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A Flock of Seagulls’ Mike Score on reuniting the original band for ‘String Theory’

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When the Liverpool-based new-wave band A Flock of Seagulls appeared on the scene in the early 1980s with hits “I Ran (So Far Away),” “Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You),” and “Space Age Love Song,” they sounded like no one else.

Founding member and front man Mike Score’s space-aged haircut from the time may be gone, but the original lineup of the band is intact on the new LP “String Theory” (August Day Records) recorded with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

Like 2018’s “Ascension,” which hit the top 10 on Billboard’s Classical chart, “String Theory” features brothers Mike and Ali Score, Frank Maudsley and Paul Reynolds, revisiting songs from A Flock of Seagulls’ back catalog enhanced with restrained orchestral arrangements.

During an interview with The Maine Edge, Mike Score explained his intent behind his band’s two recent collaborations with the Prague Philharmonic and also drops news about a probable album of new Seagulls songs for next year. He explains why he reluctantly agreed to take part in a VH-1 episode of “Reunite the Band” and he gives a preview of A Flock of Seagulls’ upcoming fall tour that will bring Score and a different band lineup to Norwalk, CT, on October 10 and Boston on October 11.

The Maine Edge: Nobody sounded like A Flock of Seagulls when your band first appeared. Who were some of your biggest musical influences back then?

Mike Score: Influences change all the time but a lot of the local bands from Liverpool influenced us early on, including great songwriters like The Beatles. We’ve always tried very hard not to sound like anyone else. Being original was one of our biggest goals and I think we managed that in the end.

The Maine Edge: Like “Ascension” three years ago, the arrangements for the songs on the new LP “String Theory” don’t stray far from the original versions we know. That must have been intentional on your part, was it?

Mike Score: You need to maintain the integrity of the song that people know, and just enhance it by giving it a new angle which the orchestration provided. We didn’t want to take away from the catchiness of the songs and get them mired down in big orchestral arrangements. Instead, we gave them a new vibe.

The Maine Edge: When “Ascension” hit the top 10 on the Billboard Classical Albums chart in 2018, what was your reaction?

Mike Score: (laughs) To us, it was like “Wow.” To get into any chart after a long time is great. Our main thing was to refresh the songs for the people who like them and give them a new listen. In a sense, there was a feeling of ‘here we go again’ but in a different light.

The Maine Edge: It was cool to see A Flock of Seagulls on the same chart next to Bach and Beethoven.

Mike Score: I wonder what they would have thought about that (laughing)?

The Maine Edge: Your fall tour will begin soon. What can fans of A Flock of Seagulls expect when they come out to see these shows?

Mike Score: We’ll play all of the hits and also a couple of new songs which will probably be part of a new Seagulls album coming out next year. We just try to enjoy ourselves onstage and we hope that spills over and captures the audience and they get into it. We like the shows to become a bit interactive, with people singing along and things like that. I don’t know how the Covid thing will affect this but we like to go and meet our audience. We want to put on a show where people walk away and go ‘they’ve still got it.’

The Maine Edge: You mentioned the possibility of a new Seagulls album for next year. How is that coming along?

Mike Score: I just need to record three more songs and it will be ready. I started off recording a second solo album but some of the new songs sound so much like A Flock of Seagulls, I’m leaning toward doing them as a new Flock album. The songs need to be at least as good if not better than what I’ve already done, and these new songs are really happening. I’m actually in the studio this week working on it, so I’ll say they are tentatively but most probably for a new Seagulls album.

The Maine Edge: It’s pretty rare that the four original members of A Flock of Seagulls get together in an official capacity like you’ve done for “String Theory.” When VH-1 persuaded the four of you to get together for the show “Reunite the Band” in 2003, what was that experience like for you personally?

Mike Score: That was something I didn’t really want to do. I’d been there with the band for four or five years, but that version of the band had gone away. It was one of those things where I thought “If I don’t do it now, I’ll probably never do it.” So we did it, and it was fine for what it was, but I didn’t want to continue as the old Flock of Seagulls, I wanted to create a new Flock. Playing with different musicians is what gives you different ideas.

The Maine Edge: How are relations among the original members of A Flock of Seagulls today?

Mike Score: We still talk, we’re still friends, and we may work together again but I don’t think there will ever be another full-on original Flock of Seagulls tour or anything like that. We may record together again but it’s difficult to say what’s going to happen in the future.

The Maine Edge: Do you still split your time between Liverpool and Florida?

Mike Score: Yeah, I still enjoy being in Liverpool, I have a really nice studio there. I go back there and get the writing vibe that I had in the 1980s. I love Florida because it’s sunny and we have the beaches and the boats. England is so different from Florida but it’s great for me to move from one to the other when I get that itchy got-to-move feeling.

Last modified on Wednesday, 15 September 2021 08:07

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