Jammerzine Exclusive: An Interview with John Fryer
- An Interview with John Fryer Jammerzine Exclusive 40:43
The music scene, as well as the music business, has gone through a massive transformation in the last three decades, and I’m not just talking stylistically. Social media has gone from word of mouth to facebook, twitter, YouTube and so on. And John Fryer has been there every step of the way. His producer credits are a whose who in the history of modern music (see below). He’s also created a wide variety of his own music that is just as varied. He did this in quite a unique way (see interview). And now, we converse with him about his journey both as a career and musician, but as a fan of music. I call this a conversation because that is what it is. A learned conversation from an excellent teacher.
Check out his latest project Black Needle Noise (links below) and get a sample of inspired originality.
About John Fryer
Legendary producer John Fryer, one of the most innovative sonic architects on the music scene, is releasing new music under his new project Black Needle Noise, dubbed “the spiritual successor to This Mortal Coil” by Cold War Night Life. Best known for his production work, he also branched out as a musician as one of only two constant members of This Mortal Coil (along with Ivo Watts-Russell), providing keyboards, strings and synthesizer sequencing for the band, and its offshoot, The Hope Blister.
In 1979, John Fryer started his career at London’s Blackwing Studios (London) and soon began working with seminal bands on the 4AD, Mute, Rough Trade and Beggars Banquet record labels, including Depeche Mode, The Wolfgang Press and Cocteau Twins. His achievement in helping develop the latter’s pioneering ethereal and ambient sound ultimately led Watts-Russell to recruit Fryer as his partner for This Mortal Coil.
He has produced many other groundbreaking artists, including Yaz (Yazoo), Nine Inch Nails, Clan of Xymox, Nitzer Ebb, Love and Rockets, Xmal Deutschland, Fields of the Nephilim, De/Vision and Stabbing Westward, Swans, HIM, Cradle of Filth, Jesus Jones, Swallow, M|A|R|R|S (A.R.Kane & Colourbox), Kristin Hersh and many others. More recent projects involve Dead Leaf Echo and The Foreign Resort.
Over the past two decades, John Fryer has also produced several film soundtracks, including Seven, Clerks, Johnny Mnemonic, Mortal Kombat, Faust and Resident Evil: Apocalypse.
The latest Black Needle Noise single ‘Swimming Through Dreams’ features renowned ethereal vocalist Mimi Page, who recently co-wrote and contributed vocals and programming on four tracks from Delirium’s 15th studio album ‘Mythologie’, which debuted at #7 on Billboard’s Electronic charts. Based in Los Angeles, she is also a singer-songwriter and composer of cinematic dream worlds.
This is a hypnotic ethereal track with swirling echoed croons, layered over a bed of textured dreamy electronica.
John Fryer and Mimi met through the album listening party for Delirium last September. After learning that she is a huge This Mortal Coil fan, the two undertook to collaborate. “We wanted to capture a very atmospheric dreamy sound and I think we did that. It was a great pleasure working with her as with all the vocalists on Black Needle Noise.”
Black Needle Noise creates the virtual soundtrack to movies you haven’t dreamt of yet, presenting musical soundscapes, audio alchemy, and sonic sculptures with film noir blues overtones. Nobody should be surprised by the fact that this music brings to mind artists ranging from Cocteau Twins to Nine Inch Nails, bothl of whom he has produced.
“Black Needle Noise takes you to a whole new level of Shinier, Richer, Darker Noise PoP. This project will just keep growing and growing – there are no rules or boundaries for it. The music will be whatever it will be – whatever comes out of me. It can go in any direction it wants. As long as I keep going, it will keep going”, explains John Fryer.
The project has been low key since commencing last year. “I was going to release the first track ‘Bang Bang’ on my birthday (January 11), but that very morning it was announced Bowie had died, so it kind of knocked me sideways that day”.
Long-time fans of John Fryer’s musical output will be drawn to his trademark sound, and new listeners will love the layered richness, experimental tones, effects and melodies. Informed by decades of sound-crafting, the advent of Black Needle Noise marks Fryer’s continuous and ever-evolving move into the future.
Black Needle Noise is releasing singles one by one towards the next album. Other recent singles feature Jarboe from Swans, Canadian-born songwriter/ guitarist Jennie Vee (she also plays bass in Courtney Love’s band Hole), as well as Omniflux of Puscifer., Kendra Frost of Kite Base, Andrea Kerr of Colt, Elena Alice Fossi of Kirlian Camera, and Zialand, among others.
‘Swimming Through Dreams’ will be available via iTunes and various streaming platforms, and is already available on a pay-what-you-want basis via Black Needle Noise’s Bandcamp page.