Exit North is a work in progress. I was in Sweden in late July to take things forward with the other members, Thomas Feiner, Ulf Jansson and Charles Storm. We have a considerable amount of material and some pieces are all but completed. One of the issues we have is that we are each simultaneously working on other projects but we are keen to complete an album as soon as the planets align. Solo work also continues as a focus for me.
I don’t compare the two. Work put out decades ago is no longer relevant to me creatively. It’s up to others to choose what suits their palette. I’m sure many people (particularly young people discovering JAPAN for the first time) find 80’s music far more inspiring than anything the same band members are putting out today, it’s totally subjective. But if you want to progress there’s little point in repeating yourself. I personally prefer by far where I’m at now to where I’ve been, so I think that kind of answers your question. That said, I believe the four members worked well together (particularly for RTC) and created an interesting body of work for its time.
I’ve not used the Canon for quite a number of years. It’s for reasons of practicality more than anything else. I keep telling myself I’ll take a DSLR next time I travel but ultimately the idea gets ditched in favour of travelling as light as possible when working. Perhaps on the next world tour!!
Tokyo power lines were the inspiration for the ‘Lumen’ vinyl cover. It’s a very familiar site if you’re not too busy dodging people to look up.
I’ve had some really positive feedback which is so encouraging. As much as you might make music by following your own instincts it’s very gratifying when others can relate to it too. I’m immensely grateful to the vocalists for their ability to settle in with the mood of the music. There’s always some trepidation, whether it’ll be suitable or not, but with ‘Tender Extinction’ there were no disappointments. Each vocalist seemed to interpret the music beautifully in very much their own style.
I was absorbing various styles, not any one in particular. Those I was most intrigued by in my formative years were Billy Ficca (Television), Paul Thompson (Roxy Music), Aynsley Dunbar (Lou Reed/David Bowie/Nils Lofgren/Mick Ronson), Dennis Davis (Bowie/Iggy), Steve Gadd, Phil Collins in Brand-X with bassist Percy Jones and their brief work with Eno. There were more, pretty much any band I was buying albums of would contain inspiring drumming to my young ears.