Releases Appearances Videos Reviews+more Links Personal
From 'Ten Shortcuts' interview with Barry Fry, March 2020. Published here with permission - thanks Baz...
Ten Shortcuts - a new interview series focused on individual musicians/label owners with a standard set of 10 questions which I’m asking the artist to take away and fly with, go wherever they wish with responses. No interviewer interruptions or fluff. The aim is to give more control to the subject rather than an interviewer’s ‘style’ of writing. I hope 10 shortcuts will continue to give a voice to both established and new artists from diverse backgrounds of limitless imagination for as long as forallandnone.com is around.
Year of creative inception (current and previous musical forms)?
Concrete/Field first crept into the light in the Summer of 2008, after 36 years of aimless mucking about making noises with electronics & computers, failing to learn instruments, not getting bands together etc. Noise In Opposition became a thing in 2012.
Influences; musical, visual, other?
The two big figures of spiritual inspiration for C/F have always been James Kirby & Steve Stapleton for their utterly unstoppable dedication to doing their own thing whatever the consequences, both musically and in the way they present themselves and their work. Other musical thought leaders in my orbit would definitely include John Balance (my second son has John as a middle name), Peter Christopherson, Justin Broadrick, Kevin Martin & Mika Vainio.
Other influences on my mindset include post-apocalyptic fiction (Wells & Wyndham), surrealism (Giger & Ernst), infrastructure design documents, deep abstraction, concrete (at the altar of William G Mitchell), forteana and Twitter rage spirals.
For ease of entry which particular box or style do you associate with your work?
The question all artists hate! Don't put me in a box, man! Haha, OK then - Main Genre: Avant Electronics, Sub-genre Influences: drone, rhythmic noise, field recording, musique concrete, old-school industrial, hip-hop.
Latest main project, album, release etc?
After a shockingly long time, my Concrete/Field collaboration/remix/split release with Scottish technoise don Savier came out on Acre Recordings just before Xmas. A bit before that saw the 5th installment of the Noise In Opposition Joint Statements series with Plastic Face/Tabby Sensibilities (Russ Smith of Terminal Cheesecake fame) and Burnthouse Lane (Simon "Mothboy" Smerdon).
Do you approach recording material in the same way or does the process evolve with each release?
I'm consciously trying to avoid using the word 'experimental' when talking about music, as it gets hideously over-used, but there is always experimentation in what I do and recording is often inspired by toying with new processes or ideas, so I am consistently inconsistent.
How do you view your work as being linked to the outside world; ie political, environmental, etc?
No surprise that politics informs everything I do. The influence may be more subtle in the Concrete/Field releases (though I've just realised that the last 5 compilations I've given tracks to were all politically motivated!), but :M:1:9: (currently inactive anarcho-noise project) and Noise In Opposition are clearly, vocally political. I despise fascism and bigotry and am proud to say so loudly and at length by any means available to me. Nationalism is a cancer, as are misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism. Anything which belittles another human on the grounds of who they are is a vile perversion of thought and must be resisted. Similarly, untamed capitalism has created societies where human lives are ground to a paste to oil the machinery of profit for a miniscule few and the planet's biosphere, atmosphere and lithosphere are polluted and destroyed.
How has the way you present your work changed over the years within the framework of ‘industry’?
I'm not sure that I exist in that framework. I am plugged in to the welcoming fungal network of what a great sage once christened the No Audience Underground via various social networks, but I don't so much "present" my work as release it into the wild to sink or swim. In short, I'm crap at promotion.
How do you approach presenting your work in a live setting?
Multiple people have advised/cajoled/bullied me into the idea of performing live, but it's something I still haven't got my head round how to do. I'm pretty detached from the sort of social scenes and contacts you need to get things happening as well, which doesn't help. Also time and money are restrictions. Basically I have a whole sack full of excuses.
I'm wary that the influence of Balance & Broadrick on me also extends to enthusiastically promoting fantasy projects which never actually get done, but I have promised Coldsore I'll split a tape with them and Cahn Ingold Prelog that I'll remix them. :M:1:9: is straining at the leash to be rebooted and spew some rage-fuelled anarcho-noise bile and I fully intend to get at least one 'proper' Concrete/Field release out this year too. On the Noise In Opposition side, I'm working on Joint Statement #6 and a couple of other possibilities rattling round my brain.
Is this the end of time?
Things are looking grim for the human race and a lot of other (innocent) species, but in reality 10 million years from now there will be barely any trace on the planet that we ever existed. On the other hand, I am fascinated by the concept of Eternalism or "block time" which suggests that time is a fixed dimension like the 3 dimensions of space and all moments exist simultaneously. That would make the idea of time 'ending' impossible :)