In a lengthy interview for Ultimate Guitar, the godfather of straight-edge and the frontman of Minor Threat, Fugazi and Evens, Ian MacKaye, mentioned John amongst the musicians of today that he appreciates. Upon that, the journalist, a JF fan himself, asked him to share some insider scoop on what he knows of the upcoming projects. While he, just like some others did not know more or did not want to foreshadow that the world is in for a big surprise, he had nothing but words of praise for the man he produced DC EP for.
Please note that this interview was done early in May before information on Letur Lefr and PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone surfaced; and that the somewhat-pessimistic approach of the last quoted question might have been different if it wasn't so.
Are there any bands or guitarists today you appreciate?
[...] like I think John Frusciante is incredible, the way he plays.
Do you know what he’s doing now that he’s out of the Chili Peppers at all?
Yeah, he’s working away on new ideas. He’s got all kinds of stuff. He has these really specific ideas about music and he’s following those ideas, and it’s fucking incredible. He’s playing guitar, but he’s using a lot of computer stuff, and it’s very interesting. He’s a friend of mine, so it’s hard for me to know what other people think of him in terms of his music. I think he’s a genius and his ideas are really intense. What he’s doing is very hard to describe.
And the thing about it is, to John, it doesn’t make a difference whether or not anybody ever hears it. And that’s just the way it is. He’s making it for himself, and that’s the mark of somebody who’s…
That’s the mark of a true artist or a true musician.
Yeah, like all artists are translators. Visual artists see something, and are trying to translate it so other people see it. And musicians hear something, and they’re trying to translate it. They’re trying to find what they can hear and they’re trying to recreate it. I think there are different levels of that. But I think Frusciante’s taking it to a really pure level. Because he’s trying to pursue something that only he knows what it is.
It’s intense when you phrase it like that. There’s all this debate within Frusciante’s fans – all the people you say you don’t know they feel because you know him as a person – there’s a whole debate whether the fans are ever going to hear whether John’s doing right now, and should they even care since it’s all about creating that sound at this point.
I think he is pursuing something that has not yet been made, so therefore cannot be described. So that’s just the way it is. And you know, almost once a year I’ll see him and hear what he’s working and be like “Wow, this is really out there.” But I bring him up, because there are musicians that I have known, and occasionally I’ve had a chance to play music with them, and when you play with somebody who’s on a certain level, that their relationship with their instrument is so intense, that when you play with them when they’re on their instrument it elevates your playing. And I can definitely say that’s the case, just messing around and kicking it and fooling around with John. Just a couple of acoustic guitars or something, you realize he’s really at one. He knows his shit.
Many thanks to Daniel Bogosian, the interviewer, for having been so kind to let I-M.net know that he'd just interviewed Ian, giving a little sneak preview of it and for allowing it to be shared further.