Electronic Beats interview

Electronic Beats have just posted an interview conduced with John over the phone some days ago and, while it’s not as in-depth as the one for Groove magazine; it contains many interesting bits of information.

Amongst other things, John shares how he didn’t like rave at first, how he left a rave club because they were making hip-hop and how he eventually had a phase where he made three hip-hop albums. He lists works from Johnny Jungle, Komakino and Pure White/Orca/DJ Crystal as his favourite rave records from the 1990s. He also states that nobody other than him has heard the music he’s been making for the past year and a half, which Alternative Nation, and many others after them, reported in their own piece, calling it “no longer releasing music”. Such a statement does not appear in the actual interview.

Here are some excerpts from the interview.

Maybe we underestimate imagination.
What the imagination gives to the experience of listening is a big thing. Punk and rave and the original pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll: those periods of music are really important because they were pure energy. The atmosphere around the music was apparent. For me, a lot of the electronic music that’s made today doesn’t seem to be made for people’s imaginations. I don’t hear a lot of atmosphere; I hear a lot of compression. It’s an unfortunate direction. I like when music has mystery around it. There are still individuals making music around the world that has atmosphere and imagination, and who are obscure and unknown. I hope that one day our industry figures out a way to promote this kind of thing, instead of music that drills itself into our heads and is promoted to death. It was really nice for me as a kid to listen to punk rock and have very little idea who the singer of Black Flag was, or who the singer of the Germs was. I just knew I lived in the same city as them, and I knew I breathed the same air as them, and that was enough to set my imagination aflame.


Yeah, I was going to ask if you’d ever tried to make jungle.
There are jungle drums on my albums Enclosure and PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone. Both those records have a lot of breakbeats, but there are also guitars and synthesizers. I was trying to do my version of what Black Sabbath or Depeche Mode would sound like with jungle drums. Going faster was a big challenge. Around when I was making acid house stuff, I programmed a jungle-type beat into my Machinedrum that played really nicely at 168 bpm. I was really proud of myself—it didn’t sound tense, the way drum machines have a tendency to sound when you speed them up.


As far as making acid house, I don’t have any desire to. Recently I’ve been making really abstract music out of samples. I don’t have any preconceived idea of what I’m going to do going into it, I just let the samples guide me, and gradually add in synthesizers and drum machines to it to round it out. At this point I have no audience. I make tracks and I don’t finish them or send them to anybody, and consequently I get to live with the music. The music becomes the atmosphere that I’m living in. I either make really beautiful music that comes from classical, or I make music where the tempo is moving the whole time, and there’s no melodic or rhythmic center. It’s just disorienting music that’s falling apart.

You can read the whole interview here.

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  • Leon

    Always nice to read about John. He always seems He has some kind of kidness within himself. Like, he understands stuff no one else would understand.

  • 30400v

    My comment is offensive in its own way? Can you explain?

    You’re the admin so I’m gonna stop here, but I’d like to know why my comment seems offensive…

  • 30400v

    Okay. But I’m not sure that my first comment is understandable enough so I’d like to explain it.

    What I meant is that what seems like John being “an antisocial pretentious prick” to Larry (which I don’t agree with) is in fact some unavoidable manifestation of John’s higher intelligence.

    What you mean by black and white is that whether people hate him or praise him but no inbetween?

  • Larry Vanhaze

    intelligent he is,but also antisocial and he regurgitate the same sh,it every interview,it’s kinda getting stale

  • D.S.

    I loved this interview. I’m puzzled by comments, here of all places, accusing him of being pretentious and antisocial. He’s always been more about working on his own than pleasing consumers, and he usually gets philosophical in interviews. I thought that’s what we liked about him? I mean, yeah he’s a great guitar player, but who cares about that, really? There are lots of great guitar players. There’s a picture of John standing beside a Basquiat painting, and he got Julian Schnabel to do the cover art for By the Way– he’s all about the creative black sheep.

  • MikeV

    No longer making music with intention to release it. He mentions he has a long back-catalog of recorded material from 2008-2012 that he may put together releases with (Trickfinger LP was recorded in 2008, but released just this year).

  • Tolik Sirotinsky

    Incredible interview. So much insight, the end of it was very inspiring honestly. Makes me wanna continue all the projects I have in my DAW out the wazoo.

  • Yankii

    This is so painful to hear! But I am very thankful for the inspiration he gave me over the years. And I still have a little hope that he will release music again…

  • Iva

    This is not TMZ. Plain and simple. Please, watch your language and do not diagnose people we don’t know in person using highly-offensive terms that you don’t know proper definitions of. “Antisocial” is a trait of psychopaths and has nothing to do with “not being particularly friendly” et cetera.

  • MB

    Curious to me why people are disappointed by the interview, it has song recommendations by JF and the questions and answers are good too.

    Easily one of the best interviews of the last few years from what I’ve seen.

  • Yankii

    Cause people doesn’t like the fact he have no intention to release music anymore. That is mean his career is over and we will never hear new music from him, I think it’s pretty clear.

  • Joseph K.

    He said something similar before and then eventually released again. Besides, I’ve read it in a way that he will no langer create(!) music with intention to release it, because it will influence you/him in a certain way. In his “own words” I’ve read nowhere: “I will never release music again at all.”
    The Trickfinger record was also recorded with no intention to release it to the public and several years later we all got a listen to it, for what reason ever he decided to release it.

    I suppose the press just turned the meaning of his statement a bit around to draw more attention to the article. It’s a common procedure in media, because with a statement like this you’ll get much more attention then with “non-shocking” facts. Please correct me if I’ve got a wrong interpretation because I maybe missed an important detail.

  • Iva

    “He also states that nobody other than him has heard the music he’s been making for the past year and a half, which Alternative Nation, and many others after them, reported in their own piece, calling it “NO LONGER RELEASING MUSIC”.Such a statement does not appear in the actual interview.”

  • Meta

    So naive thinking he’s more intelligent because of that. Not every autistic children hides a genius (although he showed us that with all his extensive work). You’re way judgmental about it.

  • 30400v

    Yo Meta, I think you misinterpreted what I wrote.

    What you think I think :

    John is “antisocial” and “pretentious” -> Oh, then he must be autistic, therefore he’s a genius

    What I really think :

    John has a superior intelligence (and I do think he’s autistic) -> that’s why people (I mean Larry) assume he’s an antisocial pretentious prick

    Also I can be as judgmental as I want since it’s my fucking opinion (as long as Iva think it’s okay)

    (Iva, please, could you ignore one diagnosis and one bad word in this comment)

  • Untitled #6

    Why are we categorizing people we don’t know personally at any level. The guy has made some of the best music I’ve ever heard. He could have rather frightening tendencies or an antisocial personality (which does not equate to being a psychopath? I do not understand that connection. Some people are extremely introverted. Others have been hurt repeatedly by other people).

    In general, I don’t understand the assertions of personal arrogance, psychosis, or anything in between. That’s different from the artist and an entirely unfair standard. You just don’t know. Why don’t you stick to the art, and maybe leaving the TMZ to the TMZ is the smartest thing in this thread.

  • Iva

    I am not sure why is this a response to me in particular, because I agree that we don’t know, I just don’t think the fact that we don’t know should go hand-in-hand with the usual martyr stuff because people who proclaim it typically have as little respect for the community as the “Frusciante has [insert the condition here]” do; with one major difference: they’re almost always some sort of art snobs, while the others are wannabe guitar heroes who hate “techno” or whatever other wrong term they use for electronic music.

    The person who started the ugly discussion came to this website through TMZ and what happened after he left his first response should not be happening here at all. As in – no mental illness accusations, no connections of intelligence to any specific quirks and no generalisations. Frusciante is not an idiot, not a deity either. He’s an artist, so let’s go back to discussing art.

  • Gloria

    I think he have A dificult personal life in this moment . he needs think and slow, and we only can wait for him if we love him. Sorry for my English.

  • Untitled #6

    I thought this was the most interesting excerpt from the interview. Key words are: electricity, energy source, ‘god on the outside, directing it’

    “A synthesizer, where you have to connect each component, mirrors a
    human body, and it’s a mirror of nature as well, contained within one
    thing. A simple example is that a filter is like your mouth and the
    oscillator is like the wind coming out of your throat. When you’re
    dealing with elements like electricity, you’re dealing with an energy
    source from a mysterious place that we have inside us and makes us
    alive, you know? And you’re manipulating it. You get to be like a god on
    the outside, directing it. You could also say the synthesizer is like
    the parts of your brain that tell your body to do something.”

    This person uses remote neural monitoring (“gangstalking”) attacks on others.

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