talking to big brother: an interview with fischerspooner

everybody knows fischerspooner, everybody danced to emerge back in the days. and even if that wasn't the case, these lyrics somehow got burned into your brains, i bet. with the help of our firends at kitsune we had the chance to do an interview with casey spooner, one half of fischerspooner, who recently signed to the french hipster-label. a step in a new but old direction as warren fischer and casey spooner are somehow the personifications of what is known as commercial art-electro-pop-whatever, an ambivalent reputation one might think.

so if you wanna find out what a newyorkee thinks about hypes, majors, selling records and art, read on, he should know by now. without further notice here it is in all its pure beauty:

k: you define yourself as an art performance project and met in chicago at an art school. i haven’t been to one of your gigs yet but have been exposed to ‚emerge‘ like a thousand times while being in kind of an indie-phase. that actually never was too arty, more about beer and cheap sex. how would you describe your shows to someone that has no idea about what fischerspooner really is?

c: one of the things i love about this project is that it can be many different things to many different people. it is flexible. we have done almost ever type of show in any type of situation. sometimes it is the grandest of the grand or the rawest of the raw. i like both.

k: your second album odyssey was more prominent to me - very poppy, very new-yorkish in my opinion. in comparison to other bands acting in a comparable genre it was also very hi-fi. you worked with linda perry, mirwais or victor van vugt, all names in their area. what were you aiming at and what was it like to be in one boat with such „experts“?

c: we started very underground and made the first album in a very modest way. the first record was about making something as digital and synthetic as possible. when it came time to make the next album we wanted to go in a different direction and to explore all of our new found resources. to explore a fuller, richer sound and learn from other people. also, we saw this as the end of an era in the music business. we wanted to make a record that was a tribute to major label "bands".

fischerspooner - the best revenge (autokratz righteous retribution remix) (dl) (ysi)

k: what kind of new input and inspiration did you obtain from these collaborations? did the band fischerspooner develop to something else, because of that?

c: i learned a lot in making that record. it was intense and difficult. i considered quitting many times. but working with people like mirwais, susan sontag, linda perry, spike stent, jimmy harry, david byrne and so on was incredible! i gained a better understanding of how to put songs together, how to be a better singer, how to write better melodies and lyrics and much more.
it is very strange and intimidating to work with people you admire. on the one hand it is a dream come true but terrifying when you are face to face with someone you respect. the whole situation was a real crash course for me in music production. for the first album I worked in one studio with one engineer (no assistant) and warren. but for the second record, i had to learn to be creative surrounded by strangers in different studios. sounds silly but it was a big deal. it was a creative process that had been very private that had become very public with a world of people watching.
we choose to present ourselves more as a "band" for the release of the second album. we wanted to create a performance that reflected the themes and concept of the second record. an album that was about this lost and romantic notion of american rock music. signing to capitol records was as much about the iconic building and the logo for us as anything. it was very symbolic. we altered our project and show to reflect that.

k: you had a quite popular approach to the things that you were doing, an approach that earned you fame and big money. have you ever had problems with people‘s envy or criticism, claiming you were not art but sellout?

c: the hype became exhausting. it was strange to go from having nothing for years to having too much too fast. it was all very exciting but very fast paced and hard to manage. we were a performance art group that was just barely getting by. we had no manager and no infrastructure to handle the demands of the music world. i literally wore holes in the bottom of my shoes running around trying to organize, record, manage and rehearse the whole endeavor. we made some serious mistakes along the way but we did it our way. we have always been the brunt of much criticism. i actually think that is a good thing. what we do is unusual. i prefer a divided audience. one that equally despises and adores. you aren't doing anything interesting if everyone likes it.

k: now you are signed to kitsune, a more underground label compared to the majors you worked with. what were your motives? did you want to go back to the roots, maybe even work without monetary pressure again?

c: yes, exactly! no bullshit! just focus on the music and the art.

k: speaking of kitsune, a label that evolved out of the so-called „new rave hype“: how much do modern movements in music influence you? are there any bands, genres or artist you fancy, support or even envy a bit?

c: i am into willie nelson right now. i wish i could sing and write a melody like him. i was raised in the south so i have been rediscovering popular country music from the 80's. and i am reading mark twain. i envy people like wagner and damien hirst. artists who dream big and find ways to make it happen.

k: oliver koletzki was supposed to remix your new single. he‘s someone i know from stil vor talent, a small berlin electro label with quite a bit of an arty background. did you ever meet him or is remixing more part of some distant work relationship?

c: i never met him. but i love his remix.

k: speaking of berlin: there’s quite a lot going on right now fashion- and designwise, there is still so much free room, cheap rents, affordable galleries etc. as artists, have you ever been interested in the way berlin ‚works‘ or have you even thought about working here?

c: i almost moved to berlin in 2000 but i fell in love. two of my favorite performances we ever did were in berlin in 2000 at wmf and kunstwerke. berlin was the first place we performed outside of nyc. it was incredible and the audience was amazing, one of the best in the world. (aside from barcelona). i would love to come to berlin to live and work one day.

fischerspooner - the best revenge (alex gopher retaliation remix) (dl) (ysi)

k: on the other hand, what would you say is special about new york? what is it like to live and work in that nervous big apple?

c: i couldn't do what I do in any other city. fischerspooner is nyc. we collaborate with so many amazing creative people especially when we design a show. right now we are working with lots of great dancers, musicians and artists. it is the thing that holds me to this town. it is a challenge to be an artist and survive in this city. but it is that struggle that helps clarify what you do and why you do it.

k: just recently one of you started playing the laertes in the wooster group's production of hamlet. what do we have to expect from fischerspooner in the future? more versatile work in different kinds of art or are you trying to re-focus on music again?

c: i took a break from fischerspooner to go work with the wooster group as an actor. it was always a goal of mine to work with this company. now they are helping us develop the next fischerspooner show! we like to take the form of many different things, we wanna be versatile, we enjoy making many different things that all somehow come together in the end. it is all a single expression refracted through a prism. we follow the ideas and let them take us to new places. otherwise life would be too predictable! we are finishing our 3rd album now and developing an unusual performance to accompany this release.


fischerspooner released two eps on kitsune lately, one called the best revenge, one danse en france. both should be available in your favourite record store or the kitsune online shop. be sure to check out both releases as they contain some serious gems. other than that visit fischerspooner's homepage and their myspace for more info. or even google them, they're big enough. like in very big.

thanks to fischerspooner and max from kitsune for giving us the opportunity to do this, you're great! like in awesome.


  1. conclusion: g4y pr0n! ;)


  2. me love fischerspooner. Besonders beim Joggen... Danke fürs Teilen!!!

  3. schmitzi, du alte famebitch! :)

  4. well done!

  5. my god! How come someone who knows NOTHING about the band is doing this interview? these are the worst questions i've ever heard! seems like the guy who did this quickly read the press info before doing the interview.
    (talking to CS and asking "...just recently one of you started playing the laertes..."?!?!?! hello, not quite sure who of the two it was?!
    and all that berlin cheap free room creative please come to this city crap from a berliner is just SOOO BERLIN...)
    Go to NYC!

  6. thanks for the well formulated critics. they're really constructive and well considered. i'll work on that. not. ;)

  7. Errr... Berlin is in a golden era. Basically, its New York during the 80's. Or maybe you weren't around during the time period...

    Have fun paying the outrageous rent.

  8. well, we're like millions of miles away from high rents. actually other than maybe somewhere in the woods you won't be able to live that cheap anywhere else in germany. thanks to our laws that won't change dramatically for at least a couple of years.
    so we're gonna enjoy that 'golden era' a bit more.