of medicated.
TP: Where do you see Scream in three years?
PS: I don’t know, I really don’t know. I hope we’ll make another record. The most important thing was to get back together, make some music, and say something now. During the shows we play the old stuff and the new stuff. I wanna keep playing music for the rest of my life, in one way or another, that’s for sure. Music is my life.
Clint Walsh: I think there’s a really good reaction to the new songs, and to all the songs. There is a broader range of age; there are more kids than, speaking for myself, I would have thought.
Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/acidally/