GLX talks to Fear of Tigers about his work in 2010, gets some information on Fear of Tiger's next album and even gets some old-school dance videos for good measure.
How has your career been, since we last spoke?
I think in terms of people finding out about the music, it's been great. I've had loads of new supporters join me on Facebook, I got new management who are lovely and I've worked on some interesting projects behind the scenes.
But really in terms of actually making music and spending time in the studio, 2010 was a very quiet year for me.
'Cossus Snufsigalonica', my first album, came out right at the end of 2009. I'd worked pretty hard to finish it and I did need a break but for the most part I just didn't have any time to make new Fear of Tigers tracks in 2010.
I had a pretty full on day job last year and when you don't get home till late in the evening it only leaves the weekend to make music. It the age old musicians problem!
So if I was to do a remix, play a gig or god forbid hang out with some friends, that's your window gone and you you have to wait till the next week. Plus some weekends, try as you might you're just not in the zone and you know you can't force these things.
Creatively, I felt like at the beginning of 2010 I'd reached the end of a cycle. My ancient PC was fit to bust, I was still using Logic 4 which they don't make any more and I needed some new ideas, so I had to change my whole set-up.
So I upgraded the studio, my software and had to get into a totally different way of working.
I feel like I'm only just getting back into it again now. It's taken a year but I think I'm almost there, full of ideas and ready to start the album. So god willing, I'd expect to see another Fear of Tigers album in 2011.
How different will the new album be, compared to your debut album?
Rather than 10 big sounding tracks like Cossus, I want the new record to be much more of a journey. I think there are some elements of the FOT sound that have only been hinted at so far. In some tracks I feel like I've eluded to something but not quite revealed it. So I want it to be more spacious, certainly more sweeping but hopefully it'll retain the vibe of the first. I still want it to be really fun and I hope there will be some big moments too!
But for me making music is really quite spontaneous. I can't force it and I can't coldly plan it. Of course you get inspiration and ideas, but ultimately you can only try and make a recording of what already exists.
There's a wonderful Swedish film called 'Så som i himmelen' in which a famous composer goes back to his home town, a tiny village right up in the north of Sweden, because of his heath problems which have almost killed him. In the film he tries to teach the local choir and explains to them that the music is already out there floating around in the sky. All we have to do it bring the music down. I think it's a wonderful metaphor and it's certainly how I've felt.
From a more scientific vantage point, it's approximated that there are 4,000,000,000 stars in the Milky Way with their own set of planets and of course the Milky Way is just one Galaxy in the universe. We really don't know how many galaxies there are but conservative estimates are around 2,000,000,000 billion. Then of course it is possible that the universe itself is part of a larger infinite set. So the more we look at time and space the more it begins to resemble infinity, and not only outwardly but inwardly too. How small is the smallest piece of matter. Does it ever end.
So if infinity exists then due to the nature of infinity not having a start or an end (in my view it's probably cylical then everything that will happen has already happened before and will happen again. If you can accept that then you must also accept that every sound, every piece of music, every piece of art in fact absolutely everything already exists, we just need to give the ideas some realisation. Phew!
When Coldplay got sued by a bunch of different people for alleged plagiarism on Vida La Viva, I felt really sorry for them. It's just an emotion that he tapped into that many people have tapped into before him and will do again. It's impossible to own a chord sequence or a sound, composers are just scribes and messengers really.
Will Hey Jimmy! and/ or Fudo-myoo make it to the new album?
Ha! I'm impressed you remember them. They were originally supposed to be on Cossus and went out on the promo materiel. It was such a close run thing that I wrote two new tracks before in the two weeks between the promo and me putting the album online and scrapped these two. One of the new tracks was 'I Can Make The Pain Disappear', which was defo better than the track it replace.
Will they be resurrected? Honestly I doubt it. To be honest I can only really remember Hey Jimmy! and well in my opinion not my finest track ever.
Will any sounds from nature make their way on to the new album?
There'll definitely be some ambient noise. I've got one tracks with a load of paparazzi clicking away in a press scrum and another that starts with some heavy machinery!
You did a remix of All the Lovers by Kylie Minogue, last year. What was it like doing a remix for a major label?
No sweat really. Generally with remixes you get left to your own devices and majors don't differ so much from indies in that regard. What was surprising was the incredible response from the Kylie community. It took me into a whole new world that I barely knew existed. Her fans are just obsessed, pouring over every little detail of the album, the singles, the remixes, the videos the clothes, TV appearances etc.
But there's a darker side to it as well. A friend of mine is a big Kylie fan and he told me about one Kylie forum (there are at least seven that I know of), I won't mention it's name but it has quite a bad reputation. Exactly why I'm not sure but he said "I'm nothing to do with this site. Don't tell anyone I recommended it and for godsake don't tell the record label you joined". It was like he'd told me a very grave secret.
What do you feel is the difference between an artist remixing a song and an artist sampling a song for their own work?
Well generally, if you're doing a remix you already have a framework for the track and all you need to do is put your stamp on it.
If there's a good vocal or a good hook line then it shouldn't be too difficult but sometimes you get asked to remix something that has very little to it so it ends up being a lot more difficult. With some of the remixes I've turned down, I would have basically had to write a completely new track around it, so I'll only take on a remix if there is some good original materiel in there. On the flip side sometimes a tracks is so good there's literally no point even attempting it. If someone asked me to do 'Take On Me' by A-Ha for example. I mean what can you do with that, it's perfect!
On your Facebook page, you post a lot of old school dance videos. What are your top 3 old school jams?
Ah well of course they change every day!
But right now I'd go for these:
Jason Joy - Free Your Body (Piano Mix)
This is the correct use of sampling.
FPI Project - Everybody (All Over The World)
And here we have a perfect example of piano and vocal combo.
Westbam - Wizards of the Sonic (Red Jerry remix)
Cheesy? Maybe just a bit but certainly ahead of its time.
Finally, anything you'd like to say to your fans?
Thanks guys! All the support over the last few years has been incredible. Making music can be quite lonely at times, just staring at a computer screen and you've absolutely no idea whether anyone's going to like what you've done. So when I see people adding the tracks on Hype Machine or Twitter or wherever it really makes it worthwhile, to know that someone somewhere is enjoying the songs.
I'd like to give a special shout to the people who've really supported me over the last few years, some of whom I'm even lucky enough to count as friends so big shout to David Portell Bernard, Danny Wilde, Trym Myrvang and of course all the crazy friends I'm yet to meet - Alberto Romo, Victor Zagoraquiz Jimenez, Turner, J.T. Parker, Sampo Kaskia, Bertrand Rum, Xuvi De Mezico, Quentin Barrioz, Matthew Neophytou, Ju Koba and sorry to everyone who I forgot - new album soon-ish!
Written or Contributed by: GLX