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Cy Curnin

Cy Curnin of the Fixx

Q: How did this tour come about?

Cy : It came about through the need to promote our new album "Elemental". We have been touring for the last couple of years on and off. We were testing the material before recording, so we we’re going out in spurts. This was the first fresh tour with a full new album out in quite some time and summertime is the best time to tour. People are in a good frame of mind. The geography is quite powerful - desert, ocean, forest, and urban area. It’s all a really great experience. 

Q: The new album. I understand that you had another name for it?

CY: Well originally it was titled "Happy Landings". That was the working title EP put out earlier in the year, but there was a new album called "Happy Landings" that is confusing the computers, so ... we found that the word "Elemental" would be used a lot in a working title. Every song had a discussion about the basic elements and getting back to basics. So, the name suits us and we looked up the word in the Thesaurus. Elemental means basics, fundamental and qualities like that. 

Q: With your vast array of songs on all your previous albums, how do you determine what to play when you are on tour?

CY: We kind of style it - emotional, rythmic, sentimental, and playing some of our hits, because when they come to the show they want to see that and we don’t mind because a lot of the show is highlights from that and we love that, but we also want to promote the new album. Then we go into the wine cellar and pull out a few old vintage songs and mix that up.

Q: Do you have time for solos?

CY: Oh yeah. A lot of wild stuff.

Q: What is the reason for why a lot of veteran bands are coming back?

CY: I think that all of sudden people are realizing that, where is it written in stone that bands had to stop. When we looked back people viewed the 80’s as pigeon-time, as though they were almost embarrassed about their state of mind back then. But I honestly feel the way we came about right before the 80’s, there was a real period of a lost generation there and why a lot of republican and conservative issues, and especially nuclear rats floating around, and set to influence young people lost in depression. When we kind of got into the game, we were writing for that in the backdrop, not the petri-disco - boom, boom, boom, which is the later kind of partying in the face of armagedon kind of writing. Then MTV was born, it kind of gave it this pop shine for a while. Initially, when we first came to America on the college circuit, we were like early on the alternative scene way way back. The pop flick was kind of a distraction for a while and we kind of veered back into the darker side of the band after a while.

Q: I noticed during that time, the videos were just starting to get popular. 

CY: Yeah. We didn’t know the effect MTV would have. When the video projects the band, the question in the public comes somewhat earlier. Too much. You have to pay your dues somewhere along the line. The problem with a lot of bands is they give the videos, and get the tour and the tour’s crap, and before you know it, they break up. We have managed to survive all this. 

Q: We have seen in the past where video does spotlight that band and just throws them right out there, and all of a sudden.. 

CY: I have seen worse now. There is this innocuous thing called a ‘sound track album’ where one song from the band...the song is all over the radio, radio lovers loves it and we don’t have to listen to the whole friggin album and look we got ten new bands, bing, bong, bing, and who were they...nobody knows. They don’t even tell the name of the band on the radio, so you don’t care, it’s all about gratification, so they are kind of side-stepping that and we are praying that the ground swell of what we are doing live will send out the big flare that spotlight and people will seek out our candles. Do you know what I mean?

Q: Does switching to CMC International Record Company give you any kind of different levity in your music?

CY: It gave us creative control. They are a small label, but with our experience we can kind of educate them on how best to sell the band and I am willing to learn and go through it, just to make sure that we don’t get lost on their agenda. But definitely they allows us creative control and nobody is asking anything from us, just what it was. So that’s a plus.

Q: How do you keep that mellow music in your songs? Is it your upbringing? Most of your songs have a certain quietness to it.

CY: I think sometimes that we’re empty vessels and trying to be aware not to be too loud about it, but it’s kind of cathartic. We just want to get it out. It has to come out as music in the right way. I think every member - guy in this band has a very gentle nature in their own way. That’s the way we get off on it. 

Q: How different is this album then your last?

CY: The songs were written with a lot of clarity of what we are trying to achieve, more emotion. We weren’t pinned to the past, but we weren’t basked by sounding like Fixx, but at the same time listening to individuals the way music is now or drawing what we like about now or music on the album that really works. We recorded everything pretty quickly in the studio. 

Q: Are there some bands from the 80’s and 90’s that emulate the FIXX?

CY: There are some bands. I don’t know if they are emulating like Radiohead and Smashing Pumpkins. I have read a lot of articles where people have said they have been directly influenced by bands like Sound Garden all the way down to Live. I think music is all constantly cross-pollinating. I like the ideas. I like the way this guy sings. 

Q: I notice about bands like yours that have been around a long time, is that they really mature as they stay together.

CY: Friendship. Great friendships. Learn how to argue and and the thing is to leave storm out Spinal Tap arguing. We celebrate our friendship and we have a lot of experience to draw on. We know where we see ourselves now and that’s all we can handle at the moment. If the roofs going to go, it’s set to go.

Q: Where is your hub right now?

CY: Our business hub is in the States, but the rest of the guys live in London. I live in New York, so we have to travel.

Q: What is the most requested song by people?

CY: Saved by Zero, Outside. 

Q: Are you on a mini-tour right now?

CY: Eight weeks.

Q: How do you rate the American audience vs. the British fans?

CY: Bigger. Grown up rock n’ roll. American’s have a lot more time in the car with the radio. Cross-pollination in England is like I’m into this 
or I'm not into  that. 

By Randy Cohen


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