The Frixion make electropop with a twist, taking inspiration from a wide range of sources, be they 80s synthpop, gothic electro, or the driving motoric sounds of Kraftwerk. It’s given a layer of sophistication via Gene Serene’s vocals and Lloyd Price’s skill at assembling stirring yet at times sparse electronica. Imagine Kylie embracing her dark side and working with Gary Numan and you are part of the way to understanding The Frixion’s sound. We spoke to the band to find out more about the madness and motivation behind their music.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s the story behind The Frixion and how would you describe your sound?
The Frixion are Gene Serene (Vocals and lyrics) and myself, Lloyd Price (keys, programming and production). Our sound is rooted in the electronic, its synthpop but with a moody edge. We were introduced while i was still playing for Massive Ego and linked up on social media but never really got talking until we both started posting a succession of Prince videos on the night after his untimely death. We got chatting on Facebook as we are both massive fans of his work, we were devastated. I’d heard some of the music Gene had put out in the past and I really liked her vocal style. I sent her a demo of a track and what she came back with was really great and ended up being our first release From Dusk ’til Dawn.
What motivates you and inspires your music, aesthetic and vibe?
Lloyd: For me personally inspiration comes from many places, but mainly from hearing things out and about. A track will come on and there might be something like the drum track or the bass sound that will spark inspiration and I’ll dive for the kit and try to get a similar feel. It’s never turns out the same as what initially spurred me on but it’s moments like that which plant the seed. I’m not one for “happy” tunes most of the time so the darker edged melodies seem to be the ones that are progressed with more.
You both have varied backgrounds musically and performance-wise, but your sound comes across as very seamless and at times very intimate. Is this a product of or a reaction to previous projects you have been involved in? How did your working relationship evolve?
We definitely have varied backgrounds! Though Gene was classically trained as a child, and studied bel canto and baroque violin, she moved into dance music in the 90’s – i believe she released her first single in 1999 and has released music with some really great dance artists like S’Express, Traumschmeire, Mr C from the Shamen and Calvertron.
For years I was just a bedroom producer, not releasing anything. Just messing around but not knowing where to take it. Through a twist of fate, I ended up working with Martin Degville (lead singer of 80’s cyber punks Sigue Sigue Sputnik). I then went on to be a member of Massive Ego.
Yes, for me The Frixion is a reaction to what I’ve done before. With this project it is about taking me out of my comfort zone. Not relying on pushing the tempo up and throwing noise at it. Been there done that. Had a lot of fun in the process mind! With Gene on vocals it really opens up possibilities to be more subtle, bring the tempo down and, as you put it, be a bit more intimate. It allows me to reach out into different styles and try things that I’d not been able to do before.
You have done a few cover versions recently – was there a particular reason or inspiration for some of the choices?
I always loved it when one of your favourite bands would do a cover and give it their own spin. I wanted to give it a go with The Frixion. We’ve done a couple of covers so far. The Prince one was just an obvious one for us. As I said, we’re both huge fans of his work but we didn’t want to do an obvious cover. It was Gene’s idea to do Under the Cherry Moon. (You can check out the covers and more on Spotify.) It was a favourite of hers from the Parade album. I really enjoyed that as it was so far removed from what I’d done in the past. The final version is, I think, a beautiful tribute to the man. I think Gene did herself proud on that one.
We also did a cover of the Howard Jones classic What is Love. I’d heard it on one of the radio stations I check out most weeks and it was just a light bulb moment. I put the idea to Gene and it was an immediate yes. I’m really happy with that one and it was extra pleasing when Howard retweeted and retweeted it – it’s wonderful to get that kind of a reaction from the original writer/artist. I don’t see us doing any covers for a while now though. We’ve done that.
You’re working on new material in Warsaw – do you think being away from your home base aids the creative process?
Being away and experiencing new places definitely adds to it. It also helps that I don’t have the distractions of home. Just being able to take a midi keyboard and your laptop anywhere and then just pick up where you left off is brilliant. Technology just gives you that extra freedom.
What’s up next for The Frixion? Any upcoming gigs, new releases on the horizon, other projects?
We are coming up to an extremely busy period. We’re playing Berlin on the 17th of February in a cool little venue. It’s a great little cinema that is also used for live music, we are almost sold out for that one.
After that, in March, we’re supporting Inertia at their 25th anniversary gig in London, then we start off on the first leg of the Ohm from Ohm tour with Nature of Wires, Vieon and Rodney Cromwell. That is going to be amazing. We then play Synth Wave Live 2 in April, and in May we are on the 2nd leg of the Ohm from Ohm tour.
We will be holding our album launch party in London on June 2nd supporting Das Fluff who are also celebrating their new album too! that should be epic. Right now, we’re writing and recording for our album. I’ve handed over ideas to Gene so at the moment she’s got her head down writing and recording.
Thanks for speaking to us. We look forward to hearing the new album and hope to catch you on one of the Ohm from Ohm tour dates and maybe the album launch!