On an earlier post I reviewed the E.P. Strange Buildings by Jenn Vix and if you read it you will know that I throughly enjoyed it.
After some deliberation I decided to see if Vix would be kind enough to grant me an interview. I cautiously reached out to her not really knowing what to expect as she didn’t know who I was and to my delight she agreed.
Here is some background on Vix’s early career before we begin the interview:
In 1984, a one off band saw Vix performing back-up vocals with Nicole Willis from the Soul Investigators, Phil Painson, David Strahan and Adam Horovitz of The Beastie Boys. In 1995 the self titled “Jenn Vix” was her first solo release on her own label, Umbrella.
To date she has released three studio albums, two singles and an E.P. and had several collaborations.
- Reeves Gabrels – “In the House of Dark Shadows” – January 24, 2012
- Speed of Light – April 22, 2013
- Andy Anderson – “Eyes Roll Back” – March 13, 2015
- I Don’t Trust You – June 29, 2015
- Dirk Ivens – “F*ck, Rinse, Repeat” and “Burn” – May 23, 2013
- John Ashton – “The Woman With No Fear” and “Weirdo” on the EP, “Strange Buildings” – November 17, 2015
Now lets get to the interview:
What’s on your MP3 player right now?
I listen to music on my iPhone, Satellite radio, old CDs, and on the official pages of artists on YouTube; unless it is something out of print. I own records, but my turntable got destroyed in a flood; I should get a new one. Today, I listened to Kitchens of Distinction, Killing Joke, Wire, and some old Blues tracks.
Today I was listening to Depeche Mode – Songs of Faith and Devotion.
What albums inspired you to take up music?
The Cure – “17 Seconds,” Joy Division – “Still,” Siouxsie & The Banshees – “Kaleidoscope,” Wire – “154”, Roxy Music – “For Your Pleasure,” Talking Heads – “Remain in Light” Soft Cell – “Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret,” Cabaret Voltaire – “Live At The YMCA,” David Bowie – “Station To Station” and “Low,” Stevie Wonder – “Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants,” The Police – “Regatta de Blanc, and “Ghost in the Machine,” CAN – “Ege Bamyasi, Kraftwerk – “The Man Machine,” “The Velvet Underground and Nico,” and Human League – “Travelogue”, Split Enz – “True Colours,” and The Glove – “Blue Sunshine.”
That’s a fantastic list of bands and now I think I know where your great sound comes from.
How do you spoil yourself?
In all honesty, I don’t. I probably should once in a while though. I take daily walks and I drive by the ocean, but that doesn’t really count as spoiling.
I envy the fact that you can drive by the ocean, living in Seoul doesn’t allow me to do that.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
Ray Bradbury, and I would serve him Italian tomato and bread soup, which I’ve read was a favorite of his.
Didn’t know he was partial Italian tomato soup, I enjoyed his book The Illustrated Man.
What is your favourite 80’s band(s)?
Several of the 1980s bands I like, started out in the 1970s, and some are still active today.
I like Wire, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Soft Cell, Abecedarians, The Jesus and Mary Chain, PiL, Edwyn Collins/Orange Juice, The Teardrop Explodes, The Stranglers, The Cure, Gary Numan, Section 25, New Order, The Associates, Tones on Tail, Killing Joke, Japan, ESG, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Bow Wow Wow, Yello, Bush Tetras, and so many more.
So many great bands in this list, most of which appear in my record collection as well.
What is your favourite current band(s)?
The Raveonettes, Sleep Party People, Fischerspooner, Old Man Diode, Sylvan Esso, and Battles, to name a few.
I guess my next music search are the bands you just named.
You have had collaborations with musicians like Reeves Gabrels, Andy Anderson, Dirk Ivens, Dave Barbarossa, and John Ashton, who would you like to work with next and why?
Massive Attack, because I love their sound. They are brilliant! I’d like to sing on one of their tracks.
I look forward to hearing that.
What does the next 6 months look like for you?
In all honesty, I try to take life one day at a time, as I’ve been through an awful lot. I won’t get into the deep details of what has happened to me, as it is potentially triggering for some. I will say that I’ve managed to survive three life-threatening incidents.
As far as music plans go, I’m working on a new single now; looking for a funky sounding guitarist to lay down some tracks on it; it’s in the Trip-Hop/New Wave – Soul genre. I’m also trying to find a third band member, so I can get back on stage again.
That sounds pretty cool, hope to hear it soon.
What are your 3 favourite films?
Fahrenheit 451, Blade Runner, Bedazzled (original version,) and two extras; Victor Victoria, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. There are so many more. I can’t name just 3.
I heard the next Blade Runner is due for release next year (2017), will it equal the quality of the first I wonder?
What are your favourite TV shows/streaming shows?
Last of the Summer Wine, The Young Ones, How It’s Made, The Avengers (Peel and Steed,) classic Doctor Who, I Love Toy Trains, and The Prisoner,; feat Patrick McGoohan, The Tube, and Soul Train. I could not handle Breaking Bad, though I tried, and I used to watch The Walking Dead, but it’s just too much for me right now in my present condition; which I briefly mentioned above.
I love that you have some British classics in there like The Avengers.
Who makes you laugh?
Eric Idle, Billy Connolly, George Carlin, Peter Cooke & Dudley Moore, Denis Leary, The character of Compo, on Last of the Summer Wine, prank phone calls on YouTube, and The Aardvark; from The Pink Panther cartoon.
I really enjoy watching the Billy Connolly stage shows, I never tire of his routines.
What have been the most significant achievements you’ve had with your music so far?
Playing and recording with above mentioned musicians. I also had my debut album reviewed in Rolling Stone, which shocked me, because at the time, I had no distribution, no media kit, and no PR agent.
That’s an amazing feat and credit to you and your music.
Do you have any favorite stories from the industry that you would like to share?
I have quite a bit of dirt, so I’d better watch my mouth here; I won’t get into the secrets. *grin*
In the mid 1980s, when I was a teen, Iggy Pop was my neighbor for a year, in the west Village, off of Broadway. He used to crack jokes at me when I’d bump into him in the lobby, or at the corner store. I worked at Tower Records, on Broadway, during this time. One afternoon, my boyfriend at the time and I were eating lunch in the Kiev Restaurant, on the east side, when we heard someone banging on the window next to our table. I looked up, and it was Iggy; James, doing a silly dance, and pointing to the bag of records I had on the table. I showed him what I had bought, and he yelled out “That’s some good shit!” through the window. I’d love to talk with him again.
That’s exactly how I imagine Iggy Pop acting.
If people want to know more about Jenn Vix how can they find you online?
My music is at all streaming and retail sites: Spotify, YouTube, iHeartRadio, iTunes, Bandcamp, Apple Radio, CDBaby, etc…
Thank you so much Jenn, that was a great interview, I really appreciate you taking time out to do this and I loved the story about Iggy Pop.