Fink - I Fink Therefore I Am
Friday, 19 October 2007
“Making music didn’t occur to me in the slightest until I met people who had a different type of dynamism,” he says, puffing away on a cigarette. “Mine was being busy all the time; for others, their dynamism was having the money to buy the kit. But I wasn’t that technically minded so if someone knows how to do something they can do it and I’ll stick with what I know! I had friends that bought samplers and I got out the guitar.”
He adds quite frankly that he came from a musical family where mum and dad played the piano and guitar respectively. It was the hobby family musical life that was the big step needed for him to take.
“Going from playing to producing isn’t easy; I’m glad I’ve made the switch and it’s something I had to do and I can sing and I can play,” he says. “For the longest time I didn’t think I was up to it. It’s ok to have talent but for me it felt like electronic music was really humble. There were no press shots of anything on the cover. We were trying to say the music is more than the personality but this is the opposite – the music I’m producing now has a human being on the cover rather than some sort of abstract element. The Smith’s put photos on their covers that had nothing to do with the music itself. But like José González, I’m cool, I’m onto it.”
Indeed, his album Distance and Time is a most soothing compilation of ballads that possess a certain bizarre urgency. Something like rock’n’roll without the thrash, and jazz with a twist. It is a coup in terms of its ability to focus on what it does best. Its very raison d’être is to present lyrics and instrumentals in a pure and elegant format. And Fink sees it as his best work.
“I think every artist sees their latest work as their best stuff,” he admits. “A lot of water has been under the bridge. A lot of hindsight will tell you that hindsight was and is the best thing. But honestly, I think this is loads better than what I was doing before and the learning curve – the achievement graph – is, in my opinion, looking great. It’s getting better every time, though the album does have different kinds of songs on it. It’s solid – we found our band – and it’s the first time since being in one that I can say we’ve found our sound. It was fun, however it wasn’t a seismic shift from our album Bishops for Breakfast. I’m a big believer in having to reinterpret your material to get to where you want to go and it has been a great experience for the lot of us!”
“With this album we have worked in a really organic way. One of the good things about being an acoustic trio is there is nowhere to hide. If one of us stuff up, people will hear it big time. But if something sounds really good on stage then we go with it. We did a gig with Zero7 recently who had a massive group up there with a really focused performance – but they had to stick to it. We could change what we wanted though – if we liked something in the dressing room we could change it quite easily when we got on stage. We’re all one and we work really well together.”
WHAT: Distance and Time through Ninja Tune/Inertia
WHEN: Out Saturday 27 October