New JF interview in Factmag – on art of sampling, (not) playing live, idols and more

The second interview for Foregrow that you’re about to read is courtesy of Fact Mag.

An intriguing title, Grill Yr Idols: John Frusciante on fame, free jazz and the genius of Public Enemy hides gems on musings about artistry spoken throughout multiple conversations between JF and the young journalist. Once past the author’s own appreciation history and the fear of conducting the interview; what John says is pretty interesting.

There is insight on what Foregrow is not (hint: Carpenter), how working with Black Knights looks like and a point where John mourns the recently deceased Ornette Coleman.

Early on, he is asked about his love for hip-hop and he talks about the first time he heard Public Enemy’s second record and how the work of Hank Shocklee blew his mind.

Music like Autechre and Venetian Snares and Aphex and Squarepusher, [it’s] an extension of what Hank Shocklee had been doing with Public Enemy,” he explained. “This music that felt like it just came out of the air by magic or something.” (His belief in a near-mystical source of human creativity came up in conversation again and again.)

Screencap of err, page with the interview
Screencap of err, page with the interview

Later on, he talks about how musicians should never stop learning.

Musicians should never stop studying, he continued. “You’re only going to make money if you play all original material. That puts a really weird thing in musicians’ heads, and it seems like in hip-­hop especially, there’s no understanding of that kind of learning – that type of learning that every jazz musician had to do, that every folk musician had to do, that every rock musician had to do in the early days, which is spending years playing other people’s music. And with rap, with my friends, they were playing a CD of The Chronic or 36 Chambers, and I’m playing guitar along with it and Monk’s rapping along with it, and when we did that together it was kinda like studying together. It was like the teacher was coming out of the speakers and we were the students.”

In the end, he says something that could apply to any form of art.

“Music comes from the inside of the musician,” he responded, “and when you’re on tour, you’re so aware all the time of the impression you’re making on the people looking at you and listening to you. It gives you the feeling of being an object. And I think most musicians would be lying if they said that they didn’t, after touring for a long time, just think of an audience as a bunch of objects themselves. They objectify you, and you in turn objectify them. They respond the same way to the same things every night. They seem like machines at a certain point.”

We are too excited over the last two bits we quoted to actually be able to retell you everything, so you can read the whole thing here.

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  • John

    I didn’t get the “creepy” part where you said the interviewer was guessing what John was thinking.

  • Engelberta

    This is only a tiny bit better than the previous interview, because it does not contain tabloid journalism. Everything else is the same – this obsession with seeing the person vulnerable and thinking they granted you a privilege of some sorts, while they’re most likely just being themselves. The thing with getting into journalism just to do this. The “I am so special, I am the biggest fan ever, I am so deserving because I learned a bunch of interviews by heart and I make references to them” narrative. The assumption that one knows what the other person thinks and adding their mimic while they cannot actually see their face. It all comes down to the same thing.

  • smp

    fluient Hebrew Israel when shadows collide with people came out end feb 2004 I was very depressed ashamed suicidal anxiety panic attachs I didn’t really want live anymore pleaded with god to take me to heaven get me out of here I don’t want to live anymore all thanks to PLAYSTATION psp ps3 ps vita ps4 I,m kinda glad I stuck around playstation saved my life from suicide braintumor head spaces shitty zonas……..arcadium best thing about not throwing away yer television getaway

  • Iva

    Can you, please, not tell her what to do or assume what she’s thinking (see what I did there)?

    Engelberta is entitled to her own opinion as much as you are to yours.

  • John

    No, I don’t comprehend. You’re trying to relate what I said to how the interviewer did something you thought was innapropriate? I’m willing to listen. I didn’t tell her to do anything. It just seems like his fans are super possessive and I don’t think the writer can be judged by his fans as he is a fan people should empathize. There’s probably some envy and possessiveness.

  • Iva

    It comes across as extremely patronising. Neither Engelberta nor I are obliged to elaborate to you.

    In terms of John’s fans being possessive – I have seen it all on the course of twelve years and you are seeing things the opposite way from me. Also, your definition of an “obsessive fan” probably has nothing to do with mine.

    So, I’ll leave you with the following:
    It takes a fan to reach out, but it takes a mensch to figure out the “don’t bother me” signals. It takes a lot to realise that this person is not at our disposal and that he should not be, to begin with. It’s awesome that everybody has their own story of a saved life, but the act of wanting to share it with the person for no apparent reason is, in its core, selfish; as this person is only a piece of the puzzle of whatever “saved” you, or the catalyst. The act of wanting to see somebody stripped down – not literally, of course – just because there is a way you can do it, is selfish. Fandom is, in many ways, a selfish thing.

  • John

    Hmmm. I get it that youre are trying to protect people including John. I meant no harm. There is so much confusion just look at commenter smp. Compare that with these and it shows how insane John’s fans are. ALSO, he didn’t have to do the interview.

  • steven matthew pickett

    I,m ahh welfare case live on like 500.00 bucks ahh month but I love good music I want to get black knights medevil chamber & the almighty trickfinger album & the new black knights album the getaway june 17 I love animals I want to get the most posinus snake from all over the world WESTERN TAIPAN train him to become my best friend feed him grade 1 lsd liquid acid microdots white clinicles grade 1 magic mushrooms blue caps big aquarium when u become very close friends with GOD u can do anything resrect an animal dolphins help dolphins 04/30/10 orl & jf

  • Blah

    He does not have to do the interview. He should know that he can’t control the interview, but I suppose the way he handles it is fine too. All in all, nothing wrong with the interviewer being an obsessed fan, and nothing wrong with John essentially saying “next question” to questions he’s not into. But if he gets rude and can’t handle what should be expected from fans/interviewers, he should stop doing these interviews altogether. After all, it sounds like he has the money where he basically never has to do this stuff ever again.

  • Bobert Schlonggobbler

    Pseudo intellectual BS analysis without depth or empathy. Don’t go judging what you assume to be the motives of others. At no point did the interviewer insinuate he was the biggest fan or more deserving of an interview than anyone else. He was just sharing his personal experience — the impact JFs music had on him during a difficult time.

  • imnothingimnobody

    This was an excellent interview for me. I especially loved reading John talking about his dynamic with Black Knights, and the connection he sees between The Book of Lies and Ian Curtis’ lyrics. The connection there made much more sense to me than how it was referenced in the blog post about Foregrow, and made me appreciate John’s approach to lyrics in a new way.

  • SMP

    write out ahh welfare cheouqe to ahh worthy classy persnon in society non fritzel from austria give that stupid fuck snake bite rabie shoot donate some money to rhcp arcadium good ps4 games doom battleborn mutant ninja turtles call of duty infinite warfare solitaire collection mortal kombat write out money big quanties to rhcp donate vids to result respectful people in society non fritzel from austria non dummies

  • Jack

    This was a fantastic read! Really well written and has really made me think about different things. Interestign perspective too, being that the interviewer was a big fan too!

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