Screaming Maldini

Deck the halls with boughs of Holly!

Well… The studio with bunting and fairy lights, but you get the idea. We couldn’t have picked a better band than Screaming Maldini to sign off the year with a festively themed session, and Christmas jumpers abound as the sextet somehow arrange themselves amongst the snug, seasonally decorated surroundings of G2 Studios.

The enthusiastic young group have been steadily building a following for their idiosyncratic blend of contagious pop and intricate, mesmerising harmonies. The sound of those delicate, serene vocal arrangements combined with the echoing of sleigh bells around the room could impose a sense of tranquillity upon any chilly winter’s night, and provide the perfect backdrop to a band winding down after a productive year’s work.

How would you sum up 2012 for Screaming Maldini?
Gina: Progressive.
Nick: We’ve come on in leaps and bounds. We’ve finished our debut album (released early next year), we’ve released two singles, which have built on each other in terms of how successful they’ve been and we have a new manager so everything seems to have just progressed. We’ve played some awesome gigs also – Tramlines was wicked and a single launch recently at The Harley was probably the best gig we’ve ever done in terms of crowd reaction and everyone singing along.

From what I know, you would describe yourselves broadly as a pop-band, but the use of vocal harmonies and explosive nature to some of your songs in my opinion invite comparisons with a classical, big-band sound. Was it always your intention to create music that stood out so completely from anything else out there?
Nick: Yeah, I think so. We’ve all been in bands before and the one I was in before we were just two guitars, bass and drums, so we looked cool but were always compared to other bands. So I thought it would be great to be incomparable to anyone and just confound journalists and their pigeon-holes. But yeah, we would describe ourselves as broadly pop because, you can make really experimental music but if no-one can remember what it goes like then what’s the point? Even the great classical music has been catchy and memorable.

With you having such a unique sound it would be interesting to hear about your influences…
Nick: We all have different ones, really. (Drummer) Tim is into his electronic music and mainly crazy drummers, Jonny is an amazing classical pianist so listens to a lot of Jazz and Classical music. I think Gina and Annie are always looking for new music…
Gina: …yeah. It’s because while a lot of people are brought up on what their parents listen to I didn’t really have a musical upbringing as such – my Mum listens to a lot of Barry White so I’ve always really loved looking out for new stuff. But performance-wise everything from Natasha Khan and Regina Spector inspires me because of that really strong female presence.

How about in terms of songwriting…
Nick: In terms of writing I think anything where a band writes something that sounds really distinctive. So Radiohead and The Beatles – I also love Burt Bacharach’s orchestral arrangements. Even Oasis, even though they were kn*bheads, just for their knack of writing really awesome songs. It’s about artistic integrity and, like I say, the ability to create something distinctive.

What songs are you playing for us today?
Gina: There’s ‘Summer Somewhere’, which was our second single this year and that’s about basically getting fed up of the day-to-day, and it’s full of hope, which is nice!
Nick: We’re also doing a new song called ‘Winter Stars’; it’s kind of about New Year’s resolutions and wanting to better yourself but also… Gina is the only one of us originally from Sheffield, so also it’s about how strange it is that you might see so little of those closest to you such as your extended family before they’re gone. It’s a little depressing that actually, isn’t it…?

There’s also ‘Snowflake’, but the meaning behind that one is quite vague; it has sleigh bells though! It’s about a chase through the snow but the lyrics are quite ambiguous – it could be chasing in a sinister way…
Gina: …yeah, I quite like to see the dark in things so, maybe.

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