Inquiring Minds: Dengue Fever's Senon Williams on Scoring The Lost World
Not content to just make records, Cambodian surf-pop band Dengue Fever's projects have included multiple soundtracks , a documentary film , and now, an original score. Rocks Off can think of few other bands whose music perfectly fits the exotic otherworldliness of the 1925 silent version of The Lost World , based on the book by Aurthur Conan Doyle. Dengue Fever will be at Warehouse Live Saturday night for a one-off performance of their original score for the film. The score was written for the San Francisco International Film Festival this summer, and Houston's screening is presented by the Cinema Arts Society. Bass player Senon Williams talked to Rocks Off about the film, the band's writing process and their relentless touring schedule. Rocks Off: Tell us about the film. How did you get the idea to write this score?
Senon Williams: The score was commissioned by the San Francisco Film Society. The film is by the same production company that did King Kong (ed. note: in 1933). It was a blockbuster. It was totally cutting edge, but for like 1925. It's been remade a couple of times. I heard Up totally ripped it off. You know, I'm not heavily into silent films. When we did the original screening there were a lot of silent film buffs.
How was writing the score different from writing an album?
SW: When we started working on it it was a lot of work. It was just very challenging. All of our timing had to be perfect with each other. We don't use click tracks or anything like that. We have to watch each other.
RO: The first time we heard your music was on NPR, and then a few days later we watched Broken Flowers, and hated the movie but fell in love with the soundtrack.
SW: Soundtracks and scoring is something we've been interested in from the beginning. We're not just like, make an album, go on tour. We're pretty much open to anything.
RO: You guys have been touring a lot. When we saw you at the Orange Show the crowd was almost half Asian. Is it like that everywhere you play?
SW: The last few months are the first time in a couple of years we've had at home. [Singer] Nimol has a lot of friends in Houston - there are always a lot of Cambodians at our shows.
RO: Nimol - will she be singing during the movie or is it instrumental only?
SW: No, Nimol is coming with us, she'll be there. We're singing a few tracks.
RO: And will it be all stuff from the score, or music off your records too?
SW: It's all music written for the film. You really won't hear it anywhere else.
Dengue Fever's Houston performance will be only the second time they've performed the score live.
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