December 2004 - John Ferenzik - Page 2
You're an independent self-financed recording artist. Can you describe the joys, the frustration, and sense of satisfaction you derive from your projects?

Ah, the joy, the laughter, the enormous studio bill! I get a big kick out of doing it myself. I like having control of every aspect of the production, and I like being responsible for the final product. It's a thrill knowing that I'm creating something that's not cratfed by a committtee - which is usually what happens when you're signed to a label and they are financing your project. I've known many that have had their careers crippled and/or ended by a half-assed, watered-down release, all thanks to the meddling of the label. They would have been better served if the record companyy just released the demo that got them the deal in the first place. It's embarrssing for the artist, it's a terrible waste of talent and money, and as a listener you'll never know what the band or artist really wanted to say to their audience.

The biggest frustration comes from not being able to do it more often.

Your recent tour as a member of Todd Rundgren's band covered quite a bit of territory... the USA, Europe and Japan. Do you know of any plans to tour with Todd as the Liars anytime in the future?

Maybe sometime next year? One can only dream...

Speaking of that tour, were there any highlights for you regarding any particular shows or locales?

Well, I had a great time in New York City. The show in Albany (at the Egg) was great, and the fact that it will be released at some point as a DVD is pretty cool. Playing in Europe was great. The full house in London at the Festival Hall was awesome - if I ever harbored the illusion that I was a rock star, it would have been there, at that place. I got to meet and hang-out with (ex-XTC member) Dave Gregory in Bristol, which was quite a thrill - XTC was one of my fave bands of the 80s, and Dave is as nice as he is musically awesome. Japan rocked (no, really, there were actually earthquakes when we were there). The Japanese fan club "One World" threw a party for Todd and the Liars, with a band covering Todd and Utopia tunes thrown in for good measure.

Do you have any insight into Todd's thought process regarding song selection for the live show? For instance, a favorite of mine off the new album is "Living" and as far as I know it was never played.

Todd comes up with a list of tunes, and then it's based upon how rehearsals go. We had a lot of glitches getting the show up and running, so not every tune on the list made it onto the final set. Because of the way the show was divided into two sets, the first part was deemed to be dark and rocking, while the second part was supposed to be more uplifting and warm-hearted.  There was some talk of doing "Living" after we were out on the road, but once we're on tour, rehearsing becomes problematic. Between travelling and just getting through the soundcheck, it  never happened.

What are you listening to these days?

"Hype Factory" & "Laughing Boy" --- Jef Lee Johnson
"Street Signs" --- Ozomatli
"Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire)" & "Something Else" --- the Kinks
"The Man From U.N.C.L.E  Voulme 3, featuring the Girl from U.N.C.L.E." --- music for the tv series

Any plans for the holidays, 2005, and beyond?

Aside from dancing around the Xmas tree in an elf costume, I never plan anything!
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