Friday, April 19 2024

Today, we’re chatting with The Screaming Pope, a dynamic Electronica and Electronic Dance Music project fronted by George Bolton. Hailing from Boston, they’ve recently unleashed their newest album, ‘Neon Heights.’ Renowned for its stimulating and gratifying sound, this project brings a unique angle to the electronic music landscape. What sets it apart is the emphasis on songwriting and composition, making it more than a ‘typical’ EDM experience—an aspect we found particularly enjoyable. Join us as we delve into George’s musical journey and uncover the captivating vibe he’s created.

Hi George, thanks for joining us. The Screaming Pope is described as a challenging but rewarding listen, with a completely original aesthetic. How do you approach creating such a unique musical identity within the realm of Electronica and Electronic Dance Music?

I think I create a unique identity by combing genres that don’t always get put together and by listening to all kinds of music and letting it influence me, and also by not following a particular formula, other than using music theory.

Being a veteran of various music scenes, how have your experiences in Rhode Island, Chicago, Boston, and New York influenced the sound and direction of The Screaming Pope?

All the scenes I worked in have influenced me – the quirkiness of Rhode Island, the House and Industrial scene of Chicago in the ’80’s, Boston’s wide range going back to Garage and Folk in the ’60’s, the popular bands of the ’70’s, the New Wave scene here in the ’70’s and ’80’s, and when Techno broke through the Guitar Rock scene here in the late ’80’s and up to now. New York pretty much invented Punk and Rap and is the epicenter of the East coast.

The album, Neon Heights,’ features both longer, immersive pieces and shorter vignette-type tracks. How do you strike a balance between these two contrasting styles, and what do you hope listeners take away from each?

I try to keep my songs on the shorter side so as not to bore. I feel many artists drag songs on for too long, as they get too attached to particular elements. The Beatles kept their songs short at first, and those songs you tend to play over and over!

George Bolton The Screaming Pope

The Screaming Pope project started in 2020. How has the project evolved since its inception, and what challenges or rewards have you encountered along the way?

I tend to work more as an arranger/composer now than when the project first started out, say the first 3 albums, when I played and sang most of the parts. I still do sometimes, but often I work with loops and combine them and play around with them in different ways, and add my own parts to generate more interest using counterpoint a bit and so forth.

The album is inspired by Hollywood, possibly. Could you elaborate on this influence and how it manifests throughout the project?

The Hollywood theme was just a general motif to go off of. You can see that many of the songs don’t necessarily fit into that idea, actually, but I tend to work this way – picking a general theme and seeing if I can get songs to work well with each other, I often change song order for better Flow.

And, finally, for fun… If The Screaming Pope’s music was the soundtrack for a blockbuster movie, what kind of movie would it be, and which Hollywood actor do you envision as the lead character rocking out to your tunes?

I actually might have some songs in an indie feature film. I was contacted by a friend out in Hollywood that a good friend of his needed some music for his film, and I gave him the go-ahead to use any songs of mine that he felt would work…

And, that wraps up our chat with George Bolton, the man behind The Screaming Pope. From George’s diverse musical background to the evolution of this project and its nod to Hollywood, we’ve peeled back some layers. If you’re up for a different musical experience, give The Screaming Pope a spin and until next time, keep the tunes playing!

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About Author

Matt Warren

Matt Warren is a Cheshire based musician who studied contemporary music and composition. When not writing for The Indie Grid he enjoys watching 'Breaking Bad' on continuous loop and going to gigs. Since a youngster his fave band have been 'The Beatles' (with 'Cardiacs' in at a close second)... and this still applies to this day.

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