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Friday, January 12, 2007


Here's the article that just appeared on the OC Insider today on the latest on FILM SCHOOL......

by Hane C. Lee

What Film School has been through in the past year could come straight out of a movie: Hardworking San Francisco musicians get signed to indie royals Beggars Banquet, and tour Europe supporting the National and the Rodgers Sisters before headlining the states. Singer gets jumped outside a club in Columbus and in Philadelphia, somebody steals the tour van (with all the band’s equipment inside) and plows through the gate of the motel parking lot. Once back home, a demanding show schedule as well as the oft-cited "creative differences" ends in the amicable departure of the band's rhythm section, leaving founder, guitarist, and frontman Krayg Burton and original core members Nyles Lannon (guitar) and Jason Ruck (keyboards).

But with fewer directors on the set, Film School is finding it easier to focus on the sequel. "Before, we were trying to make everyone happy. Now we can bang out a song a little quicker," Burton explains. "There's a sense of freedom that we can write whatever we feel like writing — there's really good energy right now."

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Released in early 2006, Film School's self-titled album on Beggars Banquet eschewed the punk disco craze that so many of its contemporaries exploited, instead blending pretty, shoegazer pop with richly textured space-rock soundscapes, similar to the approach of kindred spirits Serena Maneesh and Secret Machines.

Which isn't to say Film School can't whip out a mean booty shaker. The single "11:11," about how getting what you wish for can sometimes backfire, begins with an assertive, angular bass line and builds to a menacing sonic climax that tends to send live audiences into a foot-stomping frenzy.

"I like the idea of writing songs that are best played live, that completely drench a room in guitars and reverb," says Burton.

Having recently relocated to Los Angeles while Lannon and Ruck remain in San Francisco, Burton has been trading files with his bandmates over the Internet, but, as he attests, "the best writing happens when I'll bring up a song [to San Francisco] and we'll flesh it out together." Still, he adds, "It's kind of cool you can be in a band and not be in the same city — it's not impossible to do."

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Removing himself from familiar surroundings has also helped the creative process. "In some ways, being a little isolated and having a lot of time to myself has allowed me to really explore a lot of songwriting ideas."

For the next album, the band is experimenting with guest musicians and vocalists (previous collaborations have included ex-Pavement member Scott Kannberg, among others), and eventually hopes to recruit a full-time female bassist and singer. "I just really enjoy the combination of the male-female vocals," says Burton.

So why not a female drummer who can sing backup?

"A female drummer would be great, too," Burton says. "But they're harder to come by."

Check out the band's MySpace page: www.myspace.com/filmschool


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