Following his departure from Neck Deep in 2018, Fil Thorpe—one half of World’s First Cinema—was ready to take time away from the pop-punk world that had been his life for the previous 6+ years.
Under the name Prblm Chld, Thorpe explored his interest in electronic music and began releasing several singles at the beginning of 2019. This is when he also embraced his love for film and began creating sync music (the music you hear in a commercial or between scenes on reality TV).
At this time, Thorpe met John Sinclair at a friend’s party. Sinclair is an artist with a background in movie scores and orchestration. Under his own project, Saint Claire, he began releasing music in 2014 and was even the featured vocalist on Macklemore’s 2017 song “Excavate.”
Fil and John hit it off and began making sync music together.
While Thorpe had no intentions of starting a new band, collaborating with Sinclair on sync music led to them creating songs that just felt a bit… more. And, before long, World’s First Cinema was born.
A fusion of different musical backgrounds—thanks to their diverse personal music histories—that incorporates the magnitude of a film score with rock and—what may be my favorite part—some killer violin. They also aim high with music videos that live up to the cinematic side of the duo that looks absolutely incredible.
World’s First Cinema released their debut EP, Rituals, in 2021 and has since signed with Fearless Records, where their upcoming EP, Palm Reader, is set for release on October 6. I spoke with Fil and John about the EP’s title track and accompanying music video (which features effects created by an Oscar-nominated special effects artist), Fil’s decision not to pursue pop-punk after leaving Neck Deep, and what John’s favorite score is by composer John Williams. Read a portion of our interview and watch the full video interview below.
Fil, you were in the pop-punk/hardcore world… but as you got older and your music horizons expanded, when did you get into the sync side of stuff? The Prblm Chld side of stuff?
FIL: I was learning to produce, and I didn’t really have any desire to learn how to produce pop-punk, you know? I was in a pop-punk band, and we’d go to our records with whoever we did them with, and it felt very black and white to me. It was just like, you write the song, and then it’s guitars and drums, and it is what it is.
A bit formulaic.
FIL: Yeah, but once I found that pocket in the EDM scene, I would just listen to it and be like, “Wow. What are these sounds? How are they doing this?” Especially the more new wave, organic side of EDM. And I just wanted to learn how to do it. So, I just went on this mission to teach myself to produce. I’ve just always been into super cinematic music and a big movie buff, and I thought it’d be fun to do something a bit more cinematic.
So, you guys got your start by doing sync music?
JOHN: Yeah, that’s how this all kicked off, and then it just got totally out of our hands and spiraled out of control in the coolest way possible. It started as sync. You know, Fil and I have such different backgrounds, but my background is in movie scores and orchestration. Being an orchestra kid, I played violin growing up. We started this to make material for film and TV and pitch stuff to commercials as this sort of sync-specific/sync-driven project.
You guys were saying that Palm Reader is a good representation as to who you guys are and would be a good starting track.
JOHN: Yeah, I think that’s fair to say.
FIL: I think this whole EP has a pretty consistent tone. There’s a ballad track, which isn’t unusual for us to do. And then there’s a slightly more rocky track, but it’s still pretty cinematic and upbeat.
JOHN: “Palm Reader,” the single especially, I do feel that song has a special little piece of everything that we do in it. It has the violin and the cinematics and the dynamics and the piano and then Fil’s incredible, big breakdown—almost EDM production on the drops. It’s like a little snapshot. It’s like little vignettes of a lot of parts of our world.