INTERVIEW WITH FIXERS
Another band from Oxford! What it is about Oxford that produces such decent bands?
It’s pretty nuts, it actually dawned on me the other day as to how many exciting albums are coming out this year by Oxford bands – it must be something in the water! With it being such a small city, we all know each other kinda well which is nice. Realistically though, it never seems great to geographically define bands – I have never been a massive fan of doing so. Everyone is talking about Oxford at the moment and it’s exciting but when the heat inevitably dies down there will still be lots of musicians doing what they love to do. I’m personally excited to hear the Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Chad Valley albums – If Hugo’s album is anywhere near as good as his cooking then its gonna rule. The man makes one hell of an apple cake with creme fraiche.
How important was BBC Introducing to you?
The BBC have been very nurturing to us over the past year and it’s exciting to have someone like them championing and exposing your music to so many other people.
Your early releases were on cassette – what sparked that decision?
I find it so fascinating, that due to their lack of durability, there is a whole layer of production that is self-implemented every time the listener plays the cassette. I remember going into my parents’ attic and finding an old Vangelis cassette and when I played it it was so worn out – it sounded incredible, you could hear the last twenty years warbling and manipulating itself from within the cassette and into your ears. That’s what I love, the notion that in no fixed period of time, a listener can put on a cassette tape and get a whole new musical experience from it. There is also a conscious neglect for digital music in physical format. We all know that CDs are made up of high quality, and now publicly obtainable, WAV files – the magic is lost there.
Fixers is an intriguing name, tell us about it?
Jeez – it really means nothing, I’m not even a massive fan of our name! I try to forget about it, I guess I hear it so much that it becomes second nature but whenever its addressed I start to cringe a bit. Given the chance I’d change our name to Heloisa Vinhas. That is the name of the hit and run victim and aspiring Brazilian actress that Tom Cruise stopped by the roadside to help out. He actually took her to the UCLA medical center and paid for all her medical bills too.
You name Brian Wilson as one of your influences, what do you think about his recent live appearances?
I’ve seen him eight times now since 2009 and I have loved every single show. To be honest, after the first few times I found myself getting excited about different things rather than the music itself. Every time I have seen him recently I have wanted each song to end as soon as I have found out which song it is so I can see what he is playing next, his setlists fascinate me. I will go and see an entire show just on the off chance that he might play a song he hadn’t the previous time, some times it would be in vain and every now and then he would deliver the goods and pull out something a little obscure. The problem for me is that he dwells upon the earlier stuff too much, I love that stuff to bits but within a live capacity I really long to see some more of the post-Pet Sounds material like SMiLE, Love You, Holland and Carl & The Passions. I understand that his involvement waned somewhat after SMiLE but he often says that Love You is his favourite album (as do I) and to hear some of it live would just blow my mind. As for Holland, I’ve read him talking so enthusiastically about the amazing Funky Pretty at the end of the album – to hear him play that live would be incredible. The most exciting thing about a Brian Wilson show nowadays is his exchange with the crowd, it’s worth going to wait in anticipation between songs to see if he will feel confident enough to allow you into his mind for a few minutes with the odd impromptu retort. I’m always glued, wide-eyed – its something else. Nothing is more antagonising than people belittling Brian Wilson within an intelligent capacity because of his running mental health issues. I spoke to a girl at a festival once who described him as a lovely old grandfather figure of whom she just wanted to give a big hug to. It’s a lovely sentiment but come on, this guy would blow all of our fucking minds with his musical knowledge!
And Korn, is that right? How do you feel about their reunion?
That was kind of a joke, albeit a rather unfunny one. Did they reunite? Shit, I didn’t even know they had split up.
Your influences seem quite broad, what’s the most obscure influence of yours?
I don’t know. I have been listening to project called Zero Kama recently. It was an eighties cassette release and all the sounds/instruments are played on human bones.
Finally, if you could fix one thing in the world, what would it be?
One thing? I’d think it wise to consult someone on a slightly higher plateau of thinking than me before depleting my “one fix”. If I didn’t, I would just end up blowing it on something totally impulsive and banal like rectifying the Tower of Pisa so it no longer leaned.
Fixers support Kaiser Chiefs on their Bristol Colston Hall gig on February 22 and return to the region in May for their own headline tour – which stops off at Exeter Cavern on the 12th, Cardiff’s Buffalo Bar on the 14th and Bristol Thekla on the 15th. More information at www.fixerstheband.com
by 247 Magazine