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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