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Thursday, August 2, 2012

British band The Fixx keeping vital with new album, will play in Skokie this month

Photo by Liz Linder

By ERIC SCHELKOPF

The band that penned hits like "One Thing Leads To Another" and "Saved By Zero" continues to make music that matters.

The Fixx in July released its 10th studio album, "Beautiful Friction," an album that touches upon such timely topics as the Occupy movement and materialism.

The band, www.thefixx.com, will perform at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 25 as part of Skokie's Backlot Bash on Oakton Street in downtown Skokie. The show is free. More information is at www.backlotbash.com.

I had the pleasure of talking to frontman Cy Curnin about the new album and his other activities.


Q - It's an honor to talk to you. Of course, The Fixx's new album, "Beautiful Friction," was just released. What are your expectations for the album?

Always expect nothing but hope for everything. This avoids disappointment and I'm always pleasantly surprised.


Q - The album is the band's first since 2003's "Want That Life." Was it just the right time for the band to release a new album? Did the fact that Dan Brown returned to the lineup in 2008 put the pieces in place
for a new album?

These times we live in are perfect brain food for a band like us. Wehave been able to continue our legacy and witness the dawning of a new age of personal responsibility and a break from the addiction to cash as a reward.

Dan Brown's return was indeed the final piece to allow for a truly magical experience in the studio. "Beautiful Friction" deals with a number of issues, such as the Occupy movement.

Q - Do you think it is important for bands to offer their observations about what is happening in the world? Do you think "The Fixx" has done that throughout its career?

We have always felt that our work is the messenger's mission. We create music for the soundtrack of our lives.

Q - I understand most of the songs on the new album were recorded in one take. Were you surprised that the songs came together so well that you didn't need to do take after take? Do you think the fact most of the songs were done in one take lends to the urgency of the album?

Not all. The backing tracks were well rehearsed before takes. My vocals tend to be first takes as I lose passion by repeating the same thing in the same day.

Q - You said in another interview that "Just Before Dawn" is your favorite song from the new album. Why do you like it and what would you like other people to take from the song?

"Just Before Dawn" is a song of hope. I love the atmosphere of the arrangement. Great minimal parts that evoke many eras of rock.

Q - Of course, your latest solo album, "The Horse's Mouth," is set for release soon. What approach do you taking in your solo albums versus the albums you make with The Fixx? Is it important for you to make solo music while continuing as a member of The Fixx?

My solo works reflects my more vulnerable side. It's a good way of me staying focused on what The Fixx is as a vehicle in the broad sense. I don't want to bore the guys in the band with my personal hang-ups.

Q - You met The Fixx drummer Adam Woods in college and the two of you went on to form the band The Portraits. What was it about that musical collaboration that worked so well? Are you surprised that you are still making music with him today?

He married my sister and they split up soon after. But he really married me. We are the best couple on the planet. No secrets…we let it all hang out… no rules or curfews. Just love, respect and oh yes, we do see eye to eye on most things.

Q - "One Thing Leads To Another" was such a huge hit, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1983. Why do you think the song connected so well with people?

Great guitar hook. One chord song. Enigmatic words that ring as true today as they did then. Lies and politics don't mix, but we always have to suffer these fools. When will they learn that they are our servants, not our masters?

Q - What advice would you give to a band hoping to make their name known?

Never underestimate the intelligence of your audience.