CARTER TUTTI is the current project of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter, who have been breaking all kinds of artistic and musical ground since even before they started Throbbing Gristle. They’ve done too much to recount in the space we have here. Cosey recently spoke to us on behalf of both of them, Chris being temporarily unavailable.
Chain D.L.K.: How would you describe your creative process (es)? And what conditions are most conducive to working on your music?
Carter Tutti: Our creative process is quite unorthodox I suppose because we don’t have any idea what we want to do really. We don’t write music, so we turn the gear on and dive right in and see what feels right. An essential part of the music-making process is physicality between us and laughter…always has been.
Chain D.L.K.: Where do you find inspiration? Or, what drives you to create?
Carter Tutti: Cliche…the world around us. Personal events, and the tragedies and joys that befall those we know and don’t know. The full spectrum of human emotions. The unexpected. I do tend to have to be profoundly moved by something before I can write lyrics. The instrumental tracks we do create themselves really. We ‘hear’ what needs to be there and make and record the sound. It’s about listening and feeling your way through each piece of music.
Chain D.L.K.: In collaborating with other artists, what would you say you’ve learned from them, if anything?
Carter Tutti: That each time we work with someone, it gets harder. We have built up such a symbiotic relationship in every way that working with someone else is weird. The best thing about it is that you have to let someone else in when you’ve been so used to being in control. But the gift is that they bring some wonderful dynamics that we would never have discovered without working with them. I think the only other person we’ve felt comfortable working with is Sleazy. We didn’t feel any sense of compromise at all, it just felt like the music was ‘one’.
Chain D.L.K.: Suppose there was a “heaven”, and you went there– what music would be playing there?
Carter Tutti: My ‘heaven’ would only have natural sounds. The lapping of waves and the rustling of grasses and trees. I adore the peace and quiet…weird as it may seem. I like to feel that I’m just another tiny part of what makes up the space I’m in. I hate intrusions to the natural way of things. It’s so insensitive and I’m very much about sensitivities.
Chain D.L.K.: What musicians or artists (in any media), contemporary or not, do you think are underrated or underappreciated?
Carter Tutti: All artists/musicians who don’t worship at the feet of fame and fortune. Those who create because it’s not an option not to do so. These people are precious and should be acknowledged for the joy and important and essential contribution they bring to not just culture but the lives of millions.
Chain D.L.K.: What do you see as trends for the future, in music or otherwise?
Carter Tutti: A backlash against the mind-numbing, thumping, trash dance music that has a vocalist/s yellingbollocks at me…It’s a musical manifestation of the present attitude of people. That is, they speak (yell) even though they have nothing to say. It’s a form of mania. I just think ‘deadhead’ got it so right. On the plus side I see lots of positive moves on the independent scene. There’s a new surge due of good innovative ‘full’ music and art…as opposed to the vacuous crap that’s prevalent right now due to there having been an emphasis in creativity as a ‘career’. I’ve never regarded it in this way, it’s always been a way of life. If I can’t express myself in some creative way I get stir crazy. I can’t live in any other way. There seems to be a trend towards annihilating the human race but needless to say I have hopes that this doesn’t last.
Chain D.L.K.: What does the future hold for Carter Tutti, or for each of you individually? Any plans to tour?
Carter Tutti: We’re recording our first CARTER TUTTI album right now and really enjoying ourselves. Changing our name like this gives a signal that there should be no expectation of ‘Chris & Cosey’-type music. We are different people now and consequently our music is also different. We’ve felt a definite axis-shift in the past two years that just seems to be getting stronger and it’s very empowering. We don’t tour any more mainly due to my heart condition. Also we prefer doing one-off shows or just two. That way we keep the music in its correct context. The future for CARTER TUTTI is indeterminate and that’s the way we like it. It will evolve in it’s own way at its own pace.
Chain D.L.K.: What would you like to be asked, and what would your answers be?
Carter Tutti: Can’t think of any other than the obvious. I like questions that ask me things I’d never think of asking myself.
Chain D.L.K.: If you could choose to have a unique mutation or deformity, what might it be?
Carter Tutti: To repair the unique heart mutation I have now. That way I’d be healthy and not having to compromise all the time. I would be blessed with the freedom that good health brings.
[interviewed by Maren] [proofreading by Maren]