Cinephile

By Chris Fullman
Posted at July 24, 2005 - 9:37 PM GMT

Cinephile first caught the attention of CSI fans during a scene in CSI's season-5 episode "Nesting Dolls" that helped debut their acclaimed song "What Becomes of Us." Immediately after airing, the internet was buzzing with requests for others to identify the song used in the scene, and even brought Cinephile member Kenny Inglis to Talk CSI to interact with the members and help them with identifing the song and to point them towards the official band website.

Kenny (producer) and Susan Wallace (vocalist), together known as Cinephile, is an unsigned indie/electronic band from Glasgow, Scotland. As an unsigned band they are still relatively unknown, but have been writing and recording together for four years. Originally beginning as a studio based project, they have evolved into a performing band, taking their sound to the stage. They have successfully self released a single, and further releases are planned.

CSI Files: First off, thank you for taking the time to speak with us.

Kenny & Susan: Thanks for asking. It's always nice to get the chance to talk about who we are and what we do, we hope it gives our music a more human feel.

CSI Files: Before the interaction between yourself and CBS, were you a fan of CSI and its spinoffs?

Kenny: We had seen a few episodes of CSI prior to our music being used in it. It is one of the few good crime dramas we get here in the UK. There's a real depth to it, it's typically glossy to watch (compared to the nearest equivalent we have here) but full of substance and detail. All three shows are cool, but i think the original is still my favourite and that's probably because i think i know the characters better. Grissom's quirky nature really makes me laugh.

CSI Files: Were any songs other than "What Becomes of Us" considered for inclusion into the show?

Kenny & Susan: We've actually had a number of songs used on the show going all the way back into season four - people are probably more aware of "What Becomes of Us"because of the way it featured as the original song with vocals. We've never really disclosed exactly what other songs were used because it's more fun to let the viewers do the detective work, and they are very good at it!!!

CSI Files: Can you tell us a little about the song, and how you felt when you saw how it fit inside the segment?

Susan: "What Becomes of Us" sort of ponders the complexities of life and questions "what it's all about." It always feels weird (in a nice way) to see / hear our music in CSI but this time was the best. We invited a few friends round and got some pizza in for the big show :) "What Becomes Of Us" fitted perfectly with the scene and the storyline - we think that's why we received such a huge response after it was broadcast.

Kenny: I ordered the biggest vegetable deluxe they had... it was tasty.

CSI Files: Ever since the song was aired in the states on CSI, and you've particularly received notice here on the site, how has the attention and support for Cinephile changed?

Kenny & Susan: We couldn't believe the response to "What Becomes of Us," our web traffic shot up the next day and there were so many plays of our music at our audio holding page that we went to No.1 in the indie and general chart for 4 weeks miles ahead of any other band, it was a very cool time indeed. There's been lots of supportive emails too, we now have lots of fans in the states as a result of the show which is great.

CSI Files: How do you compose and record your music. Do you use live instruments, or sequence and compose on a computer, or a mixture between the two?

Kenny & Susan: We use two Macs to sequence and arrange everything so the computer is really our main writing tool and the rest of the studio is built around it. All the hardware equipment; synths, samplers, effects, outboard etc, are routed to a big digital desk which we use to mix all the components down.

Our core sound is created using digital and analogue synths. The synthesizer parts (bass, pads, strings etc) are added layer by layer with other textures and sub-textures to give the track density. All of the drum/percussion parts are programmed individually to create the movement and feel of the track. We do use live instruments from time to time (guitars and percussion), but this always depends on whether or not we want a live sound within the track.

We get an initial vibe going using a few elements which is enough to inspire an idea for the melody and lyrics - if it works, we develop from there. This is what makes the backbone of the song and once this part is complete we can then try different arrangements to see what works best. We add, subtract etc until the song structure finally takes shape. With the structure mapped out, it's time to record the vocals.

The final stage is really detailing the sound, adding in all the little bits and pieces that make the song feel complete. At this point all the difficult parts of the process are over and the nice bit begins. It'd be like building a house - when all the brick work, plumbing, and electrics are done then you can choose what colour you want to paint it...

CSI Files: What is your favorite instrument, and why?

Kenny: It would really have to be the synthesizer. I can think my sounds out using it - whatever i hear in my head i can usually bring to life by editing a synth. Each synth has it's own individual characteristics, which is cool.

Susan:
I don't have one single favourite instrument, I do like good string arrangements, the ones that make the hair's on the back of your neck stand on end. We'd love to play live with a string section some day.

CSI Files: If there's any advice you could give to young musicians, what would it be?

Kenny & Susan: Most importantly, believe in yourself - tough though it is, sometimes that self belief is all you will have. Beyond that, just be yourself - don't try to sound like anyone else. Having your own individual sound will set you and your music apart from the rest, and that's worth more than anything.

CSI Files: Thank you for your time, I'm sure you've made some fans here, and we look forward to seeing what you do in the future. Keep up the great work!

Kenny & Susan: Our pleasure, thanks for the questions. Thanks also to everyone who has sent us kind e-mails and comments via csifiles.com, we really do appreciate it so keep them coming!

If you enjoyed this interview, and want to learn more about Cinephile, please visit their website at cinephileonline.com.

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Chris Fullman is a regular contributor.