Chain D.L.K.: Good morning, Mr.Leigh! I know you like to be awakened by a birdsong. I read it in an interview about your musical habits and I immediately thought of the start of “The Garden” after reading that answer.
Well, first of all, how are you?John Foxx: Good morning, Vito. I’m very well, thank you. It’s spring and we have sunshine – and birdsong, so England is very bright and cheerful this morning. No need for recordings.
Chain D.L.K.: How’s the relationship (or can we call it “interplay”?) between Mr.Leigh and Mr.Foxx?
John Foxx: We get on very well sometimes. Most of the time we have to ignore each other. I keep him in a box under the stairs – Or is that me?
Chain D.L.K.: From the undoubted heights of your artistic vision and artistic path, what are the moles of contemporary “electronics”?
John Foxx: Actually, I think I’m the mole. Being underground is much more fun. I only visit the surface occasionally.
Chain D.L.K.: Let’s introduce “Interplay”, this collaboration with Ben Edwards, an encyclopedist of electronic music and talented musician, in my opinion.
John Foxx: Oh yes – Ben is an excellent musician in his own right. Also a very talented producer. He reminds me very much of Conny Planck, who recorded everyone from Kraftwerk to Neu! in Germany. The same generosity and complete dedication to music. They even look alike.
Chain D.L.K.: First of all, will you ever forgive his decision of not including a mention of the Roland CR 78, a device you like, in his “Twenty Systems”?
John Foxx: Well, I guess it wasn’t included because it’s a drum machine, rather than a conventional synthesizer.
Chain D.L.K.: And will he ever forgive you for a track like “Burning Car”, if we consider his youthful passion for cars, superbly evoked in “I Am 9”?
John Foxx: I think that’s one of his favourite pieces. Ben seems to have burnt several cars.
Chain D.L.K.: So is “Interplay” just a sort of nostalgia in spite of its lovely new dress, or what?
John Foxx: Interplay is really a continuation of everything Benge and I have been doing as musicians – so there’s no nostalgia at all. Meanwhile, it seems that a new generation has chosen electronics as the basis for their music – in much the same way as the Beatles and the Stones chose to base their style on Blues and American pop. Perhaps this generation will change things as much as those musicians did. We’ll see.
John Foxx: It’s certainly not a description of my bank account.
Chain D.L.K.: I like to imagine “The Running Man” as the logical chain of fate of “The Man Made Of Shadows” you wonderfully depicted in that story published in Extreme Voice – does this fit?
John Foxx: There’s always a “Running Man” in the news – someone who has discovered something other people want to remain a secret. He has no choice. This also reminds me of “Burning Car” – I wrote that song because every time I switched the television news on, there was film of a car on fire. Probably one of Ben’s.
Chain D.L.K.: By the way, is it possible to chase him or not? What about his destination? Does it have anything in common with human kind’s fate in general?
John Foxx: You never find out where he goes. He just runs across the television screen sometimes. It’s a lonely life. You can’t stay long.
Chain D.L.K.: Any anticipation on forthcoming performances?
John Foxx: There is the Troxy show in London with Gary Numan and others soon. We are discussing other live performances at the moment – there have been lots of offers – Europe, The US, then China and South America. But there are five albums already started, with various people, and I intend to finish them all this year. This is the priority.
Chain D.L.K.: Just a “biographical” question – when your fore running talent abruptly began to emerge, you got an invitation from London SS aka The Clash to join them – any regrets about your final decision?
John Foxx: Oh no – The Clash was a great band and I really like what they did, but electronics was always much more my scene – I need to go back to the laboratory occasionally for a rebuild.
Chain D.L.K.: Many fans – especially the ones liking your “dystopian” side – are presumably going to have some trouble understanding the brightness of the final track “The Good Shadow”, but it’s also the one where I perceive the touch of Benge’s creativity the most… so what does it relate to?
John Foxx: I think it’s quite sinister if someone wants to watch over you. It would certainly make me want to run. You’re right about Benge – It was completely based on one of his synthesizer arpeggios. Took about 20 minutes to do the whole song.
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