The most fun you can have with your ears on! Schizo Fun Addict were the first band ever to appear on the Fruits de Mer label, with that still astonishing (sonically and conceptually) coupling of “Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake” and “Theme One.” And they remain one of the most dynamic of them all.
Savage psych shot through with sufficient humor that they paid ample homage to both, it was the culmination (so far) of one of this century’s most eclectic, electric and all-round esoteric music journeys. One which, across a wealth of earlier releases, had already hit more peaks than a mass of mountaineers. And we use the word “wealth” with very carefully indeed, for Schizo Fun Addict might just be the only band that has ever given diamonds away with their music. Real diamonds, too.
Jet Wintzer tells us the story.
GM: Let's start at the very beginning....
JW: Schizo Fun Addict has a nebulous history. It changes every day! Our first release was the CD album Just a Dimension Away in 2000. That was released on Sudden Bliss Records and distributed in the UK at the time by Koch. It was reviewed in Uncut who gave it 3.5/5, as well as Q, and a hilarious review in Loaded which alleged we should have been shot in the head for making it!
GM: What’s the story behind the diamonds?
JW: Our second release was the Diamond EP, a free CD that was made available for via an NME ad in 2001, to anyone who sent an email asking for the CD, which was described as having genuine diamonds in the artwork, and it does have real diamonds in it. There were 69 copies made. I bought one on E-Bay many years ago for about $26.
In making it, I went to the diamond district in New York City and bought fragments from a cutter, then we crazy glued them into the cover artwork. I do believe this is the only release in musical history to incorporate real diamonds.
GM: The Diamond album followed... sans diamonds, I believe.
JW: Also in 2001, again on Sudden Bliss records. Everett True gave it a rave in New York Press and also did a mysterious write up/interview with us for Mojo, in the "What Do You Mean You've Never Heard of" section, wherein he was the first music scribe to mention my Stone Roses conspiracy theory/happening called Onelovestory. nuff said. Both albums, incidentally, were limited edition CDs of 1000 and have never been available as downloads. And our third The Atom Spark Hotel, was a limited edition of 750 on clear vinyl.
GM: Next, you hooked up with Andy Bracken’s Bracken label, the forerunner in many ways of Fruits de Mer...
JW: And after that came Imperial Quasar, an electro/remix compilation CD from 2008, a limited edition of 696. We are speaking with Keith about an FdM follow up, but I can't say much about that now as it is still in the works. And finally, we have just finished our next LP and are making plans for vinyl release, but can’t reveal anymore at this time.
GM: What are SFAs musical influences... or just the kind of stuff you like?
JW: It starts for me with 60's/70s pop, like Burt Bacharach and Sergio Mendes/Brasil 66 gems heard on the car radio while staring out the back window of my father's old boat Cadillac at night on the highway dreaming about just anything and feeling the first doses of female energy in the car on the way to Rockaway Beach with girls from my neighborhood in Queens.
Then we can skip right to the Jesus and MaryChain and Echo and the Bunnymen circa 1985. This stuff hit me like a neutron bomb. Jayne was influenced by 70's prog rock and weird shit like Renaissance until she hit the 80's vibe with a vengeance. Jayne listens to “Topaz” by the B52s every day. Patrick Schizo is a multi instrumentalist genius who grew up with Van Halen dreams, before turning into a Brian Wilson type musical sorcerer; Ilona V is our resident fairy with the voice of an angel and the Brian Jones ability of being able to play every instrument known to man, and even some of the insect world; and Hadrian Schizo was an industrial maven who gave all that up for shoegaze...
GM: He’s the one responsible for your guitar sounds, right?
JW: He took some of his industrial influence with him like an incurable disease that actually gives our guitar sound a unique edge. Some people have called it Hadrian Mordecai's Spaceport hovercraft technique, kind of dead-on accurate.
Other satellite schizos who have been important contributors are Tony Zajkowski leader of the 90's juggernaut band Lotion. Our trumpet player is Roberto Muolo and our estranged brother Jason Brown who sometimes plays drums or guitar. There more satellite schizos, but this is the hard core.
The only producers that factor other than myself or other band members are Mike Somoracki, who co-produced our new LP, and John Noll, who did a bang on job producing "Theme One", "Dream of the Portugal Keeper" and "Jericho Son Down" at Retromedia Studios in Red Bank NJ.
The most important band in my life is The Stone Roses.
GM: The first thing I heard by you was probably "Theme One." When it comes to covers versions, is there anything particular you look for in a song that you think "that could be one of ours"? And are you a VDGG fan? Not a band that lends itself well to covers (even when they're doing a cover!), but you nailed it!!!!
JW: We have covered one song on every album, on JADA, it was "Warmth of the Sun". on ,ASH, it was "Fashion Crisis Hits New York" by Ireland's great band The Frank and Walters. We have a new cover coming out soon from a 1970 cult classic movie soundtrack. There are more as well, on our next album we cover "Blizzard of 77" by Nada Surf. It all comes down to emotion. We cover emotional songs, not EMO as in the genre that was epidemic in the 90s... but songs that tug your pop heartstrings and make you swoon.
GM: Future plans?
JW: We've just finished our new studio album, The Sun Yard, inspired (retroactively) by the one true mystery of quantum physics, the unsolved dilemma of wave particle duality and non local photon communication. The first 20 copies of the limited edition vinyl will have 20 original sleeves by NYC artist Todd Diciurcio. Not sure if this will be self released or find a good label home yet, as we just sent it out last week.
After that, our future plans are to spread love and believe and conjure world peace and true harmony through our dissonant sounding tunes and our powerful loving hearts. Angels are landing daily on this planet. Just believe in the power of love.
A prodigious writer, fierce music lover and longtime record collector, Dave Thompson is the author of over 100 books, including Goldmine’s “Standard Catalog of American Records 1950-1990, 8th Edition” as well as Goldmine’s “Record Album Price Guide 7th Edition , both of which are published via Krause Publications and are available at www.krausebooks.com