Interview: John Fryer/Black Needle Noise

Well, John Fryer doesn’t need much of an introduction! A living legend in alternative music, an aknowledged producer since the 80’s in 4AD, Rough Trade, Beggars Banquet, a very talented musician (This Mortal Coil), a man of music that won’t rest on his glory…so, few weeks ago he released the second LP of his new moniker Black Needle Noise “Lost In Reflections” and here is a very interesting chat with him, Mr.John Fryer!

Hello Mr. Fryer! Black Needle Noise is the brand new moniker and the new musical “vehicle” of your musings, and I’d like you to share with us some facts that led you in this directions. How did this end up happening and why?

You could say fate has led me here.It’s a combination of 2 bands “Darkdriveclinic” & “Silver Ghost Shimmer” as to why we are here talking about “Black Needle Noise”.

After making an album and doing a small world tour of California in a blink of an eye, both singers for their own personal reasons didn’t want to or couldn’t continue and as I had a lot of music sitting around I had written but didn’t fit into the sound of those bands. So rather than let the music go to waste. I decided to work in a different way and just make a song at a time with a singer and release it. Not worrying about it all sounding like one band but instead just making it sound like John Fryer music.

On July 13th you will be releasing your new “Lost In Reflections” LP. What is, in musical terms, would you say is the artistic character of this album? 

Well, the only one musical character is me, it’s the only constant through out all the songs. I don’t want to be limited by any one thing. Black Needle Noise is and will be a continual changing thing, morphing one way and then the other. I don’t want you to know what will be coming next.

I’ve already played four songs from the LP on my ‘Loud Cities’ radio show, and have enjoyed all of the others at home as well. This is a striking release, so my question relates to the fact that you have eleven songs involving nine different and acknowledged vocalists as leads – what are the elements you look for in each singer you invite to collaborate with you, and how easy or challenging is it for John Fryer to “conduct” all these different voices?

The 1st thing I have to do is to thank each and every one who has taken part so far and who will take part in the future. It’s such an honour to be working with such talented people, it’s so humbling to have so many wonderfully talented people want to take part. They have all been so easy to work with and they are all such great singers so its easy to work with their voices with my music.

Can you please tell us something about your other project with David Lynch muse Crysta Bell?

Chrysta Bell and I have been friends for several years and she will be doing a song in the future for BNN.

She had recorded the song “FALLING” and wanted me to mix it but I ended up re-doing the music under her vocals to take the song in a different direction from the original. Its just a 1 off for now but who knows what the future will bring.

Keeping track of your musical developments since I discovered your works 25 years ago, I think that you are a really important person in the whole wider world of new wave music and, in recent years, a pioneer in the electro-industrial realm, but I really wonder what is really hiding in the core of the soul of this music-man. Where are you emerging from and what directly is this leading you to?

Well, that is a very good question, you know where I have come from musically but even I don’t know where it is all going. Black Needle Noise is a very natural progression and will be growing organically. The music/songs are what ever comes out of me at that point in time but there is the odd song or 2 that I have been ask to write for TV and Movies that I release too “I Face The Wall” and “Neon Noir” being good examples.

I wonder if you’ll take BNN on stage in the summer, and my first thought is “who’ would be singing” and then “who would be performing the music of BNN as a whole”?

I am thinking about taking BNN out live but have not worked out how or where we would play.

Your music has a significant cinematic and kinetic approach, and I’ve felt many times like I’m on a train or in a car or airplane.  I’d say that, between your work with This Mortal Coil and BNN, you arrange your music like a true author. Mr. Fryer where do you gather your inspiration when writing music?

I like music to have feeling, to be able to move and touch you from the inside. I want you to be able to sit down and be transported to another time and place, where these places are is totally up to the listener.

and what about your lyrics?

All the songs are a 50/50 collaboration with the singer, they make the melodies and they write the lyrics so they will put a 100% of them selves in the songs.

Can you share with us the names of a few new bands or artists you are currently keen on?

Ciscandra Nostalghia and Wendy Bevan to name but 2.

What is the next artistic step for John Fryer and BNN?

Working on the 3rd album, it’s actually underway already and working on new videos too. 

Thank you very much for your time. Do you have any words you’d like to share with our readers?

I hope your readers will support independent artists and buy their art so we/they all can continue making art for your enjoyment and for all the people who have been supporting Black Needle Noise I thank you from the very bottom of my heart. Much Love & Respect.

Mike – Loud Cities

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