After a long awaited release and a nine year hiatus, the electroclash duo of Casey Spooner and Warren Fischer who gave us hits like “Emerge,” “Never Win” and “Have Fun Tonight” come back smashing through the ether with a provacative and highly controversial new album entitled, “Sir.” Rounding up acts like Beyoncé collaborator Boots, Chairlift’s Caroline Polacheck on vocals, sound man Andy LeMasters, mixing engineer Stuart White and R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, Spooner’s first boyfriend, the collection of lust-driven tunes might just be their most venerated release to date.
1.) After nearly a decade since the release of your 2009 LP, “Entertainment,” you’ve finally given us some great new music. What have you been up to? What brought you back to songwriting?
We’ve actually been working most of that time, starting songs and playing around trying to find a theme and a style. Once Michael starting helping, we began in earnest.
2.) Formed in 1998, you stated that the group was “started as a performance art piece about entertainment that ultimately became legitimate entertainment.” Did you always have hopes of the venture becoming something more, or was it by accident that you are where you are today?
We always liked that FS exists in strange spaces between media and genres. So, I guess I’d say, that we never knew where it would lead, as we never knew where it was.
3.) Give us some insight on the good old days of Warren and Casey while attending the Art Institute of Chicago. How did you meet? What brought you together to create such a great collection of music?
Uh, lets see. Casey was always a character. I remember him walking down the sidewalk in a huge red furry jacket and talking about how he’s taking a semester off due to money issues. We shared the same video class and were equally harshly critical of the other students work. So, I guess you’d say, we hit it off.
4.) Where were you when you first realized your debut album #1 was a hit? What’s your favorite song from the album? How did it feel to be a part of music history?
The moment I actually felt success was in 2000 when we we’re invited to perform at the museum KunstWerke in Berlin. There, we went to a club called WMF. As we walked up, we heard “Emerge” playing from inside. All the dancers started performing in their street clothes outside the club in an alleyway. It was magic.
5.) Tell us about the reality and misconceptions of making a big-budget album.
That’s a tough one. We just make albums however we can. It’s not a budget thing really.
6.) Warren, you started out making music on your computer while Casey provided the vocals. When you moved to making your second album that was ultimately released on Capitol Records, you found yourselves in the studio with collaborators and a new set of worries. Please briefly explain the evolution of methodologies. What did you learn in the process? Tell us about working with Tony Hoffer of Beck, Air and M83 in Los Angeles.
I love Tony. It was a tricky album to get right. He brought a lot of amazing creative energy to the gig. We recorded at Sunset Sound where Led Zepplin and the Doors recorded, so it was amazing being there. Our methodologies haven’t really shifted. On #1 we worked closely with Nicolas Vernhes, then Tony Hoffer, then Michael Stipe as well as LeChev and Andy Lemaster.
7.) Ahead of the long awaited release of “Sir,” which recently dropped this year, you [Casey Spooner] have vocally denounced the Trump administration and it’s purported Neo-Nazi-ism in support of diversity and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community stating that, “In these hyper neo-conservative times, it’s important to have aggressively homosexual characters and content in the mainstream. There are many vulnerable people and they need support. They need to know they are not alone even though the government is working against them.” Explain your passion for the cause.
It’s pretty easy, really, we are staunchly against bigotry in any form and against governments that aren’t compassionate to the underclass.
8.) For the new album, you reunited with Casey’s first boyfriend, Michael Stipe from R.E.M. How did the collaboration came about? Where did the inspiration for the new album come from? What have you learned in the process?
Well, Casey wanted to make an honest portrayal of the contemporary gay experience. So, connecting with his first love made perfect sense. Oh, and, he’s pretty good at music too!
9.) How did the title for the album “Sir” come about? Who developed the artwork and what does it represent? What messages and feelings are you trying to evoke with it? Also, please explain it’s connection with your book “Fischerspooner: Egos.”
“Egos” was a book that chronicled the development of this new idea about technology and the gay experience. As we worked on the album, a friend and creative collaborator, Spilios Gianakopoulos, suggested that the logo that Nicolas Santos designed as a book page be the cover art. We agreed instantly, which is rare for us.
10.) Finally, what do you have planned for the future. When will your tour start?
We are doing a west coast run right now. Then we’re off to Europe for festivals. Thanks!