Steven Severin of Siouxsie and the Banshees is back

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Steven Severin helped form the seminal post-punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1976 — but now he’s doing something really post-punk: He’s scoring classic experimental films.

This weekend at Galapagos, he’ll show off his talents with two live soundtracks: On Saturday, he’ll perform while Jean Cocteau’s 1930 film, “Blood of a Poet,” is screened, and on Sunday, the event features “The Seashell and the Clergyman” — thought by some to be the first Surrealist film.

The films may be silent, but Severin’s experimental electronic scores are far from it.

“I like to play loud so the audience feels they are at a ‘cine-gig,’ ” he said. “I want people to get as immersed as possible.”

Back when Severin played with the Banshees, the group did a number of songs for movies, most notably for Tim Burton’s “Batman Returns.” By the time the Banshees split up, he was ready to step back from the pinhole perspective that being in a band affords. Severin says he enjoys the fact that in film scores, he’s not constrained by “song/band” constraints. Instead, he can explore the full trajectory of a scene.

“The Banshee albums are documents of an age — a diary even,” he said. “The work I do now is much less so, as it’s only part of my life. I’m not consumed in the same way like I was in my 20s. Thank, God.”

Steven Severin at Galapagos Art Space [16 Main St. at Water Street in DUMBO, (718) 222-8500] on Jan. 16 at 7 pm and Jan. 17 at 6 pm. Tickets are $20.

Updated 5:16 pm, July 9, 2018
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