The musical duo Wendy and Lisa have been performing together on their own since 1986 after cutting their teeth as members of Prince's band, though they had worked together even before joining Prince and The Revolution.
White Flags of Winter Chimneys is their first album since 1998, but that's not to suggest they're slackers; they've spent the last several years doing soundtrack music, including their ongoing stint doing the music for the TV series Heroes on NBC.
Wendy and Lisa didn't have time for all the standard checkbox questions, but they did get to answer the meatier questions I'd added of my own just for them about that purple-clad guy and their creative process on soundtrack work, and are interviewed here courtesy of Ariel Publicity.
What was it like to work and tour with Prince?
Lisa: It was a great experience. It was like living a movie.
I was young, right out of high school. We started in station wagons playing club gigs and getting the hairy eyeball from rednecks at truck stops across the country, we got BOO-ed off the stage at the L.A. Coliseum, and a few years later we were sweeping the Grammys, and had a hit film our in theatres.
We traveled the world. We had GREAT times and HARD times.
Wendy: Busy and fantastic!
How long have you been doing soundtrack work, and what's your process like?
Lisa: We started dabbling in films when Purple Rain was made. A string piece of mine was used as part of the score in the film. I had been doing string arrangements for the band and for my own personal side projects for years and felt that film scoring was the perfect outlet for that craft.
Our first real film score was a lucky situation where we had been paired with Mark Isham to work on Dangerous Minds. Mark ended up leaving the project and we were asked to carry on. Since then we have scored several films and TV shows.
Our process is something like a live gig. We watch the screen and play in real time under the dialogue and react and/or enhance the action on screen.
Wendy: Fifteen years now. ... The process changes a lot ... we grow on every project. We get better daily.
What score composers do you most admire?
Lisa: There are so many good and creative film composers ... always have been. It is a hard question to answer.
Since the classics like Max Steiner, Bernard Hermann, to Jerry Goldsmith, Thomas Newman, Michael Danna, even Mark Mothersbough ... they are all inspirational and so talented.
Wendy: Nino Rota. Jerry Goldsmith. So many, so many.
What movie or TV show scored by someone else do you most wish you could have done?
Lisa: I would just generally love to do more films of all kinds, but not blockbusters. More independent films.
Wendy: I wish we could have scored any Coen Brothers movie...
What artist or artists you've never worked with would you most want to collaborate with in the future?
Wendy: I want to work with so many people I can't name them all.
The new Wendy & Lisa album has been available exclusively at their Web site, but in March or April it's set to go into a wider release at Amazon, iTunes and other sites. You can also find them at Facebook.
Wendy And Lisa - White Flags of Winter Chimneys
Heroes (Original TV Soundtrack)
Wendy & Lisa - Wendy & Lisa
Wendy And Lisa - Girl Bros. (1998)
Lisa Coleman & Wendy Melvoin - Something New (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Prince & The Revolution - Purple Rain (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
Prince & The Revolution - Around the World In a Day