Photo by Craig Hewitt
In Interplay we have found a perfect balance between atmosphere and rhythm, as was the case with your very first records such as Metamatic. In the previous years, you have either focused on ambient experimentations (the work with Harold Budd, Robin Guthrie, the very ceremonious Cathedral Oceans) or on rhythms and dance (Shifting City). Here, we can find such a hit as “Destination” and a beautiful piece such as “Interplay” (I think one of your most moving songs since “The Garden”)
JF: ‘Well, thanks – Interplay was simply a response to a relationship breaking down. Trying to make sense of things afterwards, as we always seem to do.’
Have you tried to combine all the aspects of the world of John Foxx in this record?
JF: ‘Not consciously, but I guess it’s inevitable that something of what you managed to learn or discover over the years will be incorporated in whatever you make.’ › Continue reading
How did you start collaborating with Benge? Were you impressed by his Twenty Systems album, or by some of his earlier work?
JF: ‘I heard Twenty Systems first, then some of his production and mixing work for Hanna Peel, Tung and Serafina Steer. I was impressed by all of it.
As well as the purity of the analogue synthesizers, I particularly enjoy the sounds he gets on vocal recordings. There is something magical about a well captured voice, it’s as difficult as catching sunlight.’
What is the idea behind the JF & the Maths project and the Interplay album? Can we say it attempts a sort of synthesis between your song-based albums and your experiments with electronics?
JF: ‘Certainly – We began recording as an experiment, not aiming at making songs, but attempting to make something more abstract. The songs occurred because the arpeggios made by Ben’s on his Moog Modular system – a huge machine from the 1960’s – had rhythm and implied melody in their structure. All I had to do was sing along then capture the melodies more firmly.
You might say the songs were written by the machines. We simply acted as facilitators.’ › Continue reading
Congratulations for Interplay. We at the magazine think it is one of your best albums ever along with Metamatic, The Garden or Crash & Burn.
JF: ‘Excellent – thank you.’
It’s truly an honor for me having the opportunity to do this interview, maybe for the first time in a Spanish magazine… I apologize in advance for my grammar mistakes. Thanks for your patience…
JF: ‘No problem.’
First of all, could you please let us know about your family and pre-professional background a bit?
JF: ‘Born in the industrial North of England – a landscape of derelict factories, motorway and mines between Liverpool and Manchester. Some beautiful but rugged countryside nearby. It rains a lot.
Father was a coal miner and a boxer. Mother worked in a cotton mill. I belonged to a big family, and so did everyone else.
All the kids played on the streets and in the factory buildings, many of which were empty and overgrown.
In the 1960’s there was a band on every street. I simply watched and listened and stored everything I saw.
Then I hitch hiked through France into Spain, to see Dali, Bunuel and Picasso’s country. Went to Ampurias, Barcelona, Figueras, Rosas, Cadaques, La Escala, and was fortunate enough to experience Spain before tourism changed things.
Then I went to art school and saw another world, and realized why I was so strongly connected to Europe. Art school was also where most bands begun.’
› Continue reading
Here’s the full transcript of a recent interview with Vive Le Rock.
Listening to your new album Interplay, it seems to encompass two extremes of your work? IE there’s a sense of claustrophobia to ‘Shatterproof’ and a sense of urgency to tracks like ‘Catwalk’ (which references the old Ultravox track ‘ROckWrok’), or ‘The Running Man’ – this seems to juxtapose with the feeling of serenity or detachment that come with a track like ‘Summerland’?
JF: ‘Yes – that’s it really – you hope to provide lots of joyous jolts and rides – transports of delight.
Perhaps also something to do with this idea of Serene Velocity – which may come from recent forms of mechanical transport – trains, ships, planes, etc.. › Continue reading
In the run up to the John Foxx And The Maths Interplay tour in October, Artrocker ran a series of articles on John, including a new filmed interview taken at The Garden studios in London. There are also quotes and comments about John’s work from a vast array of different musicians and film-makers. Click HERE to start exploring all the fantastic content that’s on there!
HERE is a link to the filmed clip of John at The Garden Studios, London:
You can read two new interviews with John here -
Meanwhile, here are the direct links to all the various contributions from artists, musicians and film-makers -
Photo by Ed Fielding.
The new issue of Mojo magazine has a demo version of ‘Have A Cigar’ – not the finished one! To hear the finished version, along with a brand new radio mix of ‘Evergreen’ from the Interplay album, please check out the ”Free Download”.
You can also listen to the track on this You Tube clip:
After a run of relatively oblique collaborations, Interplay sees John Foxx’ return to the role of pop architect, ably assisted by The Maths (aka Ben Edwards, Benge) who has graduated here with flying colours from studied technologist to certified song producer. › Continue reading
John Foxx And The Maths were recently interviewed and filmed by Electric Independence. WATCH HERE.
John Foxx (pictured at the Troxy, 2011) interviewed in the French Magazine, Elegy. › Continue reading
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