The Fixx will be performing at the Triple Door in Seattle tonight and tomorrow. Lead singer, Cy Curnin, took time out from Santa Cruz, one of his favorite place in the world, to speak with us. Don’t miss them kicking off their tour. Get your tickets here.
ED: What is it like touring with the band thirty years later?
CC: Well, it is win-win. I guess we never really knew that we would be sticking around that long. It is very rewarding. It is nice to know that we don’t have to look for a job at our age (laughter). It is not the same hectic pace as it used to be. It has slowed down from about 200 days a year to about 50 or 60 days a year. It is a lot of fun. I think it is probably more fun now. Once you take the competition out of music, you realize that it is just self-expression. It is the soundtrack to people’s lives really.
ED: When you got the band all back together for the new album and tour, did you discuss reinventing yourself or making changes?
CC: It is organic really. We don’t really sweat the small stuff. As long as you don’t wear the same shoulder pads that we wore in 1983, I think we are alright. We try for a little less tart and a little more art.
ED: How do you account for the name recognition and longevity of the band?
CC: I don’t know really. I don’t ever think we were too trendy. So I guess we could never be too far out. I think we set ourselves apart from the rest of the pack because our lyrics were slightly more enigmatic and our music had a signature that wasn’t like anyone else. The people that liked it, stuck with it. It is a sound that I think is quite timeless. Even though we didn’t know what we were doing, it just happened to be the natural sound of the band. I think we are slightly more cerebral. I may be blowing smoke up my own as but those are my thoughts.
ED: Why did you change the name of the band from The Portraits to The Fixx?
CC: The Portraits were our first outing and we had a different guitarist back then. Adam, Rupert and I really wanted to change the sound and the guitarist didn’t want anything to do with that. We weren’t getting along with him either. So, we decided to have a clean break. We auditioned for a new guitarist and had almost given up. Then Jamie walked in and we knew he was the one. That is when The Fixx was born. The name actually came out of a hat. We were just picking ideas for new names and we put them all in a hat because we couldn’t decide. That was the one that came out and we stuck with it. Jamie’s style worked really well with Rupert’s. It came together and created this big soundscape. To me it was like a night sky. Our big hit to start with in the US was “Stand or Fall”. People always tell me that song really defined our sound. We were something new and completely different.
ED: What was it like to perform with Tina Turner on “You Better Be Good To Me”?
She is a force of nature. I remember that my sister always had those early Tina Turner songs like “Nutbush City Limits”. Tina was a big hit in England. I never dreamed that I would be singing backup vocals with her. She was fantastic. She had a very loud and powerful presence but she was very serene. It was good for us. We had our careers but then we get to work with another artist Tina’s ilk and it kind of took us to another world.
ED: The Fixx is often referred to as a New Wave band. What do you think about that?
CC: Back then that was a kind if slogan for that new wave of music. Now I think it is kind of an old wave, I imagine. I think we are just another band. Slogans are what the industry needs to define what we are. We don’t need to define what we are to ourselves. The slogans never felt right to be honest. We are just a band, a rock band possibly.
ED: Who were your musical influences growing up?
CC: Early Bowie, Mark Bolan, early Roxie Music. I was more of a Rolling Stones boy than The Beatles. I really do appreciate the power of John Lennon as a writer. That was pretty much my early years. After that there were just songs that just stuck with you like Aretha Franklin’s “Say A Little Prayer”. It is just one of those torch songs that are still strong today. Then there were songs like “I Love You Baby” by Andy Williams. It is just one of those bloody undeniable songs. I wish I had written it. Some of The Carpenters songs are just amazing. I mean they are a bit washy and cheesy but I loved the talent in those songs. I know it is not cool to say you liked them. The Little River Band’s first album sort of hit me. Also, The Eagles and The Doobie Brothers.
ED: If you could pick anyone to perform with, who would it be?
CC: Got to be David Bowie for me!
ED: What would you perform?
CC: Anything he wants! Well, maybe “Lady Grinning Soul” from Aladdin Sane. It is a little known track but one of my favorites.