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MIKE SCORE (A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS) INTERVIEW [2013]

YOU'RE ABOUT TO RELEASE 'ALL I WANNA DO', YOUR FIRST EVER SOLO SINGLE AND YOUR FIRST NEW MATERIAL FOR A VERY LONG TIME. I BELIEVE THE SONG ITSELF HAS BEEN FLOATING AROUND FOR A WHILE, SO WHAT SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES FELL INTO PLACE THAT MADE NOW THE RIGHT TIME FOR YOU TO OUT?

The song was released as a demo on my friend’s 'Trackspotting IV' album a few years back, but it was really just a demo, so I had quite a lot of requests to get it as a single. We decided to re-record it, as it is a cool song, and bring it up to a full production. As the recording progressed, the song came to life and we decided this should be available as a single. I don't know why but I woke up one day and said, “I think I'll make a solo album. I really did it just for myself. I had no real thoughts to release it, but as we got into it I decided I would release all the songs and have a solo thing going on.

YOU STILL TOUR QUITE A LOT UNDER THE NAME A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS DON'T YOU? WHY DID YOU DECIDE NOT TO USE THAT NAME TO PUT THIS SINGLE OUT?

I really wanted to just do it on my own. When you give a band as song they change it depending on how they want to play it. I just wanted, in the words of Frank Sinatra, to do it 'My Way', and also to avoid people saying stupid things linking it to the band. This is not a band project and should not be linked to the band. They are my songs done by me.

IS THE SINGLE THE START OF A BIGGER PROJECT? IS THERE AN ALBUM IN THE WORKS TOO?

Yes. The album is done and finished, apart from some editing and mastering. I am actually already halfway into the follow up and have several other irons in the fire, as far as recording is concerned. I write all the time - on my own and in collaboration - so there should be some releases there, too.

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE RELEASE? ARE YOU PLANNING WORLD DOMINATION OR IS IT MORE OF AN ITCH THAT NEEDED SCRATCHING?

My expectations are either end of the spectrum. Obviously it would be great if it was well received and sold a lot, but on the other hand I'll just be happy to have people like it and accept it for what it is.

THE LATE SEVENTIES AND EARLY EIGHTIES WERE A VERY EXCITING TIME FOR MUSIC, FOR ME AT LEAST! WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO FORM A BAND? WHAT SORT OF INFLUENCES DID YOU BRING INTO AFOS? NOT JUST MUSICALLY BUT VISUALLY, TOO...

In the late 70s I was hairdressing and going out seeing bands. I had always been in to music so one day I bought a bass guitar and, after a while, joined a band. It was exciting and I felt like this was for me. I can't say I'm a good player. I’m adequate. But I liked songwriting, so when I started my own band it seemed right to do my own thing. I liked my songs and with the whole band they came together in brilliant fashion. Everyone put 120% in and the songs became stellar. That was exciting. We knew there was no sound like this anywhere.

THERE WAS ALSO SOMETHING VERY SCI-FI ABOUT THE BAND, NOT JUST THE LOOK AND THE SLEEVES, BUT ALSO IN THE SONGS THEMSELVES, PARTICULARLY ON THE FIRST ALBUM. WAS THAT SOMETHING DELIBERATE? I REMEMBER SCI-FI BEING MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THEN, IT FELT LIKE A TIME WHERE ALL THOSE FICTIONAL THINGS MIGHT JUST BE POSSIBLE...

Yes, to me music and sci-fi were my main interests. It was all I cared about so musically and lyrically it had to sound like space music and convey a space-age story and the band needed a strong sci-fi image to carry it all off. Influences from Bowie, Hawkwind, Alice Cooper, The Cars, Devo, Roxy Music… we would have taken it a lot further if we could!

BACK IN THE DAYS WHEN WE ALL HAD A BIT MORE HAIR, YOURS - UNLIKE MINE - WAS UTTERLY ICONIC AND WILL PROBABLY ALWAYS BE A KEY VISUAL REFERENCE FOR EVERYTHING "80S", IS THAT SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN A BLESSING FOR YOU OR A CURSE?

The hair? Brilliant! It's a mixture. It's mostly a blessing, but I have had moments where I look back and say 'shouldn't have done that', but really, 99% good. I'm glad I had a strong image and am not forgotten. I think kids look at that and say 'I wanna be like that guy', and when they do we will have real rock stars again, rock stars with image, rock stars that fulfill the fantasy of being unobtainable – ha ha!

AFOS WERE VERY MUCH AT THE FRONTLINE OF THE HUGE BRITISH MUSICAL INVASION OF THE USA IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE 80S, BUT CRUCIALLY YOU MADE IT OVER THERE AT A LEVEL THAT LOTS OF OTHER BRITISH BANDS AT THE TIME DIDN'T ACHIEVE. WHAT DO YOU PUT THAT DOWN TO?

We got so big in the 80s because we were a real band, not confined to tracks or computers. We were excited to play our songs on the biggest stages in the world. We put everything into touring and playing live, almost like 'anywhere, anytime'. Some bands don't like touring, but we thrived on it. We took the chance when it was offered and had a great time doing it.

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON FOR YOU? ANY INTERESTING PLANS OR PROJECTS IN THE WORKS THAT YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT?

I'm working with a young girl from LA called Lara, writing songs etc. She is just about to release her first EP, which I helped her with. We wrote and recorded a couple of songs in my home studio very quickly. She likes them just as they are and wanted to put a record out. She made a video and it’s all going out. She is right at the front of her career and I hope I can help her along. You can check out her songs ONLINE...

I am also hoping to tour my solo CD when it is released, as well as continue the A Flock Of Seagulls' shows. I am playing at the Rewind Festival in Perth, Scotland, which should be a cool day, and I'm also working on my second solo CD. I might even go for a new Seagulls album - you never know!

MIKE SCORE - All I Wanna Do (2013)

MARCH 2013

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