The first interview for Foregrow is up on Vice’s Thump website and it’s an unpleasant read at times. It starts off as a tabloid article with a sensationalist title, the intro is full of bits from what seem to be malignant sources and then it gets sort of odd. But don’t take my word for it and don’t let what I say spoil the read; because the things John shares about his creative process are fascinating and a good read for every artist – professional, amateur or aspiring.
Here are some really good bits
THUMP: I read that Foregrow was made in 2009. Do you have a lot of material that’s just stored away?
John Frusciante: Lately I’ve built up a lot of stuff like that. I was making music [in 2008 and 2009] without the intention of it being released. It’s a mindset that I think is really valuable when it comes to learning, without having the self-consciousness of knowing that it’s going to be for other peopleâ€”when it’s just for you and your friends.
But lately, in the last four or five months, I’ve started doing material that I see as conceptually bound togetherâ€”and then even the music that I was making back in 2014 turned out to be conceptually bound together. What I’ve fallen into in the last couple of years has been unexpected and has revealed itself to me rather than me trying to achieve an object.
Is the desire to learn these new forms a big part of your drive to make music these days?
I’m constantly trying to understand more and constantly trying make things difficult for myself, to create challenges. I do this thing where I’ll start putting a piece of music together and then I’ll destroy itâ€”do things to sabotage myself [so I] have that challenge of putting it back together in a new form. It’s one of the great things about electronic music in comparison to traditional musicianship: you find yourself being able to have a back and forth with the machines. You don’t know exactly where you’re going.
Is there something about electronic music that’s made electronic especially absorbing in this way? It’s been your main way of expressing yourself for the better part of a decade now.
It’s hard to explain to people who aren’t devout musicians themselves. Whether I practice along with a record or whether I’m making [my own] music, I get the sensation of going inside of something in the same way that you’d go inside a house and be separate from the world. I notice it especially with using things like the modular synthesizer or the [Elektron] Monomachine or the [Roland MC-202]. When I’m making music I cease to exist, [but] also the outside world ceases to exist and I’m in a world that I’ve created.
You can read the whole interview at this link.