questions with SCREAMS FOR TINA
Warren, Thank you for taking the time out to answer a few questions with Cathedral13. Screams For Tina is a legendary band & I appreciate you taking time out to do this. I'm sure you've probably been asked this a million times, but where did the name Screams For Tina come from?
Yeah, that's been 'le question du jour' since the beginning. At the first radio interview we ever did for a small college station in L.A., the DJ began by asking us "So, who is Tina... and why is she screaming at us!?" We couldn't help but laugh... I mean, it's a band name, not a sentence! In any event, we were trying to create a name we felt an underground music audience might more readily identify with... it evolved thru a long process of eliminations, plus I had been listening to a local, underground, art-scene performer who was going by the name TINA... then, around the same time I saw an ad somewhere for a dominatrix calling herself "Mistress Tina" and that kind'a sealed the deal. For this genre of music, that ranks as somewhat of a divine indicator.
Its hard to believe, but its been around 20 years since Screams For Tina initially hit the scene. Looking back now how has the scene changed and do you think it's been for the better or worse?
The biggest difference is that when we started out, there wasn't any "scene" to speak of... it grew and developed as bands like ours, Christian Death, Ex-Voto and Human Drama... and clubs like The Sceance, The Krypt, Scream and Zomble Zoo emerged as an alternative to the Glam-band-inundated status quo of the Hollywood, Sunset Strip. It was an aesthetic, progressive movement back then... It's all copy and rehash now as far as style goes, but it really can't be any other way at this point... unless someone starts a new movement with drastically different creative ideals and visual concepts.
There are hundreds of reasons why people choose to make music, money, sex, art, fame, therapy, etc. What inspires you to create music and what brought Screams For Tina back after such a long time off?
Actually, that's EXACTLY what it is: MoneySexArtFame Therapy! LOL. Seriously though, the initial concept was to create a harder-edged, rock-based sound that combined the energy of bands like Killing Joke; the darkness of Bauhaus and the psychedelic edge of say... Jimi Hendrix... with all the feedback and atmospherics tacked on to give the then, often dull and droning Goth thing a kick in the ass.
As far as what inspires me... it's really a question of re-expressing the emotions evoked by other musicians and music we've listened to... processing it through our own experience and passing it on... it's also something that happens naturally... Personally, I can't just stop creating music like turning off a switch or something... if you're a songwriter... you write songs... you can't help it. It's like eating or breathing.
The subject of our return is a strange one, really. We thought we were finished back around 1997. We'd really had enough at that point. But, after about 5 years off, we found that our stuff was still being played in clubs in Europe and the U.S. and that we had sufficient widespread fan interest to continue, so we picked up where we'd left off and here we are today!
A lot of musicians seem to have one or two bands or artists that they sight as a pivotal influence on them. Is there a specific band or solo artist that you can remember seeing or hearing that made a lasting impression on you or was in some way a catalyst for what would become the sound of Screams For Tina?
I'd have to give it to The Doors and Black Sabbath as earlier influences and then, as I mentioned before, Bauhaus, Killing Joke and Hendrix.
Are there any artists that you grew up listening to or that you currently listen to that you would like to collaborate with if given the opportunity?
Yeah, Lou Reed probably... David Sylvian from 'Japan' and I'd say Bowie, too... but that's like a scary proposition... I mean, fuck... that guy's on his own planet, talent wise.
Outside of music, what other things are Screams For Tina or you interested in?
I write short stories and poetry sometimes... draw and paint... collect antique religious items and furniture... enjoy books by authors like Kafka and Calvino... a lot of different things... surrealist art and photography. But, I go through phases... it's often all one thing and none of the others. I like to focus on one subject at a time... experiences are more pure, intense and illuminating when they're uncluttered like that.
What is the current line-up of Screams For Tina and how did you all meet?
We're still in the process of fleshing out a new line-up. Mainly it's been the bassist, Billy Budd, and myself doing everything since we got started again. Billy came our way via an ad we placed in a local paper. He was the only candidate that seemed to fully understand what we were doing. I could throw some impressive names around, as far as who we've been in contact with lately, but until things are finalized I'd rather leave the details 'till we know for sure who's doing what.
What is the strangest experience the band has encountered on tour?
We were in Arizona once, having dinner at a restaurant the night before a benefit for AIDS gig we did there, and this young teenage guy came over to our table and handed us a message written in pencil on a piece of school notebook paper. He explained that it was from a girl sitting at his table who was too shy to talk to us. It turned out she was like 13 years old and wrote that she was bored, wanted to be ravished by the entire band, get pregnant and have our children.
How would you describe the music of Screams For Tina to someone who had never heard of you?
I tell people it's emotionally dark, uptempo rock with deep vocals and heavy drums.
Do you listen to much new music and if so, who might we find playing in your car or in your home on a typical day?
I really don't listen to all that much new music. As far as what I DO listen to, like in my car, it's usually one of the older Black Sabbath albums, some Gene Loves Jezebel or Robin Trower's 'Bridge of Sighs'. But, more than anything, I listen to our own stuff... especially rough mixes of the material for the new album... over and over and over, making sure that it's right, isn't missing any details and maintains the proper level of energy.
I know that currently your working on final mixes on the new album. Do you have a working title for the new album or a tentative time frame in which you hope to have it released?
We've been trying to contact some labels to get it released before the end of 2005, but nothing's confirmed at this point. Originally, the working title was "No Gods" (after a spoken line in one of the songs), but that's been updated to something much better... and I'm keeping it under wraps so no one else can use it before we use it ourselves.
What are the future plans of Screams For Tina?
As always, we're playing things by ear and doing as much as we can afford to do at any given time. The fact that we're doing ANYTHING at all after all this time is incredible in itself. When we signed up with Cleopatra back in '93, we didn't think anyone would care about us past maybe a couple of years. They wanted to sign us up for three years, which we felt was totally unrealistic. Who knew!?
Any final thoughts?
Thanks for having us for the interview and for your support... and to anyone out there who had given up on us... we're NOT done yet... and the best is yet to come. If you haven't already... check out our official website at www.screamsfortina.com and join our Yahoo! Group as well. Thanks for reading!
c a s s e t t
"THE WHIP" - COMPILATION - CD / CASSETTE
USA / CLEOPATRA RECORDS - 1993
FOR TINA" - DEBUT ALBUM - CD / CASSETTE
USA / CLEOPATRA RECORDS - 1993
v i n y l
"STROBELIGHT FUNERAL" - EP 12"
USA / DARK ILLUSION RECORDS - 1986
"AMERICAN GOTHIC" - COMPILATION / 12" VINYL
USA / BOMP RECORDS - 1988
DAY" - 2X7" SINGLES / 7" VINYL
USA / PIECE OF MIND RECORDS - 1993
a l b u m s & e. p. s
"SCREAMS FOR TINA" - DEBUT ALBUM - CD
GERMANY / TALITHA RECORDS - 1994
- EP - CD (DIGIPACK)
AUSTRIA / STROBELIGHT RECORDS - (LATE) 2003
c o m p i l a t i o n s
"AMERICAN GOTHIC" - COMPILATION CD
GERMANY / GYMNASTIC RECORDS - 1992
"ART OF GOTHIC" - COMPILATION - CD (PROMO)
GERMANY / TALITHA RECORDS - 1994
DAZE" - COMPILATION - CD
USA / CLEOPATRA RECORDS - 1994
- 2XCD - COMPILATION
USA / CLEOPATRA RECORDS - 1995
GOTH" - COMPILATION - CD
EUROPE / CLEOPATRA RECORDS - 2001
THE VAULT: VOL. 2" - COMPILATION - CD
USA / ALLIGENCE RECORDS - 2003