Here is a reposting of my original article that ran on The Orange County Register site for those interested in catching the band when they perform in San Juan Capistrano tomorrow.
|The Fixx returns to The Coach House on Dec. 29, 2012.|
July 13, 2012
With the world mired in an ongoing financial crisis, it’s little surprise that the Fixx, ’80s-spawned rockers who have always featured material revolving around political topics, would return in 2012 fueled by such matters, leading the quintet to create one of its best-ever albums, Beautiful Friction.
Set for release next week by Kirtland Records, the disc is the Fixx’ first studio album since 2003’s Want That Life. The British band launches a U.S. tour in support of it with a headlining concert Wednesday, July 18, at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, bringing the group back to O.C. after a memorable performance at Jack’s 5th Show at Irvine’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in September 2010. AS I NOTED ABOVE, THE FIXX RETURNS TO THE COACH HOUSE ON SATURDAY, DEC. 29, 2012.
Beautiful Friction is the outfit’s 10th assortment of new material overall and arrives 30 years after the release of their official debut, 1982’s Shuttered Room, which established the Fixx stateside with the hits “Stand or Fall” and “Red Skies.”
Anyone who listens to those staples of the New Wave era – or any of their other singles from back in the day, like “Saved by Zero,” “Are We Ourselves,” “One Thing Leads to Another” and “Deeper and Deeper” – knows that the members of the Fixx have worn their politics on their collective sleeve from the start. Indeed, the band’s “How Much Is Enough?” (which peaked at No. 35 on Billboard’s Hot 100 back in late 1991) could well be a fight song for the Occupy Wall Street movement decades later.
“The last few years we were doing a lot of live shows and just didn’t feel the binge to put new music out,” says singer Cy Curnin, “and then all of a sudden, about three or four years ago, things went pear-shaped out there in society, and that’s what I feed on (as a songwriter). There was a financial crisis and there were people starting to ask big questions and politicians didn’t seem so squeaky-clean.”
Curnin is proud his material has held up, although he wishes more of the problems he’s addressed over the years would have been solved by now.
“Each artist or each writer has their own slant on things. Mine is that social backdrop of the mechanics of how we surrender our own dream-time to be part of a system that is managed by people that who aren’t as godlike as they should be,” he said by phone from London, where the band was preparing for this coming tour.
“We didn’t know it would work out as well as it did because we have different lives now, we have children,” Curnin explained of the process. “We have to book certain weekends together. Like once a month we would work for four days and when we would work we would come up with three or four songs. And after the time when we would break up and go back to our lives, if the song stayed with you, it was a good sign; if it didn’t stay with you, it would fall apart.”
Curnin says everyone in the Fixx is grateful to still be playing together after so many years.
“I’ll tell you what: We’re actually enjoying it more than ever. Because when we turn around on stage and we catch each other’s eyes we know we’re still (expletive) doing it! And still getting the same buzz. It’s almost like wine. Wine improves in the bottle and it gets better with age, and I think music does, too.
“It’s only the fact that the industry in music – “out with the old, in with the new” – it wasn’t designed to let people in on the fact that you could grow older with an artist and this artist was going to get better. That’s what we discovered, because we’re still doing it and enjoying it … that is where your wisdom comes through, you know?”
Curnin acknowledges that much of the power of the Fixx lies in its relationship with fans as well as each other.
“You know what it is – it’s really a deep friendship. We know how to argue with each other. In fact, it’s not arguing anymore – it’s just adding to the soup and getting the ingredients right. We do genuinely love each other like brothers. We respect each other like elders. And yet we’ve been through so much together, there are so many unsaid (things). We only need a wink and a nod and it says so much in this band.”