STARBURST: What's your musical and film background?
Alan Sinclair: My family’s full of musicians, jazzers and classical bods mostly, so I’ve had music around me since my early days. As a teenager, I got into metal and punk, as well as the harsher end of electronic music and did the usual haphazard out-of-tune band stuff. I moved to Glasgow in 2002, and became involved in the noise/improv scene, droning and contact mic’ed bucket-style stuff. Repeated Viewing came about in about 2009 through a desire to return to conventionally ‘playing’ instruments again.
My taste in movies varies quite a bit, but it’s safe to say I tend to lean towards horror, experimental, and generally weird cinema. Spending the '90s watching the endless BBC post-pub repeats of the Hammer movies and the Bravo satellite channel’s nightly selection of Italo/Asian/Troma splatter flicks probably helped warp my brain in right (or wrong) direction…
Was there a specific instance which led to combining music and film?
I wouldn’t say there was a specific instance, more a slow drip of influence from years of watching movies and obsessing over the soundtracks. I guess I just found myself at a point some time ago that I had the equipment and desire to give it a go.
You're one of the rare musicians to come up with imaginary film scores and actual film scores. What's the difference between the processes?
Not much, actually! Most of my soundtrack contributions are based upon existing material that’s been tweaked to fit the needs of the movie. I generally have an idea of whatever vibe I want to create with a new piece of music, so whenever somebody’s asked me for a few tunes, I simply consult the Repeated Viewing mood library! I figure the way Tangerine Dream came up with the score for the Sorcerer is the best option: Friedkin gave them the script and asked them to create the music prior to the film being shot. That turned out pretty well!
How did you come to do the score for The Three Sisters? What attracted you to the film?
The director, Dáire McNab, dropped me a line shortly after I posted a few tracks on my Bandcamp page and asked if I’d consider letting him use some of my music in his movie. He did an early edit of a scene using one of my tracks which tickled me somewhat so it was a no-brainer. I have to say the fact that Giovanni Lombardo Radice was involved also played a part in making my mind up - not a bad scoop for a giallo homage. Dáire’s super-talented and a very nice guy, so the whole process was great.
For your Lunaris single, how did you come to decide on that atmospheric introduction with the howling wind? It's absolutely brilliant.
I wanted to go for an old school brit-horror vibe on that one and what could be more classically spooky than a howling wind? Besides, I live in Scotland so it’s the natural soundtrack to my windswept existence.
What's the community like amongst the film music-inspired? I'm curious as to how much interaction you have with Umberto, Maiovi, and the like.
Actually, it’s pretty open and friendly, which is pleasant given that many music ‘scenes’ can sometimes be a bit closed and ego ridden. The Giallo Disco guys and Umberto are lovely and have been very supportive of my stuff - having them rework The Three Sisters tracks was great. The same goes for all the labels I’ve worked with, all very dedicated and honest folks. No one’s made the kill list yet! There’s a lot of great film music-inspired music out there right now so it’s a good time if you’re into this stuff.
Will there ever be - has there been - a live performance aspect to your music?
As of yet, nope. I technically retired myself from live gigs about 4 years ago - not really sure why, but I think I was a bit fed up after years of lugging gear around for minimal reward (what a grump!). Another local band has actually offered some assistance in performing my tracks live – that might be interesting. It’s not completely off the radar, so watch this space.
Any upcoming projects you'd like to share?
My next release is a full-length tape, Street Force, which is coming out via a new cassette label, Spun Out of Control. That should be out by the time you read this. A vinyl version of the Three Sisters OST is coming out some time later this year via WeMe/Wil-Ru records and I’ve also got an LP, Frozen Existence, coming out via Lunaris. The release dates for both of those are in the hands of the printing press queue, I’m probably currently sitting in line behind a Hanson reissue or something. There’s also a few more releases, collaborations and scoring duties brewing, more on those later though…