interview with SCREEN

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What are your names? / Who plays what? I'm Sotiri “T-Bone” Papafylis and I'm the singer of SCREEN. Rick "Raz" Raczko plays bass, Mario Vaillancourt is our guitarist and J.P. Perrault is the animal on the drums. Which reminds me... I left him tied to a pole outside in the rain (lol). 

Have you had other previous members? No. We are the four founding members of SCREEN. 

What year did the band form? 2015

Have any of you played in other bands? Yes. We all have but what brought us together for this new project called SCREEN is that we all were members of EUDOXIS and played shows together in the early 90's.

How is it that you started playing music together? EUDOXIS was Rick's first band which he founded in 1983 and I joined in 1989 when I was still a teenager. J.P. and Mario joined us in 1990 and they previously played together in another local band called DYERS EVE. The drive to write and play music in a metal band is what united us then and what has reunited us now. 

Where are you from? We're from in and around Montreal, Canada but Rick spent much of the last two decades in South Carolina, USA. That's why this reunion didn't happen sooner. 

Did you make music even when you were young?

My parents encouraged music from a very young age. I remember singing and recording on 8-track tapes. That was before cassette tapes and horse wagons (lol). I also remember playing DJ with my parents' record collection which included Elvis and Chubby Checker. They bought me an accordion at age 7 or 8. It was way too heavy for me (lol) so I gave it to my big brother George who is now the multi-instrumentalist of the house. I play blues harmonica, guitar and I also sang in a church choir for a number of years. Since then, I played in many different bands and quite a few of them were with my brother. This summer, we did a number of acoustic blues/rock shows together where we revisited some of the first songs we learned to play

such as “Cocaine”, “White Room” and “All Along The Watchtower”. Music is a blessing. Thanks to my folks for the musical and hair genes.

What's the style or genre of SCREEN? Metal! Heavy fu**in’ metal with the horns way up! Metal is a broad category however and people have different ideas about what metal looks and sounds like. We'll let the fans and the press label our exact style. They have in the past. We just play music that we have inside us. 

How have you developed since you started with the music?

When EUDOXIS started, it was strictly thrash and speed metal but by the time we released "Open Fire" in 1991, progressive elements had trickled into the songwriting process. We're continuing where we left off with EUDOXIS years ago without remaining in the same place musically. We’re all much older and hopefully wiser now (lol) and there's a natural evolution in our approach. It's still heavy music made up primarily of drums, bass and guitar but there's some unexpected twists in our sound and we focus more on storytelling and mood. Moreover, SCREEN features Mario on guitar, recording with us for the first time. Although he toured with us in 91-92 and composed with us, he never recorded with EUDOXIS so this is a fresh and

exciting endeavour. Vocally, I try to sing what the song requires. Since the songs now have more dynamics, you'll be hearing vocals with a wider emotional range. We're often asked why we don't just call the project EUDOXIS.  The short story is that there's been about a dozen musicians in EUDOXIS since 1983 and our sound and direction has changed. If we just called it EUDOXIS, fans may have speed/thrash expectations or wonder about who's in the band now. It's kinda like Black Sabbath and Heaven 'n' Hell or more obscurely Hellhammer and Celtic Frost. It's a fresh start.

What inspires you? Good music. There’s so much good music out there and so little time to take it all in. What’s also inspiring is seeing rock and metal t-shits worn by teenagers these days. Looks like the metal from the 80’s and 90’s is becoming to them what the 60’s and 70’s rock had become to us. Classics! I did however realize that some wear the t-shirts simply for fashion. A young lady had a Judas Priest t-shirt on the other day and I looked at her, smiled and said: “Painkiller”. She looked baffled and clearly had no idea that I was praising what I thought was her choice of music. She probably thought I was selling drugs and quickly walked away (lol).

How often and where do you rehearse? Right now we're in the songwriting and recording process so when we get together it's up north at Mario's place in St-Jerome where we have our studio set up. Although we have jammed the songs live, it's less about rehearsing and more about creation and production at this point. We're also shooting videos for our songs so we also meet at our shooting locations which have included a school, a farm and an abandoned church and cemetery. 

Do you have other interests of work outside the band? When I'm not rocking out, I'm a therapist at a psychiatric hospital in Montreal. I've been doing this for over two decades and always incorporate music therapy with my patients. 

What are your songs about?

The song I recorded vocals for this week is entitled "F.O.A.M". It stands for "f**k-off-a**hole-mother-f**kers" since it's such an angry “foam at the mouth” kind of song. The topics for our songs vary greatly but have the human condition as a connecting theme. This one comes from my fascination with the fathomless human mind. The song is about an ultra-aggressive patient with paranoid thoughts who views the whole psychiatric system as a conspiracy against his freedom and the only way out is to clench his fists and very violently fight his way out:

"Observed and labeled; boxed into a category ...I'm the case you'll remember. King misfit of society". It describes his experience which includes despair, arrogance, and determination to triumph within his distorted reality: "I wish my eyes were in my hands so I could clench my fists and shut out this fu**in' world". By the end of the song, you may find yourself clenching your fists as well and swinging at invisible threats. We all need to let out some steam sometimes. It’s completely harmless fun and cathartic at the same time. A roller coaster ride of emotions and all the benefits of the clinically proven therapeutic properties of rock ‘n’ roll (lol). 

Do you start with the music or the lyrics?

So far in SCREEN, the music has usually come first but some musical parts were constructed to accompany a vocal melody. Some songs started with a title or a lyric. Other times, we've sat down and discussed a whole storyline before even beginning a song. There's no clear formula for writing. Writing, recording, listening and rewriting if needed is all part of the process. The difference between the pre-internet old days and now is that in the old days, we would completely disappear for a couple of years in Rick's  garage and come out when the album was complete and tour right away. These days we can update fans to know what we're up to but we all wait together. The advantage is building a fanbase but the process shouldn't drag too long. Timing is everything but when you're doing everything independently, it takes the time it takes. Trust me. The result is worth

waiting for and I'm very excited about what's around the corner. We've got some great songs which we're filming videos for at the moment. I'm dying to share our new music. For now we've been making some behind the scenes videos which we share with our fans. The response has been great and our official preview video "The Clock Keeper" is up to 2.3K views exclusively on Facebook. 

Do you compose in a certain environment? Inspiration comes at any time so you kind of have to stop what you're doing wherever you may be in order to focus on incoming ideas. That's what it is for me anyways. I always have my iPhone with me so it's easy to type in lyric ideas or record rough melodies or musical parts. 

Will you be doing any covers live? Since we're still composing new songs, I haven't put much thought to this but I definitely want to include some classic Sabbath in our set. It would satisfy all the die-hard sabbaholics who I met during the years that I was singing in the Ozzy/Sabbath tribute BACK SABBATH.

What language do you sing in?

Although the members of the band come from different backgrounds, Hungarian, French and Greek, we have always written songs in English. 

It’s never out of the question to sing in another language. If the opportunity comes up, I’m all for reaching new audiences.

What are the least and most people to attend one of your gigs? This is a brand new band so we haven’t played live yet. Individual members of the band have played to 10,000 and 100,000 people. We’re aiming at a more intimate setting to start. Playing shows with a couple other local bands who write original music would provide good exposure to build a solid following. Playing large summer festivals again would be the next step.

What ages are most of your concert goers? We’ve been playing music since the 80’s so as we’ve grown older, so have our fans. Some of them are now parents, and grandparents who bring their kids to our shows. With Screen, we fully expect a mix of three generations of rockers in attendance. The aim is to connect with new fans and keep the numbers growing.

Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary?

It’s always a good idea to have more songs than you need in a setlist. In the old days we would vary our setlist and offer some surprises when playing local gigs to keep the show

fresh for die-hard fans. These days, even when playing in other parts of the country or other countries, there have to be some new songs or something unexpected from show to show since all is You Tubed and accessible to everyone through internet around the world.

Will you start to sell merchandise? Yes. We'll have some awesome SCREEN t-shirts and other goodies to sell at our shows. 

What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records nowadays?

I'm a collector, my walls are full of CDs. It's part of my identity. I buy CDs, go to shows and support local bands. 

People can do what they like but there's actually a resurgence of vinyl and you can find record players in stores again. I'm really pleased to see young people excited about records again. I think we've come full circle. 

What advice would you give other bands or artists?

Rock 'n' roll is the hardest business out there. Especially when starting out and building a new musical project. Work around the clock and very little external rewards or monetary

gain. The reward should be intrinsic. The rock 'n' roll itself should be the drive that keeps you going until you hit superstardom (lol). Then, in theory, it gets easier. 

What are your web sites? and SCREEN on Facebook. 

How can people reach you? Our SCREEN Facebook page is where we get most of our mail and where we take joy in talking to fans worldwide. 

Do you have something to add? Beers and cheers to our new fans and those who have stuck with us over the years. 

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