PDA

View Full Version : Fixx article from today's Chicago Sun-Times



marathon
07-18-2008, 12:58 PM
Hi, all. My interview with Cy ran today. I hope it helps draw a few more folks to the show tonight. Thanks to my sainted editor for letting me write something about our heroes. Only caveat: I'm not smitten with the tone of the intro's third & fourth paragraph, but my heroic editor felt like "reduction of scale" and nostalgia ("seeing old friends") were important to note. I do love the title he gave the piece.

My intention is to convey that our boys are still vibrant and active. We hit that note by mentioning "steady touring and release of new material," and "Everyone Believes in Something" from the upcoming release. And clearly, Cy still has plenty to say and do.

- - - - -

[graphic: Chicago Sun-Times logo]

POP/ROCK ::
The Fixx is in: From 'Red Skies' to green living
July 18, 2008

BY JEFF ELBEL

With the shimmering guitar and apocalyptic vision of “Red Skies at Night” and “Stand or Fall,” British rockers the Fixx stormed American radio in 1982. A string of enduring singles including “One Thing Leads to Another,” “Saved by Zero,” and “Secret Separation” gradually distanced the band from the new wave tag thrust upon them by the dawning MTV generation.

Though the band took a hiatus following 1991’s “Ink,” the Fixx have steadily toured and released new material since the mid-90’s.

The tours just aren’t as big as they used to be. “React,” a live album by the Fixx, was recorded in world arenas. This weekend, the Fixx joins other former ’80s arena acts the Alarm and the English Beat performing in Chicago — at the Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville.

Fixx vocalist Cy Curnin spoke with the Sun-Times about seeing old friends, pressing environmental issues and pressing shirts.

Q. The Fixx have been together since 1979. That’s a successful marriage by any measure. Who does the ironing?

A. [Former Fixx bassist] Chris [Tait] used to come knocking, “Can I do your shirts? I really love ironing; it calms me down.” We all do our own ironing these days. I’m staring at the board right now. It’s still a bit warm, and waiting for [guitarist] Jamie [West-Oram] to come back and press his stuff.

Regarding our time together, you're taught that life is linear with years behind and years ahead. Everything is goal-driven, and you’re never allowed to enjoy the moment in that old concept. But if you look at life as a horizontal wave, everything’s in it at once. That’s what this band is about. When we’re onstage, the years drain away. We don’t think about where we’re going; we’re just in that moment. That’s always been worth cherishing. It irons itself.

Q. Dan Brown is back on bass, reforming what many consider your classic line-up. How has that impacted your shows?

A. It has opened up the cellar vault. Some old songs are really coming alive for us, like “Yesterday, Today,” a fan favorite from “Ink.” We’ve never played it without him. The last time I had played onstage with Danny was ’92 in Germany. We toured the States in ’91 with The Alarm, and here we are back with The Alarm and Dan again!

There are other songs we wrote with Danny that we want to work up, like “Big Wall” from “React.” We haven’t performed it since we recorded it. We’re also playing “Everyone Believes in Something” from the new CD we’re preparing.

» Click to enlarge image

[photo of Cy Curnin singing in Portsmouth, VA. Photo by Lisa Bell Roden.]

[caption] Cy Curnin of the Fixx has become more environmentally conscious through living on a French farm.

Q. You mentioned your lengthy relationship with The Alarm. More recently, you've partnered with Alarm frontman Mike Peters’ charitable foundation Love Hope Strength. What has that experience given you?

A. Quite frankly, in mid-life, it gave me something useful to do. It’s like, “rock and roll altruism? Yeah!” Mike is a true inspiration to all of us. He has survived leukemia a couple of times. Backstage last year, he asked, “Hey, do you gentlemen want to come up Everest and help shout my message?” The early detection of cancer is what it’s all about. We joined, along with Glen Tilbrook from Squeeze and other great people, and made the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest rock concert ever. We left $600,000 in Katmandu for cancer screening material.

Now, the charity is gearing up for a trek to Machu Picchu in Peru, to raise more awareness. Many people on the trek are living under the sword of Damocles of being cancer survivors. Those that went up Everest didn’t come down survivors, though; they came down champions. People can go to lovehopestrength.org to get involved. This issue touches everyone; it’s like looking for grass or the color green.

Q. Your interest in green issues was captured on singles like “Driven Out,” and now you maintain a working farm when you're not traveling. Has your perspective changed on sustainable living?

A. I was alongside everyone else in the supermarket, reading sell-by dates, ripping cellophane wrapping off my food and having huge piles of garbage. Then by circumstance, I found myself living in the middle of a little farm in France that had never had insecticide spread on it. My wife wanted to start a guest house. We needed vegetables to cook for people staying there. We’ve been learning by mistakes and listening to the old guys who still know the techniques. We have pigs, sheep, turkeys, horses, chickens, and the vegetable garden. We’re probably 100 percent self-sufficient in meat, and 40 percent in vegetables. It just so happened that what I was doing in my little world exploded as a need in society. Biofuels. Do we feed people, or do we move people around? Do we maintain sustainable growth? What do we do with recycling?

The French are far ahead of the game on recycling, the Germans even moreso. To give you perspective, the garbage guy in Germany comes to the house once every six weeks. The rest of it’s on your head. Compost, compress, burn. As we talk, I’m in a New York hotel room overlooking a mountain of black garbage bags, and the garbage truck is cruising down. There’s an army of waste management here.

I used to live here, and used to think that if the garbage stayed in place, and you had little combustion chambers on each block where all the combustible stuff could burn, you could generate heat and energy for each block from that waste. But it just gets taken away somewhere else where there’s way too much of it.

I don’t ever want to preach about what I’m doing; I just wanted to have a personal exodus from the way we were living. I didn’t want to feel dependent anymore. If the supermarkets shut down, what would I feed my little daughter? Why don’t I know what I’m eating? People take more care of what they put in their cars than their mouths.

Q. Do you need people and activity to feed your creative process, or is the quieter life on the farm just as good?

A. It’s very good; it’s more of a zen-like state. Instead of talking s---, I’m shoveling it!

________________

Rockin’ the Colonies
featuring The Alarm, The Fixx and English Beat
8 p.m. Friday
Cubby Bear Lounge, 1059 W. Addison
Tickets, $30
(312) 559-1212

Here is a link to this article at the Chicago Sun-Times website: http://tinyurl.com/64xscx

DanBoutin
07-18-2008, 01:49 PM
Nice job on the article. Hopefully it will help bring a few people to the show tonight.

I like the theme of the article...covering what's relevant to what's going on with him today.

I'm in the process of changing jobs, getting back a couple of hours a day by not commuting. I hope to start eating healthier and working out more as a result. I'm not planning on farming like Cy, but more stir fry's instead of eating processed foods should help.

Dana
07-18-2008, 04:08 PM
Great article! I really appreciate how you brought out some of Cy's wonderful spirit and depth. Thank you for sharing it with "the board." :tup:

Carrie
07-23-2008, 09:39 AM
Great job! I'm always thinking that Cy's ideas could use more exposure to the public, so thanks for doing your part!

Rupert also mentioned them working up Big Wall when we saw him. I was PSYCHED and hope if it doesn't surface by the end of this tour, that we can look forward to it in November!

Only two miles' drive to work and proud :tup:

hazelnut
07-24-2008, 11:12 AM
Thanks for posting this! . I don't know how I missed this before, but it's a great interview. I think he represents the Fixx so well. And I have to say, I think he does a fantastic job of talking about these issues in a way that is not preachy or overtly negative. Mind you, I think there is a lot to be negative about (!) and he could preach to me all day about the importance of localized food sources and wastefulness of resources in the U.S., but that approach is usually not effective in motivating people. His thoughts on this topic are always interesting to read.