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Screen

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Some Feelings, title for the first CD from the band Screen. This Dutch rockband offers with its debut five alternative rock tunes they recorded independently. The band played at various festivals including the Brainwave and Peacedog festivals. Reason enough to get to know these guys. Singer Dirk-Jan Jaspers Focks is their spokesman on this occasion.

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Discography: Some Feelings, When You Try To Overcome (2001). Available through: Screen. Official website: none yet. Interview by: mpo Date: november 9th 2001

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Can you first of all introduce the band? How did you start and what have you done over the years?

We are doing this for three years now. We started because we are four friends: guitarist David, another David, the drummer, and bassist Paul and I, the singer. We came together because we had this idea to start making music together. We all had in mind to go in the direction of emotional rock. And we've been growing into this more and more. And after a year we got a fifth musician in the band. That's Tobias. He's also a guitarist. In this line-up we went for it and we did quite some gigs together. We played Brainwave and did a lot of small venues and lunch rooms and stuff. And last spring we went into the studio.

Like you said, you started out as four friends. Did you have experience playing in bands before starting Screen?

Yeah. Well, our guitarist, David van Greuningen, had played in Salutary for quite some years. I'm not sure how long. And it's quite a different kinda style of course. But he wanted to go in different direction. Our bassist used to play in another band too but that wasn't a big project. It was quite small. And besides that our drummer, our guitarist (David) and I have experience in choirs. I mean, performing with choirs. That's been quite stimulating for us as you get some stage experience and you can hook up with the technical aspects of music.

Like said, the band went into the studio last spring and in the Summer you released an EP. This was recorded in the Mailmen Studio in Utrecht. What do you think of the CD yourself? Does it live up to your expectations?

According to us the disc is above expectations really as we only had a very small budget. So, it was searching for the best way to make most of it. We had a very short time to record. Two days to be precise. But we discussed the whole thing beforehand so it was all clear what to do and then we went into the studio. Well, it's above our expectations. I have to say that this is also courtesy of Martijn from the Mailmen Studio as he helped us tremendously. His experience was of much help. For us it was above expectations.

How is the feedback from press and public to the EP so far?

So far positive. We get different kinds of comments. Some people think the entire piece is too hard. Well, that's possible of course. Other people would have liked it a bit rougher. But I think that's up to one's taste. That's not really important. We do hear quite often that people think that it's good quality for a demo EP. And the songs were all written by ourselves and they sound like they are live. Of course, it's done a little bit smoother. But it's appreciated for being real.

The CD is entitled Some Feelings with between brackets When You Try To Overcome. The EP doesn't have a title song, nor does these words from the title appear in any of the lyrics. What does the band want to express through the title?

The songs are all about some feelings. It's very personal, what we've written. The lyrics. And the lyrics are about personal things we have difficulties with. They were mainly written by our guitarist David. The idea of Some Feelings (When You Try To Overcome) is that the songs bring forth certain emotions that can help you (as a listener) as you recognise these feelings. It's a trying to overcome certain problems. Like Intense Silence. It's about a certain insecurity in situations. It's very difficult to explain it fully. Then you should listen to it yourself.

I had the idea in the song Fly that it's about someone who isn't able to fly. And then you tries to overcome it, but he's not succeeding and then it seems like it's God who's giving him wings to fly.

Yes. That's the idea. Not that we think that it always goes that easy, as if you can overcome something hard so easily. But it's a searching enterprise which you may undertake with God. And God is always there for you to help you. That's indeed the idea.

Okay. Screen frequently plays the live circuit in the Netherlands. How are these shows arranged? Are you active with contacting people or are they contacting you? How does it go?

It's a mix of both. We look for it really much. Especially our bassist Paul is on the look out for venues and concerts. But sometimes we get phone calls or E-mails with "could you play here?" So, it's a mix. In the beginning you have to do everything yourself as no one knows you yet.

I saw the band live at various occasions. What I can remember is that it's quite static. The members stand on stage and do their thing. In how far are you, as the figure-head of the band, trying to entertain the public?

Personally I think it's very important to be real. So, when you are on stage you ought to be real with what you do. So, in some cases it's more static then in other cases. I have to say that it's also experience. With time you become more loose in these things. But we want to express our feelings to the audience.

What can we expect from Screen in the future?

Well, we have some concerts coming up. I can mention that our concert agenda can be found on Gospelmagazine.nl. And soon there will be a website for the band. But as soon as that's known, we'll let you know.

And the concert information can be found on the Art For The Ears site too. I have one final question. I will play the song Thank You. Could you tell what it is about?

Yeah, sure. This song was written by our guitarist David. It's a thank you to God. He and his wife had a strong desire to have children. But this didn't happen as his wife isn't fertile enough. I'm not sure how to explain it. It was more or less impossible. And then they started praying to God real hard, like "God, could you fulfil our wishes?" And currently they have a daughter. The song was written on the occasion of the birth of his daughter. But I think you can look at the song in a more common sense. When you see what God does in our lives, then you can only thank him for it. And that's also a reason why this song was written.

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