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19th October 2018

Lexicon Of Love

Q: Sometime on the last weekend of June 1982, you would have received a phone call from someone that Lexicon Of Love had debuted at No. 1; what are your recollections of that moment and the days surrounding it?


MF: Totally surreal! I was signing on the dole (claiming unemployment benefit) up in Sheffield and used to take the train or sometimes hitch-hike down to London to 50 New Bond Street where the record label was. We had made the record and kind of felt we were onto something good with the sound of it and Trevor Horn but I always felt there weren’t enough tracks on the first album. It never really sank in. Avalon by Roxy Music was No. 1 and we pushed them to one side and I love Roxy – grew up following them – but it’s just a blur. At the time, you should have time to reflect on and recognize those moments and enjoy them but you don’t. It’s BANG! and off you go somewhere else. A couple of months later, I was in Sheffield where I had a little bedsit and I went out and it started snowing. As I walked up the street someone was having a party with the window open and they were playing the The Look Of Love and they were all dancing and singing and I looked up and thought ‘Yeah’. That’s a great feeling. I had heard the record on the radio of course and we had been on Top Of The Pops but it was a kind of a trip and it brought home to me that the record was now public property.


Q: You now perform that album with an orchestra.


MF: About five years ago we played the Albert Hall. Anne Dudley came back in and we charted the songs because for an orchestra you have to chart everything for each instrument. That took a bit of time but we kept doing shows and expanding on the songs and I was amazed by the reaction really because there are many albums that have come out since 1982 but people were really excited. We played a few shows and will probably do an orchestral tour in April 2019 in the UK. We’d love to come to Japan and do it when we’ve perfected it. We did some shows in Croatia with their orchestra.


Q: When performing the songs from that album live, is there any difference vocally either in performance or training you have to do when switching between ABC and a full orchestra with choir?


MF: With an orchestra, it’s like being in front of a jet, piloting a massive jumbo airbus (grins). Everything has to be in its right place, you can’t veer off for a couple of bars or extend anything so that’s the main thing – the discipline, nailing it each time. Vocally you don’t have to sing any louder but you do because you’re in a tuxedo and at the Albert Hall. You’re right; it is a different way of performing.


Q: Nick Heyward was hear recently we and chatted a bit about the 80’s and the videos back then. I asked him about the video of Love Plus One and he told me they had no idea why Arista had come up with that jungle theme; they just turned up and shot it. Was that how ABC was with videos for songs like The Look Of Love or did you have more involvement in them?


MF: Yes it was different to Nick as we were more involved. We were lucky because we got to work with Julian Temple for the first video we made which was Poison Arrow. Lisa Vanderpump was also in that who is now a big star in America with her own TV show and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. We had a very different idea about how we wanted to look, we wanted to look like a Jerry Lewis movie or Powell & Pressburger kind of film from the 50’s with superannuated colour and humour in it. For The Look Of Love we wanted to be like Benny Hill really; slapstick comedy. We lived and died by what we threw into it. It was always a collaborative but often with the record company they would hate it. We did a whole album called How To Be A …Zillionaire! where we wanted to be cartoon characters and they used to pull the posters off the walls (laughs). They were aghast until the records hit the top five in America but I have to say, growing up and going to see The Clash and the Sex Pistols, that was kind of why you wanted to be in a band in the first place – to wind people up! I think there was an element of that.


Lexicon Of Love II

Q: Lexicon Of Love II feels as if is put together like an album that was made in the 80’s. Was that a conscious decision that you made?


MF: Yes, Side 1, Side 2. There is a lot of great records and music around but sometimes it’s a three track album with seven other tracks because you hit it on iTunes or Spotify and just hit the first track. With Lexicon Of Love II we applied he old-school method where track 8 is as good as track 2 and it has a shape to it.  Great albums are like that. Bowie, Roxy Music and that’s what any artist does isn’t it?


Q: It is.


MF: Yeah from The Beatles through to Ed Sheeran. The hardest ones were tracks 9 and 10, trying to sew it up by writing a lot of extra material and Anne Dudley was there arranging the strings and stuff.


Q: Given that you had Anne Dudley working on it, did you consider calling Trevor Horn for the producer’s chair?


MF: Yes. Over the years, people have always tried to get us back to work together but it’s never really come off. We played at the Prince’s Trust (2007) which he produces and he came down to the Albert Hall when we played with the orchestra and did a speech at half-time but when it came to making the record, there was a time about 3-4 years ago where he was saying come down and let’s have a listen but the time just didn’t fit. I was just listening to Trevor’s record. He’s done a thing called The Reflextion, an album for an animation film. Having said all that though, working with Gary Stevenson, working with Anne…Trevor was in the room (smiles). He was in the room but he’s not getting any royalties! (laughs)


Q: How did you manage to capture the ‘80’s feel and yet a give it sound that is very much 2018?


MF: Well I’ve been playing a lot of shows and you’ll see it tonight; if the audience is happy, they are thinking of times when they didn’t have a lot of debts, divorces and all those problems you get when you grow older. They are so happy and I wanted to do new material that sounded familiar, flipping nostalgia so to speak and it worked. I see that a lot in films and stuff now as well. The new Bladerunner was like that where you had elements that reminded you of the first one but it was a new thing.


Other stuff


Q: You did a marvelous job on the 2004 Deluxe Edition of Lexicon of Love: Are we ever going to see a nice Blu-Ray bells and whistles edition of Mantrap?


MF: Ah yeah! That’d be good. Lisa is also in that of course. Soon I guess; I’m trying to get a box set going. I’m talking to Universal and Virgin. The film is still around and Polygram who are now Universal own the rights. It’d be fun and it’s a period piece.


Q: It is. A couple of previous interviews I read mentioned that you are an avid reader; what are you currently reading? Any recommendations?


MF: Yeah 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari. He also did Sapiens; his books are really good. It’s all about trends and future trends. Things that they think might happen.


Q: Was your gold-lamé suit a nod to Elvis?


MF: It was a way of getting attention I suppose. Yes, I suppose so. We hitch-hiked to London and I went to see a guy in Carnaby Street named Colin Wilde who had made clothes for Marc Bolan and he made the first gold-lamé suit for us. It’s a magical suit and I probably owe all the success to it. Once I put it on, there was no turning back.


Q: Have you ever met one of your heroes?


MF: I was in a bar once when Mick Jagger came in – that was cool and I met Bowie at Top Of The Pops. He was doing Up The Hill Backwards and he came in on the Tuesday to tape it. He came walking down the corridor towards me and I didn’t really know what to do but he stopped me and said ‘Oh Martin’. He was so friendly and then he asked if I had been on stage yet and I said no. He seemed very informed and he had come to a couple of shows and watched us. In fact the last time I was in Japan I had bought Black Star on the Friday and he sadly passed away on the Monday – 10th January 2016.


Q: And what a great farewell album it is.


MF: It is.


Q: Mr Fry, thank you very much.


MF: Thank you.

マーティン・フライ インタビュー2018


『Lexicon Of Love』


Q:1982年6月の最終週のタイミングで、デビュー・アルバム『Lexicon Of Love』がチャートの第一位になったという連絡が入りました。その時の思い出とそこからの生活の変化を語ってもらえませんか?

MF:まったくこの世の出来事とは思えなかったね!僕はシェフィールドで失業手当を受給しながら歌っていたんだよ。レコード会社のあるロンドンのニューボンド通り50番地まで、時には電車で、時にはヒッチハイクして行っていたんだ。レコードを作り、そのサウンドとトレヴァー・ホーンの手腕には満足していたものの、こんなデビュー・アルバムでいいのかなあ、なんていつも思っていた。心から納得していたわけじゃなかったんだ。ロキシー・ミュージックの『Avalon』がトップに君臨していて、それを僕らが追いやったわけだ。僕はロキシーの大ファンで、彼らをお手本にしてやってきたようなものだったから、むしろ僕らにとっては「汚点」みたいに思えたよ。当時、素直に喜び、感激に浸るべきだったんだろうけど、そんなことはできなかった。突然バン!って破裂して、心はパニックさ。数ヶ月後、暮らしていたシェフィールドの一間のアパートから散歩に出掛けたんだ。雪がちらほら降り出していた。通りを歩いていると、どこかの家が窓を開け放してパーティをしていた。そこから「The Look Of Love」が聴こえてきたんだ。それを流して踊って歌っているんだよ。僕はそれを見上げて「すげえ」と思ったんだ。気持ちが良かったよ。もちろんラジオから流れてくる自分たちの曲を聴いた時もね。僕らはトップ・オブ・ザ・ポップスにも出演したし、すべての出来事が、何かどこかに旅行しているような感覚だった。僕らのレコードが世の中に根付いたんだとこの時実感したよ。








Q:ニック・ヘイワードと最近会って、80年代のこと、当時の映像クリップとかについて話したんです。私は彼に「Love Plus One」のクリップのことを尋ねたんですが、アリスタが勝手にジャングルのセットを押し付けてきて、彼らのアイデアなんて聞いてくれなかったと言っていました。ただ言われるままに演じるしかなかったと。ABCの場合、「The Look Of Love」のような曲ではきちんとバンドの意見は採り入れてもらえたのですか?

MF:ああ、ニックとは違って、僕らはもっと絡めたよ。僕らはラッキーだったんだ。最初からジュリアン・テンプルと仕事ができたからね。それが「Poison Arrow」だった。リサ・ヴァンダーパンプも絡んでくれたし。彼女は今ではアメリカで自分の番組「The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills」を持つ大スターだものね。僕らなりのアイデアというものは持っていたんだ。50年代のジェリー・ルイスかパウエル&プレスバーガーの映画のような感じにしたかったんだ。ちょっとセピアカラーでひねりの効いたものにしたくてね。「The Look Of Love」のクリップは、本当にベニー・ヒルのようなスラップコメディタッチにしたかったんだ。それを提案したがために、自分たちで首を絞める羽目になってしまったよ。レコード会社はいつも協力的だったんだけど、しばしば僕らのアイデアに反対した。ちょうど『How To Be A Zillionaire』を作ってた頃だ!僕らが漫画のキャラクターになろうというアイデアだったんだけど、レコード会社はことごとく僕らのポスターを壁から剥がしていたよ(笑)。僕らのアルバムがアメリカでトップ5になるほどヒットしたことで、レコード会社は心底驚いていたよ。でも言っておきたいのは、若者が成長してクラッシュやセックス・ピストルズを観た時に、自分もバンドを組みたいって思うようなこと、聴く者を奮い立たせるってことさ!僕らの音楽にもそういう要素があったと思うんだ。


『Lexicon Of Love Ⅱ』


Q:『Lexicon Of Love II』はまるで80年代のアルバムのようです。製作時にはそれを意識したのですか?

MF:ああ、A面、B面ってね。いいアルバムもたくさんあったけど、中には10曲中3曲しか聴いてもらえないアルバムもあるよね。iTunesやスポティファイで最初の曲から聴いていくとそういうことになる。『Lexicon Of Love II』には古き良き時代の方法を採り入れたんだ。8曲目は2曲目と同レベルの曲になるようにね。そうやって作っていった。いいアルバムって、そういうものだっただろう?ボウイもロキシーも、アルバムはそんな風だったよね?






MF:思ったよ。何年もの間、僕たちをまた一緒に仕事させようとしてくれた人もいたんだ。でも実現しなかった。彼がプロデュースしたプリンシズ・トラスト(2007年)で共演したけどね。僕らがアルバート・ホールでオーケストラとコンサートをしたのを、彼は観に来てくれたんだ。幕間にはスピーチもしてくれた。でもレコードを製作するということについては、3、4年前に彼がやって来て言ったんだ。「聴いてみてくれ。でももう今の時代の音じゃないよね。」って。僕はただトレヴァーのレコードを聴いてみた。彼がアニメーション映画のために作った『The Reflextion』というレコードだった。そう言われた時には、ゲイリー・スティーヴンソンやアンとアルバムを作っていた時だった。そこにトレヴァーが来たんだ(微笑む)。彼ほどの人がそこに居たのに、何も特別待遇は受けていなかったよ(笑)。






Q:『Lexicon of Love』の2004年にリリースされたデラックス・エディションでは素晴らしい仕事をしましたね。『Mantrap』でも、ブルーレイを付けたりとか、同様のことをする考えはないですか?




MF:ユヴァル・ノア・ハラリ著の『21 Lessons for the 21st Century』だね。彼は『サピエンス』も書いてる。彼の本はとてもいいよ。未来の傾向が分かる。これから起こり得る事柄がね。






MF:ある時バーに居たら、ミック・ジャガーが入ってきたんだ。とてもかっこよかったね。トップ・オブ・ザ・ポップスではボウイに会った。「Up The Hill Backwards」のテープ録りのためにある火曜日に彼がやって来たんだ。彼が廊下を歩いてくるじゃないか。僕は目の前で何が起こっているのか分からないくらいだった。彼は僕の所で止まって言ったんだ。「ああ、マーティン、」ってね。とてもフレンドリーな感じで、もうライブはやったのかい?って訊くんだ。まだです、って答えると、その後ちゃんと覚えていてくれて、何度かコンサートを観に来てくれたんだよ。この前日本に来た時、いつかの金曜日に彼のアルバム『Black Star 』を買ったんだ。するとその次の月曜日に彼は亡くなってしまった。2018年の1月10日のことだった。







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