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Sue Harshe is a founding member of the post-punk band Scrawl, who released seven albums between 1986 and 1998 on such labels as Rough Trade, Simple Machines, and Elektra. Last year they were invited to perform at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals held in New York City and Camber Sands, England. She also performs in the rock band Fort Shame, who released a full-length CD in the fall of 2012. Since 2003 she has composed music for nine films in the Wexner Center’s silent film series, the latest installments being The Farmer’s Wife and Champagne, part of the Hitchcock 9 series shown this fall. Last year she scored and performed music for the 1920 movie The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which was commissioned by Shock Around the Clock, Columbus’ annual 24-hour horror-film marathon. In addition, recordings of her compositions for six shorter films can be found on all three volumes of Kino International’s DVD collection of avant-garde experimental cinema. She composed and performed the music for two theatrical performances at The Ohio State University, both staged by visiting director Alexander Stillmark: Reader for City-Dwellers in 2006 and HamletMachine in 2010. She was one of twelve composers invited to participate in Finding Time: Columbus Public Art 2012, in conjunction with Columbus’ bicentennial celebrations last year. FP: Put together your fantasy band, dead or alive. That’s difficult. It would end up looking like Sun Ra’s Arkestra, with 87 members in it; but a four-member fantasy band would have to include Jon Langford from the Mekons (because he’s probably a lot of fun, and I was just listening to them today), Ann Wilson from Heart, Andy Gill from Gang of Four, and any of the guys from Kraftwerk. So, I guess it would be a weird 80s band: no drums, 2 vocalists, a guitarist, and keyboards. It would probably sound like some fucked up version of the Thompson Twins. FP: What's the best, most exciting concert, music event you've been to? Again, very difficult! But I would have to say that seeing Wire at the ATP Festival in England last December was a gigantic, over-the-top, I’m-16-years-old-again experience. Marcy and I wept, because we just could not believe we were actually there watching them perform. FP: What the best (or most important) thing about the music scene in Columbus? I suppose the most important thing about the Columbus music scene is that there *is* a scene. It has been pretty healthy for as long as I can remember and that’s saying something. What I like about local shows right now is the variety within one night’s offering; you can see a country band, a rock band, and a punk band on one bill (and it isn’t Comfest). That drives some people crazy, and I get that, but it tells me the audience’s musical taste is diverse (or at least that they are tolerant people). FP: What's the most important issue (political or otherwise) going on in Columbus? Dwindling abortion rights, the quagmire of the Columbus Public School System, civil rights for LGBT, Affordable Care Act and how it will play out in Ohio. The list is long. FP:Anyone who has played in multiple bands knows each one is different but in some ways they are the same. What's different about Scrawl/Fort Shame, what's similar? And how do you fit your movie writing into your schedule? (We know, two questions, but we wanted to hear about your movie work.) Scrawl will always be different from anything I will ever do, because Marcy (Mays) and I cut our teeth in that band, together. We learned how to write songs by writing together. We learned how to sing by singing together. We learned how to play our instruments by playing together. We traveled the world together, played in the worst cockroach-infested fire traps and gigantic festivals together. We recorded in a friend’s basement by the fairgrounds and we recorded in an 18th century farmhouse in France. Making music with someone for that long changes your DNA. That said, Fort Shame is awesome because it’s a different kind of discovery. With Scrawl, Marcy and I had an incredible learning curve that we were fortunate enough to overcome together. With Fort Shame, every musician in that band already has their chops and their defining musical experiences, so it’s an interesting collaboration. Those guys are such good musicians, they can afford to be very generous; they are enthusiastic about hearing new ideas and offering up new ideas. It’s an extremely gratifying relationship. And that is the similarity of both bands. Film scores happen once every year or so, and it’s a finite amount of time of serious, balls-to-the-wall commitment. I just did 2 films for the Wexner Center’s Hitchcock 9 series this month and I pretty much forsook all else for about 6 weeks, to finish up those scores. But then it’s done and I can move on. It’s intense and all-absorbing, but then it’s over. It’s kind of like being in a play: rehearse, perform, close. I really like doing them though. I think they keep me musically sharp and on my toes.