Tuesday, January 20

Interview: Alex Hancock, music supervisor on Skins

. Tuesday, January 20

Skins, a blur of American Aparell, cheek bones, pills and issues returns to our screens this week. Great music has become synonymous with the show and has raised the profiles of bands such as Foals, Crystal Castles, Born Ruffians and of course The Gossip. As a pre-cursor to the shows return (Thursday 22nd, 10pm, E4) Gigwise caught up with Alex Hancock the man responsible for piecing together the shows outstanding soundtrack.

What is your job description? And how did you get the job?

Music Supervisor. I got the job when I was working as an intern as Black Dog Publishing - the head of the show is the boyfriend of the person I was working with - he was after someone to help out with the music when series one was being made. It all then went from there.

How do you decide which music accompanies each scene?

Lining up tracks in an AVID and discussing/arguing about them with my bosses

Is it easy getting the artists agreement?

It all depends - most are quite happy to have their music in the show.

Have you had bands or labels approach you since the show took off looking to get heard?

Quite a lot - a wide range from Universal Records to tiny bands who've barley played a gig.

Do you believe in a 'Skins Effect' that gets mentioned re: bands such as Gossip and Foals success after being featured on the show?

They were hardly small bands when they were used - I think the 'Skins effect' is more just giving a band a little nudge

How do you strike the balance between music that benefits the scene as opposed to just filling it with music you love?

That's difficult - I can never say if I like the music in a scene because it 'works' or because I am just listening to a song that i really like.

Are there any live performances on series 3 to look forward to?

Yes we have you Love Her Coz She is Dead performing in episode 7.

Do you watch the show being filmed to gain insight?

No it's shot in Bristol and being on set is very boring so I try to keep away from it

Are there any music parts from previous episodes you are particularly proud of?

Series 1 episode 8 - we used Grizzly Bear, Colleen, Wolf Eyes, Gescom, Skream and Broadcast all in one episode.

Who are your favourite bands?

Low, Broadcast, My Bloody Valentine, The Left Banke, Stereolab, Pram, Flying Saucer Attack and The Fall

And your tips for 2009?

Don't really have any - I'm not as good as I used to be at going out and watching upcoming bands. I think I'm getting a bit too old and boring.

What do you think of Skins? Are you looking forward to the new series? Can the show survive with a whole new cast? Do you have any musical highlights from the previous two series? Personally I enjoyed the casts performance of 'Wild World' at the end of the first series and 'New York I Love You' by LCD Sound System in series 2. Can you think of any other TV shows with music as varied and interesting as Skins?




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