Fixity Interview: “I’m trying to expand on simplicity”

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Fixity’s most recent release, Live At The Rabbit Hole, is out now.

Focusing on stillness, simplicity, and repetition, Cork’s Fixity (led by Dan Walsh) provide a masterclass in utilising less as more. A fascinating mix of kraut rock and jazz, they provide a hypnotic and mesmerising sound that is both arresting and emotionally rewarding. Their most recent album, The Things In The Room, is a definite case in point. While their live album Live In What Used To Be A Church shows how their approach can reach a greater expansive in the live setting.

We had a sit down with Dan ahead of the group’s short Irish tour with The Bonk.

Overblown: Your music is quite experimental. What influences your sound?

Dan Walsh: I love to listen to music in which the musicians are reaching for something, challenging themselves and their listeners in dramatic or subtle ways. For my ears up to now at least, i’ve heard that in a real way from the freer ends of 60’s Rock and Roll, Krautrock, Folk music and 20th Century Improvised Music (using the lineages Monk and John Coltrane as guiding forces through that, it’s a big one), also in the most direct way the musicians I play with. I figure if I try to make music that excites me in a similar way then I can add some more of what I find beautiful to the world.

Overblown: ‘Theme from a Shitstorn’ is an interesting title! Where did that come from?

Dan Walsh: That one is based on the theme from my favourite movie, the original is quite majestic and I wanted to flip the perspective of it to how nature would feel with a load of humans showing up to cause hassle. It kind of started there but means a lot of other things to me that are none of your business.

Overblown: How do you approach writing music? Your compositions are quite free-form sounding.

Dan Walsh: Usually I’m trying to expand on simplicity, using a small melody to inform the overall structure of a tune so that it carries its sentiment through in different ways. Often I’ll improvise something and commit to it as the beginnings of a new piece, building up and accenting the implied form afterwards but always with the parameters of song form in as many ways as I can try to think of that along the way.

Overblown: You’ve a tour on the horizon with The Bonk. Excited? Why?

Dan Walsh: In fairness, I am very excited at this time. Me and Phil have known each other about 10 years now and played a lot of music together and neither of us would have known that we’d end making these particular kinds of music and this particular time. It’s exciting to continue finding out what happens when.

Overblown: Where did the name Fixity come from?

Dan Walsh: I like it because it’s the name of an impossible act.

Overblown: What do you want people to get from your music?

Dan Walsh: Their minds blown. And maybe some healing.

Overblown: What’s next for Fixity?

Dan Walsh: This week there’ll be a double Live EP up on Bandcamp from Malmö and Cork this year. More recording very very soon also.

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