“SONG FOR EWE”
with FRANZ STAHL of SCREAM & WOOL & FOO FIGHTERS
“SONG FOR EWE”is the feature where artists beloved byVELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.
Today is a bona fide American punk rock icon. It’s well documented in these parts that i’m a fan of Washington DC hardcore, as my love of Dischord comp “Flex Your Head” and previous “songs for ewe” by members of Untouchables, Youth Brigade, Minor Threat & Shudder To Think attest. Absolute stalwarts of the scene were the shouty, brain muscle flexing Scream. Not content with forming them with his brother Peter, originally in Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia (perenially honoured by a BXR moniker on the records), our guest also went onto found the band Wool (tres appropriate for a zine called Velvet Sheep). A band that we spoke of and played when I helped produce MTV Europe Alternative Nation, this guy went from Wool onto become part of one of the biggest rock bands of our time, the Foo Fighters with former Scream drum-mate Dave Grohl and temporarily replacing Germs and Nirvana ledge Pat Smear. Now writing and recording music for TV & film in LA and still gigging like crazy with Scream and others, it’s the erudite, engaging and totally amazing Franz Stahl!
I was stoked to find Franz on Facebook as a mutual connection, and even more chuffed when he got back to me. I think his interest was both piqued and ahem, peaked by mention of my own TV work (I won a BAFTA for my hidden camera kids magic show “Help! My Supply Teacher Is Still Magic” for childrens’ BBC). Turns out he’s a big fan of the dark period drama with an even darker soundtrack Peaky Blinders…
(since you don’t want to hear me blather on, I’ll let Franz continue in his inimitable and super infectious style)
“Well BAFTA winning Producer…Good on ya mate! When the hell is the next season of Peaky Blinders coming? love that show…and I would love to be a part of Ewe for sure. Does it have to be exactly a song I like, or one where I just taking piss-ha!! I have more to say..here’s my email,and would like to chat more.”
With a reply like that I had to hit him up quick, Franz’s joie de vivre meant he was my kind of punk. It’s fair to say he digs the old skool fanzine vibe and was keen on the fact VS was featured on Peel, so I hope we’ve formed a permanent bond…plus he hated Thatcher. As one of her de facto kids, ditto.
“You’re on it…thanks for the quick reply. Yea, I’ll pick a track and lay it on ya, let me think a bit. What’s my time frame anyway?
Fucking soundtrack for Peaky is tops for sure! Glad you’ve reawakened your zine. I do miss the old zines from the day, especially the ones from back in the 80’s. Scream has quite the history in England from our early days of first touring, and squatting our way about – making many friends still to this day.
From the earlier bands like, Subhumans, Concrete Sox, Visions of Change, The Stupids. Man, those were good times. The stories I could tell of touring those days during Thatcher’s shitty reign. And on to the meeting, and recording at the great Southern Studios. Just some crazy shit I could tell..
In the 90’s it would’ve been more my band Wool, but great times. My only regret was to never have done any Peel sessions…fucking hell!!
(Nick – see below Wool play The Sonics, a Velvet Sheep match in heaven)
That would’ve been the icing on the cake. Anyhow, we still seem to keep the music going with Scream on and off, and a little bit of shows when we can.
More importantly, and you being a TV producer, for the past several years now I’ve been doing composing, licensing, and writing for film and television.
My site is currently on the mend, but I will send you an update once up and running again. Would love to write any original compositions, or score, and or license stuff to your works in the future. I have a great commercial reel and have licensed several original pieces, and Scream tracks to several films. Written tons of Bumpers, or tracks for Fuel TV, and other Directors. I even have a Musical, which I’ve been trying to finally complete…my lamb-bour of love, but life just gets in the way. Well..enough of my pedestal. Just let me know..
My site, and Company is called “Mind the Tracks”, and my publishing company is called “Mind The Music”.
Right then…chat soon!
I would definitely be in the market for some Franz Stahl penned, bespoke TV theme-ry given the right project, especially given his full embrace of ewe-esque punnery – lam-bour of love indeed! He should come and write for my shows, let alone write music for them. That kind of joke could have easily fitted into my current show “Art Ninja”. See a skateboard related clip of that here that Franz you might like…
Before we head over to Franz’s “song for ewe”, here’s a quick reminder of his first band Scream. There’s someone you might have seen before on drums too.
Without further ado, it’s time for Franz’s “song for ewe” (and I always love the dub ones, so it’s a pearler)…
“As Scream was embarking on a recent trip to play in Tulsa Ok.
A benefit actually, I had been grooving on some old-school Dub the likes of Lee Scratch Perry, Junior Marvin, who sadly recently passed and others.
Many years ago Scream had the great fortune of actually recording at London’s infamous Southern Studios, home to many a great Dub recordings, such as those names mentioned above and being huge fans of the genre we cut our own like track with Ian McKaye producing the dub version of our track.
I always listen to the stuff and for this trip I wanted to cover a track I recently had come across. The great Jacob Miller, and his track “Each One Teach One”. You can’t but help smile, swing your body and sing out in unison as Jacob’s sweet voice dances across the melody. This track, and this music was a big influence on myself, and our band from early on to this day and brought in to our lives via the Bad Brains and the sounds, or soundtrack, of Dub coming out of England on our first tours of England in the early 80’s. Our recent cover actually came out pretty cool. What I also love about this particular version is hearing the crackle n pop of what obviously is an old vinyl record. Yea Mon…have a listen!”
FRANZ, YOU ARE A TRUE GENT AND HERO. WE WILL SCORE THAT NEW TV SHOW TOGETHER SOME DAY VERY SOON. I’LL GET ON AND WRITE IT/GET THE COMMISSION. CHEERS, NICK