Interviews no image

Published on April 11th, 1999 | by Gerry Galipault

0

Fountains of Wayne still radiate that vibe

Chris Collingwood, lead singer of Fountains of Wayne, never needed a break more than after the New York power-pop quartet spent much of 1997 touring with the Smashing Pumpkins and the Lemonheads.

“I can honestly say I’ve never worked that hard in my life,” Collingwood said recently. “I was so broken and demoralized by the end of it, I had actually broken a knee. I did it onstage in Berlin, I was kicking over (Brian Young’s) drum set and broke my knee in the process. And, believe me, you don’t want to go to a hospital in East Berlin. It’s a horrifying experience. It’s like, ‘Dr. Mengele will see you now.’ “

Collingwood recuperated for three months, then he and his wife moved to suburban Boston, while songwriting partner and guitarist Adam Schlesinger immersed himself in work. Among other things, he earned an Academy Award nomination for writing the title track for the Tom Hanks-directed film “That Thing You Do!”

Collingwood and Schlesinger quickly picked up where they left off with their heralded 1996 self-titled debut Atlantic album and the international hit “Radiation Vibe.” Tipping its pop hat to the Beatles, Hollies and Zombies with no apologies, Fountains of Wayne drives a hard melodic bargain on its second album, “Utopia Parkway,” released April 6.

From the potent first single, “Denise,” to the biting commentary of “The Valley of Malls,” Fountains of Wayne stays true to its harmonic, humorous, nostalgic and juvenile self. This time, the group examines the pros and cons of urban and suburban life.

” ‘Fine Day For a Parade’ is definitely that suburban alienation thing, like ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ ” Collingwood said. “Other ones are a bit more reverent, like ‘Prom Theme.’ It’s not saying it’s positive or negative, it’s taking a step back and looking at suburban American cultural traditions. ‘The Valley of Malls’ says, ‘Haven’t you noticed there’s malls all over the place?’ which I noticed when I moved up to Massachusetts. When I lived in New York, I never even thought about a mall. Then I moved up there and noticed there’s this whole culture surrounding, this culture of consumerism that doesn’t exist in cities.”

With Fountains of Wayne, opposites attract: Schlesinger’s songs have a rock edge, while Collingwood’s material leans on the melancholy side.

“We don’t really work together,” Collingwood said. “That’s the irony of it. We don’t write together at all. I think it works basically because of him; he’s capable of writing all sorts of different styles, like he writes songs for his first group, Ivy, that don’t sound anything like Fountains of Wayne songs. He writes something that he thinks I’ll be comfortable singing. The first couple of songs I wrote for the first album sort of gave the personality to the band and he just writes in that style pretty easily.”

Now that Collingwood is fully rested, he’s preparing himself for another long tour haul.

“Even now, I’m kind of dreading going out again,” he said. “It’s not hard for me to see why people start taking drugs on the road; my reaction is to drink a little whiskey and fall asleep, but it’s easy to why you’re supposed to be up and have some energy at night and then you can’t come down from that and go to sleep in an hour. It doesn’t work, because you’re so full of adrenalin. Then you’re supposed to get up at 7 in the morning to go to a radio station. It’s torture, but we love this album and we’re ready to play it for anyone who’s willing to listen.”

THE FIRST RECORD I EVER BOUGHT: “It was either ‘Bat Out of Hell’ or the first Cars album,” Collingwood said. “They came out the same year when I was in sixth grade. Everyone had those two records, so I had them too.”

THE FIRST CONCERT I EVER WENT TO: “I wasn’t allowed to go to shows when I was a kid. My parents were real assholes. I was a guarded child, so the first thing I went to was probably in the 12th grade when I saw U2 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, ‘The Unforgettable Fire’ tour.”

ON THE WEB: www.fountainsofwayne.com.

Tags: ,


About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑
  • BEST OF THE WEB

     

    Entertainment Weekly names Pause & Play one of “the 100 greatest Web sites”

  • Album Release Dates

    * Release dates are subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Jan. 22, 2021 » Bring Me the Horizon, Steve Hackett, Sammy Hagar & The Circle, The Dead Daisies, Jeremiah Fraites, Moon Taxi, Jason Bieler and the Baron Von Bielski Orchestra, Kiwi Jr., Teen Creeps, Cub Scout Bowling Pins, etc.

    Jan. 29, 2021 » “NOW That’s What I Call Music! 77,” Weezer, Ani DiFranco, Steven Wilson, The Besnard Lakes, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Martin Gore, Lucero, Selwyn Birchwood, Langhorne Slim, Arlo Parks, The Dead South, Will Downing, etc.

    Feb. 5, 2021 » Foo Fighters, Fleet Foxes, Common, slowthai, A.J. Croce, Deacon Blue, Hounds, John Williams, Aaron Watson, TV Priest, The Telescopes, Sarah Mary Chadwick, John Carpenter, Paul Cardall, Downes Braide Association, etc.

    Feb. 12, 2021 » Florida Georgia Line, Sia, Pentatonix, Weezer, Tomorrow X Together, The Pretty Reckless, Robin Thicke, Pale Waves, London Grammar, Jillette Johnson, etc.

    More New Releases » Feb. 19 and Beyond: Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, SG Lewis, Escape the Fate, Mogwai, Hearty Har, The Hold Steady, Alice Cooper, Willie Nelson, Madison Beer, Architects, Bonnie Tyler, Lucy Spraggan, Pat Metheny, Kings of Leon, Chevelle, Zara Larsson, A Day to Remember, Neil Young, Teenage Fanclub, Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird, Visionist, Rob Zombie, The Paper Kites, Butch Walker, Lana Del Rey, Ringo Starr, Loretta Lynn, Sting, Ryan Adams, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Carrie Underwood, Evanescence, AJR, Suzi Quatro, Greta Van Fleet, Escape the Fate, Tom Jones, Dumpstaphunk, Del Amitri, Mick Fleetwood & Friends, Gary Numan, and many more.

    More Upcoming Releases » Albums coming in 2020 but yet to be scheduled




    Elton John loves Pauseandplay.comDeals of the DayBest SellersSennheiser MOMENTUM 2 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesIE 400 Pro In-Ear Monitors

  • New Merch at Hot TopicSave on Tablets at Walmart.comBand T-ShirtsTurntables & AccessoriesHome Audio SystemsAmazon Tap $40 OffSave up to 90% on Textbooks

    NOTE: Pauseandplay.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

  • Love Pauseandplay.com? We do, too … Help us keep it going. (Every little bit helps.) We ♥ u.




  • Recent Posts

  • Connect on Facebook

  • On Twitter