The Fixx: Not sixty seconds into Beautiful Friction and it is clear; the haunting guitar of Jamie West-Oram, expressive synth of Rupert Greenall, pounding bass of Dan K. Brown, steady beat of Adam Woods and unforgettable vocals of Cy Curnin add up to the undeniable sound that could only be The Fixx. Apart, you couldn’t refute their talent, yet it’s together that they shine. Together, The Fixx has an incredibly strong voice, strong legacy and strong future.
Beautiful Friction, the band’s tenth album studio album, finds The Fixx sharper than ever. Never at a loss for what to say, Cy Curnin and company have the same thought-provoking intensity fueling their lyrics and performances as they ever have. Fired up and as hopeful as ever, the band continues to take us on a journey which started in 1982 with the release of Shuttered Room. Says Curnin, “There’s a theme that traces through The Fixx. Our catalogue is connected, our viewpoint as a collective has always been socially driven. With the Internet, things sped up, and we were able to get feedback quicker and became closer with our fan base. We’ve been so thankful to hear from people who let us know our music made a difference in their life. It made us realize we had a sense of responsibility to our audience, that our work as a band was unfinished.”
After seminal hits such as “One Things Leads to Another,” “Red Skies,” “Saved By Zero” and “Stand or Fall,” The Fixx has always been very conscious of making sure it had something to say. “At first, there wasn’t a motif floating around. Then new songs started to emerge and we had a theme. The first song for Beautiful Friction that we wrote together was “What God,” followed by “Follow that Cab,” and we agreed we had the meat.” Says Curnin, “As a whole, we were very focused on what was happening in the world around us and the legacy that was being left for our children, for everyone’s children. This album confronts our frustrations with the current socio-economic crises affecting the world, but it’s also quite hopeful.”
With Beautiful Friction, the band has created a backdrop of responsibility and the need to be accountable for actions. “It seems we’ve all ground to a bit of a halt with so much unrest, the Occupy movement, debt, war and more. We ultimately see the album as positive, eager for the dawn of a new era, the possibility to change the way we see the world and to view it with more optimism. That’s why we called it Beautiful Friction – the times we live in are tough, but there’s a beauty in that. There’s a hope.”
The early to mid 80’s was marked by several Top Ten Billboard hits for The Fixx. Curnin recalls the band’s “MTV Days” with great fondness – how he felt he could have been singing “Ham and Eggs” instead of “One Thing Leads to Another” because the groove was so strong, how girls would throw underwear onstage while they played “Red Skies,” a song about the aftermath of a nuclear fall out and how “Saved by Zero,” a song about accepting emptiness, still resonates today. Curnin calls the way the band’s music has been internationally embraced the greatest gift. Referring to this as “the Mary Poppins Effect” where a ‘spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,’ Curnin feels the music’s accessibility allows for his lyrical expression on some heady topics. “The melodies that Jamie comes up with are incredible. He is always creating bits and pieces, then I come in and get a feeling for a word, or an emotion, and it starts to take shape. We get something we can play as a group. Then, it just takes off like it has wings. Rupert is almost like a mad scientist, wherein I can describe where I am going visually with my words and he paints the sound. Dan has amazing chord knowledge and is able to play around my voice in ways that makes it sound rife with emotion. And Adam just isn’t a convoluted drummer. He’s very careful and laid back, which is big part of our sound.”
With Beautiful Friction, all eleven tracks connect across a theme. “Unlike my solo albums, which focus on my own peccadilloes, the songs written for The Fixx take on the problems of the world. If you look back at our work, there’s a universal application to it. In writing Beautiful Friction, we speak to people who have woken up to the fact that while there was a period of easy money and easy credit, it’s now come and bitten us on the backside. I think, as you get wiser, you begin to realize less is more, and how happiness itself is your real currency.”
The album was produced by Nick Jackson at Spacehouse Studios in London, who worked closely with the band to draw from the root of their longevity: communication. “Nick spoke out candidly when he thought a song wasn’t quite there yet and allowed us all the time in the world for the creative process to work itself out,” explains Curnin. “And on top of understanding how creativity needs to be nurtured so a song can develop completely, he is technically very adept in a way where he let us keep our style intact without having to sound like we were chasing the latest recording trends.”
The songs recorded for Beautiful Friction are a high point in the band’s already heralded history. Echoing the frustration and pain of the “99%”, the first single “Anyone Else” is an anthem for our times, with a soaring melody that allows the song to feel melancholy and hope all at once. Optimism grows further with the wistful “Just Before Dawn,” the album’s second track which speaks of hope after the darkness. “What God,” a philosophical tour de force, features a passionate vocal wail of confusion, doubt and self-revelation by Cy, backed by the band's driving musical crescendo. The frenzied wired pace of “Follow that Cab” delivers a lyrical metaphor, with the cab as an allegory for a life out of control. The optimistic “Shaman” could be the long lost musical sibling to “One Thing Leads to Another" while the title track highlights a unique vocal coupled with a sensual groove and evocative keyboard. "Girl with No Ceiling" captures the present, wise and introspective band meditating on the fleeting reality of fame and fortune over a subtle beat. The Fixx, never a band to rest on its laurels, is still searching, still asking questions and still seeking truth.
Curnin calls this current evolution of The Fixx “a fine wine that has aged well in the bottle. I love being in this band. It’s my therapy. You can take everything away from me, but no one can take away the relationship and creativity that flows between the five of us.”
Jeremy Buck & The Bang: Jeremy Buck – Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Drums Joel Geist – Bass, Vocals Chris Hanna – Guitar, Vocals. Jeremy Buck is a songwriting and entertainment powerhouse. As frontman for Jeremy Buck and the Bang, Jeremy has crafted the perfect vessel for delivering exceptional songwriting, world class showmanship, and an uncanny ability to triumph over nearly impossible odds! In late 2009, Jeremy Buck and the Bang became the first independent band to go into rotation on influential LA radio station 100.3 FM “The Sound” sharing Top 5 status with the likes of Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Green Day, and The Dave Matthews Band. With clever hooks that dig in deeply and just won’t let go, “Just For One Night” is an irresistible plea for an additional evening of some sweet, sweet lovin’. With the goal of exposing the world to the magic that is “Just For One Night”, the boys enlisted the directorial talents of 9 time Emmy Award winner Barton Bishoff. The end result is a work of art that begs for repeated viewings. When a brilliantly shot parody of MTV’s “Rock of Love” collides with TV Land classic ,b>"The Dating Game", sure, some unlucky contestants may get the boot, but the viewer and music lover will always be the ultimate winner! Every wondrous tale has a beginning, and this one is no exception. Jeremy’s musical adventure begins in a small farming community in rural Indiana. At the age of nine, Jeremy earned $600 from showing a cow at the 4H County Fair. From the proceeds, he was able to purchase his first drum set, and still have a little money left over to buy himself a brand new pair of sneakers. But instead of adorning HIS feet with sporty new kicks, he opted to hook up both of his brothers with shiny new Michael Jordans’! That’s just the kind of guy he is. Eventually, Jeremy was awarded a baseball scholarship to Purdue University. In between homework, practice, and games, Jeremy found some time to hone his musical skills while decimating stages with his band, “Stone Carnival”. Dividing his time between three masters, Buck didn’t fully focus on music until a bone-shattering line-drive ended his baseball career. “I almost lost my leg. That was a difficult time, but it made me stronger.” Jeremy put all of his new-found strength behind performing, playing over 400 shows with the notorious “Stone Carnival”. The stage spectacle that would one day knock Southern California and The Orient on their heels, was developing in midwestern music venues, and in the nine independent films in which Buck starred and wrote the soundtracks. Buck moved to Hollywood with little more than a dream and a shoe-box full of songs. Work soon began on recording Buck’s debut CD. Culling from his impressive catalog of over 600 original songs, “A Secret Made of Dreams” provides the lift-off point that history will undoubtedly paint as the emergence of a great american songwriter. At Jeremy’s premier solo gig, a show organized by close ally Darren “The Wiz” Weiler, Jeremy would first encounter the enigmatic force of nature known as Joel Paul Geist, whom Weiler had chosen to emcee the event. Little did Jeremy know that this eccentric character, who barked at the audience, would become a revered collaborator, and in the process, one of his biggest fans. Work resumed on “A Secret Made of Dreams”, with Geist assuming co-production and engineering duties. Initially reluctant to performing live, Geist agreed to accompany Buck onstage, as bass player. With Buck’s “Keith Moon-like ferocity” on the drums, and Geist laying down the low-end with a “John Entwistle, of The Who, meets Rick Neilsen, of Cheap Trick,” authority, the backbone of one Los Angeles’ most dynamic rhythm sections, had been forged. Chris Hanna was playing guitar around L.A. with his band Southside Hero when he drunkenly stumbled into a Jeremy Buck show one night. “I had never heard of this guy,” slurred Hanna. “The energy of the show was fantastic and his original songs were amazing.” A few weeks later, Hanna phoned Buck and asked how he could get his hands on a new copy of Buck’s demo CD… he had worn-out his other one! When Buck suggested that Hanna join his band, Hanna jumped at the chance. The chemistry between Jeremy, Chris, and Joel was instant. Officially dubbed “Jeremy Buck & The Bang”, Hanna’s “Alex Lifeson, of the band Rush, playing guitar with The Beatles” style, in combination with his soulful background vocals and humble persona, have become an essential ingredient in the Buck-Bang Pie. With its infectious verses mischievously tucked in between rapturous choruses, the release of “A Secret Made of Dreams” showcased Bucks ability to blend insanely catchy hooks with honest and insightful lyrics. Slowly the buzz began to build about the kid from Indiana with the instantly classic songs and effortless charisma. The success of “ASMOD” led to tours across the U.S. and Japan. The band’s live shows became legendary. With “Jeremy Buck & The Bang” fans demanding more, the band set about recording their new CD, “Fools Gold”, with a more stripped down approach. In addition to simplifying the music, Buck strove to make “Fools Gold” a story that people could follow, from beginning to end. On “Outside My Window”, Buck bares his soul on a player piano, and then bares his teeth with crashing drums and heavy chords. To help the band achieve the vibe they wanted, they enlisted the mixing skills of the legendary Kevin “Caveman” Shirley. Kevin is the producer of choice for Led Zeppelin, The Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Metallica, Bon Jovi, and Iron Maiden. From there, they set out on countless tours across the US and Japan, enrolling fans one song at a time. With the buzz building fast, they were offered supporting slots for “Blues Traveler”, “Cheap Trick”, & “Marcy Playground”. Alongside their vigorous touring schedule they managed to maintain a weekly residency at the infamous “Lighthouse Caf?” in Hermosa Beach, which helped them develop a very loyal local following. With the success of “Fools Gold”, they went back into the studio to record a 5 song EP, due to the mega interest from fans to gain an audio recording of the new material they were playing at their live shows. Their standout hit, “Just for One Night” could quite possibly be the song that put “Jeremy Buck & The Bang on the Map”. This song has received radio play on Chicago’s 93 WXRT, Pocatello, Idaho’s 92.1 FM “The Edge”, and LA’s 100.3 FM “The Sound”. In sync with Buck?s ever changing live show, he opted to make a move from behind the drums, and into the front man position. After hiring Mark Dibenedetto, aka “Mr. Deebs”, to replace his chores behind the skins, Buck began to grow into a powerful and magnificent showman. With his multi-instrumental capabilities, he was able to lend his versatility, not only to the eye of the audience, but also to the ear. He effortlessly jumps from guitar, keyboard, and drums all while continuing to sing from the bottom of his soul. With his unique yet powerful performance, there is no doubt that Jeremy Buck will eventually become, if not already, one of the most incredible front man for generations to come! Currently, the guys are back in the studio recording their highly anticipated 4th album, and are gearing up for an upcoming tour to Indianapolis to play for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships. With a tour to the UK this summer and a tour to China in the fall, 2010 is bound to be another huge year for the Bang!