After a nine year hiatus, New York-born electronica duo Fischerspooner seemed to decide now was the time to return and return they have. Releasing a truly hot record steeped in the homoerotic tradition of European electronica, the messages purveyed by the band seem to ring out like a shot in a time rocked by the refusal to accept others due to things like sexuality, gender identity, and their portrayal in the world at large. The original duo consisting of Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner have been in the orbit of the project for two decades now, have accrued a team of talented musicians and performers for both their recordings and extremely well-regarded live shows. Luckily in all the time spent preparing for their three show stint from March 14th to 16th at historic California venues such as The Regency Ballroom, The Fonda, and The Observatory (tickets available via their
Northern Transmissions: My first question would have to be regarding the longevity of the project itself in a sense. Would you (Warren) say that yours and Casey’s decision to returning to work together under the Fischerspooner moniker has always been a unanimous one?
Warren Fischer: I guess so. In fact we never stopped. We’re just slow. There have been tensions at times, but we always respect each others’ views so [that’s what makes] the project work.
NT: How has your respectively changing lives and other projects/pursuits affected that decision over the years? Or would you say you’re always working on Fischerspooner in a sense?
WF: Fischerspooner is a creative space that’s very unique and can never be replaced. I think we’ll do it till we die. The older we get the weirder it all is and I love that about it. When we’re 80 we’ll release our best album. John Peel is my spirit animal in this regard.
NT: Would you say that your ongoing commitment to the project over the past two decades has strengthened your body of work due to the fact that you are watching music (and even the world itself, politically and socially) grow and change around the project, and even take inspiration from that itself?
WF: I think that culture shifted in our direction over the years, which is why we wanted to make something different with this album. We hadn’t done an aggressively homosexual record, and felt like it was time to do so.
NT: How would you say that this new record plays into that considering the immense leaps the world has taken in the 9 years since “Entertainment”? Is there a ‘takeaway’ for listeners of “SIR” in your opinion or do you feel that it should be treated as standing completely on its own?
WF: Michael Stipe [Producer, R. E. M.] was a revelation in songwriting for us as well as everything else. He’s amazing. Andy Lemaster and Michael Cheever we’re also huge contributors, so we found our tribe for this record and it has it’s own sound due to that.
NT: Obviously your live performances have grown exponentially as both the art and art direction of the project has evolved, what can fans new and old expect from your newest batch of live shows? Is there anything in particular you want to draw attention to directly or do you feel it exists more as a collective piece to be experienced ‘in the flesh’ so to speak.
WF: I guess I would say the shows are defined by a few new ideas. One, the amazing lighting of John Torres, who does Robert Wilson and Kanye West. Second, solo dance appearances by an amazing revolving cast of mind blowing professionals from go go to ballet. Thirdly, the politics of sexuality and lastly, our best live band ever with Michael Cheever and drummer Gunnar Olsen.
Interview by Maguire Stevens