Wake Up Call For Those Who Said It Couldn’t Be Done: Fisher Proves
by Debbie Sealge
(To Kathy) What kind of emails do you get?
KF: Um, well, with “I Will
Love You” playing on radio, we get a lot of letters about that.
People saying its perfect for my wedding, I proposed to my girlfriend,
and we also get, this song reminds me of someone who passed away that I
miss and you make me think of them and it makes me happy. And you’re
like, oh my God, it just runs the gamut from extremely happy to extremely,
extremely sad stories. And those kind of letters, you can’t just
say “That’s really nice, thank you, love, Fisher. You really
have to read them. Some times I read them twice to really digest
them. So, I’m really slow. I either don’t write back, if I
can’t answer it in a real way, if I really can’t address it, I’ll wait.
If I have to wait six months to write back, I do, but I won’t pass it on
to my assistant. Its either I answer it with all my heart, or I let
it sit for a while.
I think that’s cool.
RW: I’m a Virgo, so I can’t
do that. I gotta get stuff done, like boom, boom, boom. I’ll
be on it tonight.
KF: Ron gets asked more like
technical stuff. Hey what kind of keyboard did you use on that recording,
or . . .
RW: Actually I just get a
lot, we get a lot of compliments these days from people that are getting
married. They’re shorter, but if there’s three or four paragraphs
and its real serious, I’ll just yell “Kathy, I’m forwarding you one!”
KF: And I go “OH NO!”
RW: You know, if the subject
matter will say something really sad . . .
KF: Like “My Father’s Funeral”
RW: Yeah, so I’ll say, this
one’s for you honey.
So, “I Will Love You,” what was the inspiration behind that?
And, did you write the lyrics (pointing to Karen)?
KF: Actually, he wrote a couple
of the lyrics. He wrote “Till . . . blank, blank, blank . . . I will
love you, love you."
Yeah, he said fill it in and I was like, oh no! Till what, you know?
Till the sun doesn’t shine? Till the seas run to the shore?
I mean, its all been said, so? I had two points of inspiration.
First of all, we were submitting it for the “Message In A Bottle” soundtrack,
and that is the saddest script I’ve ever read. I was just sobbing
my eyes out. And then once Ron presented me with the music, and the
words till . . . till, I was like, wow! I need to write the most
infinite love I can think of. I’ve really got to stretch my brain
here. So I thought about people that I knew who had had relationships
that lasted until the end of time. And the only couple I could
think of were my grandparents.
Those are some of the best examples there are.
KF: Yeah, so like what would
they say if they could, and then I just kind of went from there.
That sentiment really shows in your live performance, and it can apply
RW: When we wrote the original
melody and track, at that time she was still working her day job.
So, you know, when you get eight or nine hours alone to really work yourself
into kind of a really uninterrupted space . . . you know. Turn the
phones off, you know no one is going to bother you so you dig deep.
KF: Yeah, we always write
RW: Ironically, a friend of
mine had called me that day. She (Karen) read me the script.
I don’t like reading scripts at all because like “And the boat goes down
and he’s drowning, and [at this point in the scene . . .] it like having
a sports announcer during sex. It’s very distracting but she’ll come
in and tell the story. So, I was really upset about that, but then
a friend called me, a guy friend and he’s like “Oh there’s this girl and
I love her so much and she just won’t . . .” And I was really thinking
that’s so unique cause guys will go, well, I’m kinda hurt about this, but
lets get a beer.
I didn’t like her anyway!
RW: But this guy was practically
in tears and it just, so I actually wrote it with him in mind. I
never told him.
Does he know now?
KF: He’s gonna watch me, don’t
you tell him!
We won’t tell him a thing. It’s just between us.
RW: His name is Bob.
We’ll call him Bob.
Bob Doe. Now, you guys are based in LA now, right?
Is that where you’re from?
KF: He’s from the Valley,
and I grew up in West Virginia. West, by God, Virginia.
And the musical influences that led you to this?
KF: Mine are really diverse,
so Ron, you go first.
RW: We can only talk about,
well, first of all, Elton John has always been my biggest one. So
being on piano, and like, slamming chords, except for “I Will Love You,”
is kind of how I play. You know, I loved the last Radiohead record
and Massive Attack and almost on the verge of harder, more dynamic rock.
Kathy’s influences are totally different.
KF: Yeah, they run the gamut
from Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Peter Gabriel, Emmy Lou Harris, Crowded
House, just all across the board.
RW: Because guys listen to
tracks and women listen to lyrics.
Yeah, any time, from the youngest age I can remember, when I got a new
CD, I came home and the first thing I looked at was the liner notes and
read the lyrics. And if the lyrics were shallow and rhymey, or whatever,
I’d be like, this is not going to be a good record. And it’s interesting,
because that’s usually the way it is. Even artists that write great
records, they get tired and their next record is a little like, ah, june
moon spoon, here it is. And you’re like, wow, they went out to lunch
on this one. But always, I remember my brother bought me Ricky Lee
Jones’ “Pirates,” and you know, she’s a mumbler. And I would just
sit with the liner notes and . . .
Like listening to a Rolling Stones track . . .
KF: Yeah aaanaaay saaaaaay
yuuuuuu, who sings like that?
RW: See, and as a guy, I like
to figure out what the lyrics are. In fact, there’s that really funny
book out now, we were reading it in the studio.
There are several now.
RW: You know, the parodies.
“Since you let me down there’s been penguins jumpin on my bed . . .”
It works for me.
There’s like six volumes of that book now.
RW: Its brilliant.
KF: I always liked Barry Manilow’s
“Looks like tomatoes.” (Laughing)
Photos by Debbie Seagle.
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