Sometimes when I transcribe these interviews, one of the artist’s songs constantly loops through my head. That’s a testament, of course, to the powerful melody the songwriter has crafted. This happened as I transcribed my conversation with Cy Curnin of The Fixx, but it wasn’t just one song. It was several: songs like “Red Skies,” “Stand or Fall,” “Secret Separation,” Are We Ourselves,” and of course “One Thing Leads to Another,” with their infectious choruses and bass riffs, never stopped playing in my head.
Curnin knows about writing a well-crafted song. The band formed in 1979 and had four hits in the US top twenty. I’ve interviewed other artists from that time period—people like Colin Newman (Wire), Chris Difford (Squeeze), Neil Finn (Crowded House), and Andy McCluskey (OMD)—and they all have one thing in common: discipline. Sure, they are artists, but they work at their craft. There’s no waiting for the muse. They write every day and they actively seek inspiration. There’s a reason these songwriters have been around so long: at some point, they accepted that what they do takes work. With his methodical songwriting process, Curnin is no exception. While some songwriters tell me that the songs just happen, Curnin knows how, when, where, and why they happen. His words are decidedly self-assured, but with his catalog, it's no surprise.
The Fixx is back with their original lineup from the chart-topping days of the 80s. Their most recent release is last year’s Beautiful Friction, with a new release slated for 2014. Read my interview with Cy Curnin about his songwriting process after the video.