The Fischerspooner Frontman Goes His Own Way
One half of electronic duo Fischerspooner, New York-based Casey Spooner has made a name for himself as an art-pop innovator, simultaneously pursuing a career as a visual artist and theatrical performer. With the release of his new album Adult Contemporary, he is also a newly fledged solo artist. NOWNESS talked to the cultural firebrand about his creative process as he debuts the video for new single “Spanish Teenager.”
So, why do you want to be a Spanish teenager, as the lyrics go?
There was this one time when I was in Spain and I was on the beach in Almería, which is paradise. Everyone on the beach was gorgeous and the food was delicious and the life just seemed so effortless and I thought: 'Why can’t I live like this, why can’t I look like this?' That, and we have an amazing audience in Spain, so I selfishly thought: 'I’m going to write a song that’s going to be huge in Spain!'
How did the solo project come about?
I was finishing the Fischerspooner record and on the last day of recording, the producer, Jeff Saltzman, said that he was going to work on a personal project and he wanted me to write songs for him. I tried to write a song a day and I said, ‘You can do with the material whatever you want.’ After this two-week period, Jeff stopped calling it ‘my’ record and started calling it ‘your’ record.
Ah, the classic bait and switch.
Jeff just said, ‘You have so much coming out of you so effortlessly, I think you need to consider this your album.’ He tricked me.
Was it a nice break from the heavily constructed Fischerspooner stuff?
Fischerspooner is a collaboration with Warren Fischer and everything has to be agreed by the two of us. This was different in that I didn’t have to justify anything, it didn’t have to make sense, and I didn’t have to explain why it didn’t make sense.
Did you start with a central idea?
I wasn’t thinking about anything, really. And, in a way that is magical, Jeff captured an aspect of my personality that no one has ever seen before. Which I hadn’t even seen myself!
Because you work in a lot of media, you seem to have such a holistic artistic vision for every project.
It’s just the way I think. My training is in visual arts—my mother was my art teacher—but I always had an interest in performance. Early on I was confused: am I a painter or am I an actor? I could never figure out where to go. In high school the theater professor and the art teacher flipped a coin between me and another student and they decided I would go to the art school exclusively. I write, I sing, I do all these things to execute an idea—what’s most important isn’t the form but the idea.