Music Is Torture - An Interview With Louise Quinn

NHC MUSIC sent a team of intrepid drunks, sorry 'music journalists' to review the brand new stage play from Tromolo Productions, called 'Music is Torture'. We didn't know what to expect to be honest, but without spoiling the up and coming review (a few days after this goes live) they absolutely loved it, but to tide you over in the meantime,  here is a wee interview we did with Louise Quinn from Tromolo, check it out;

Hi there! Fantastic to get you on the website for a chat, especially with regards to the premiere of Music Is Torture in the Tron Theatre in Glasgow! So, let’s get right into it then, the jump from live music to a full-on theatre production, how easy a transition was that to make? Was it something that connected well, or was it quite a change from what you bare used to writing/performing?

We’ve done a few theatricalised gigs now. For many years we were doing gigs and theatreseparately and gradually they’ve just became merged into this gig-theatre thing! It makes both things so much more interesting for us and hopefully the audience! From the audience reactionsthe show has been getting it seems like they are finding at very exciting too and gig-theatre is a growing scene now.

What’s the writing process for something as grand as this then? Is it music first, script later, or the other way around? Does it mostly come from the one head, or loads of heads working together?

I wanted to push the music and theatre elements together as much as possible with the script so setting the story in a music recording studio was perfect for this purpose. It’s a world I have a lot of experience of.  My friend Pauline Goldsmith who is also a writer and performer said to me writing a play must be like writing a song so I approached it like that. 

The production has an amazing team of people working on it and it feels really natural; like we’re doing a gig with a story with a much bigger band.

Would you say piecing together an actual storyline from nothing is easier, or harder than writing a song from scratch?

It’s a bit more complicated but it’s all about the movement and music of the story telling. I wanted to make the songs more lyrical and oblique set against the hard edges of the dialogue and subject matter. Once you’re into that world and you have the voices of the characters in your head it writes itself.

So, after the Glasgow show debuts, what’s next for Music is Torture? Do you guys intend on touring it across the country? Do you think there would be scope for a DVD release of the show itself?

It’s on at the Traverse in Edinburgh from the 25th-27th of May then onto Eden Court in Inverness on the 1st of June.  I think it’s very relevant to what’s happening in the world today so hopefully we’ll do more dates, maybe the Fringe, maybe some international dates… watch this space!

What about A Band Called Quinn? NHC have some hardcore fans among its volunteer force, do you think the theatre production will spark a bit of a resurgence of the music side of things for you guys too, or is A Band Called Quinn now gone, with Dawnings now taking over as the new project? (from what I have heard from Dawnings already, it is bloody fantastic, we will have a review shortly for that too!)

Thank you! We really appreciate the support – we are big fans of NHC! I think the work you do is so important in terms of supporting artists and that’s what the show is about too; how artists can really struggle without that kind of support.

We never imagined the Dawnings album would be so successful! It’s being played on 6Music and Steve Lamacq just added it to the 6Music playlist. I feel so lucky to be able to play with this amazing band. We will definitely be gigging as Dawnings at some point in the future.

Do you think you’ll be doing more theatre productions in the near future, or are there ideas for more already on the table?

Our next project is an installation called Short Lives Of The Saints which reimagines female saints as pop-stars and superheroes.

We are also going to be collaborating with New Zealand based company Bullet Heart Club on a new gig-theatre piece.

Cheers guys, next up is the review, watch this space.... I promise we won't spoil anything, as you really want to see this unaware!