By Steven M. Housman
In Season: Goldfrapps Black Cherry
I was asked by a friend, whats Goldfrapp? I bubbled over with enthusiasm and answered, Goldfrapp is the latest-greatest girl musician/singer from London with a fantastic new dance album. The friend shrugged and said, oh no, another circuit album. At first I had to convince him that this wasnt just another circuit album where one track is undistinguishable from the next. This was a mesh of dance and disco and one of the freshest and most exciting CDs Ive heard in a long time. Alison Goldfrapp originated all of the material with her collaborator Will Gregory. In discussing her US debut, Alison told me of her fascination with recording Black Cherry: her sophomore effort, as well as her love of the studio vs. performing live, her early influences and what recording artists she enjoys listening to. Dont take my word for it, listen to the CD and hear for yourself. Instinctively, youll find yourself increasing the volume and the music will undoubtedly take you higher. Bottom line: Its the kind of music that makes you smile.
All of the songs on Black Cherry are awesome- how did you decide on Train to be the first single?
Actually, it was just instinctual. I dont know how these things happen. It just felt right.
Do you have a personal favorite song on Black Cherry?
No, not really. I like all the songs for different reasons. One week Im really into one thing, then it changes into something else. At the moment, I really like playing Strip Machine live. Weve done two gigs now and thats one I definitely like to perform.
What draws you to this type of music?
Ive always been into disco, 70s covers, electronic. Its whatever Will [Will Gregory, co-writer and band member] and I are into doing at the time.
Speaking of Will [Gregory], or do you have songs that are solely yours and does he have songs that are solely his?
We always write together. I keep a notebook of stuff and lyrical ideas, but we really get going when were together in the studio and then everything comes together. Quite often, Ill write the lyric but nothing really gels until the music is written.
How old were you when you knew you had a gift for writing music and performing?
Oh my God (laughs), I dont know when I had a gift but I certainly discovered the voice, as it were, quite young. My Dad played me Carmina Burana and that just gave me goose bumps. I just thought it was so amazing that a person could make such an incredible sound. It was just out of this world, so I was really inspired by that. When I was at academic school, I found singing to be quite spiritual and it gave me confidence. It was a way of expressing myself, it felt quite natural.
Tell me who some of your favorite recording artists are.
Prince and Roberta Flack are two of my favorites.
What is your preference, the recording studio or live performances?
Ooh, theyre so completely different. The studio is a place where you can really let your imagination run wild; its a really creative process and sometimes agonizing, but definitely creative. I think playing live can also be amazing because its the moment thats really stimulating and spontaneous emotionally. But ultimately, theyre two different processes that are equally important to me.
Is there anything youd like to add that I havent asked?
Just to enjoy listening to the CD as much as I did making it.
© 2003 Steven M. Housman. All Rights Reserved.