Die Diskussion darüber, wenn Bob Dylan Picasso und Leonard Cohen Matisse der populären Musik sei, ist keine neue. Cohen selbst hat Dylan als Picasso bezeichnet. John Illslay von den Dire Straits folgerte auch schon, dassd dann Leonard Cohen Matisse sein müsse. Jetzt überrascht John Watts von Fisher Z mit der These, Cohen sei eher ein “Braque”.
(John Watts und Christof Graf am 16.3.2015 im Saarbrücker La Residence-Hotel)
27 Jahre zuvor…John Watts live 1988 beim Rock am Ring-Festival; Foto: Christof Graf
Doch bevor es zu der “Braquè`schen” Theorie kam, plauderte der Musiker und Künstler, der sich mehr als “Poet” denn als “Rockstar” sieht, zunächst über sein neues Album “This Is My Universe”.
THIS IS MY UNIVERSE is released on April 24th on the FischerZmusic label , available on CD, vinyl, special boutique vinyl and digitally. The lead single from the album, JUST-A-MAN is released on February 27th digitally and on limited edition vinyl with B side entitled OH SO GOOD. .
THIS IS MY UNIVERSE features much more of John Watts’ electric guitar playing as well as the usual contribution of his band members: Sam Walker, Matt Gest and Matthew Waer. Watts’ collaboration with co-producer Nick Brine has been instrumental in the development of this set of dynamic recordings.
Winston– I’d like to believe in real revolutions in the 21st century. Winston
waited for his brother to return with stolen mobile phones from the burning
M.H.T.B.F.M.B.– True story. Genuine encounter. Synonymous with a time
when Facebook was not the dominant social network.
Tale of Bales -The victims of war are many and on both sides and
sometimes not the most obvious candidates.
Just Like Justice – Love, in my opinion, should be an action ;
Lorelei - A passionate swirling cauldron of womanhood.
Just-a-Man – The man, the artist, the marriage – What does it all mean?
This Is My Universe – A personal philosophy in poetry against beats.
Martha Thargil l– In the demise of the mining communities Thatcher was
the devil, but Scargill was also to blame for the suffering..
Unshakeable Bluesky – The archetypal strong woman companion
Is The Love – Love must figure as part of the solution to most conflicts
and human catastrophes. Losing my Dad was also about love.
L.U.T.W. with Love & Peace – The message should always be love.
World-Go-Round – Personal rhetorical…
SHORT FISCHER-Z & John Watts BIOGRAPHY (used by permission of www.promo-team.de)
John Watts’ 36-year career has included 20 albums and around 3000 concerts and festivals worldwide. He has been successful both in Fischer-Z and as a solo artist throughout Europe, with album sales in excess of two million. Peter Gabriel, Steve Cropper and Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ Brass section have all contributed to his recordings. Watts has performed to crowds of 167,000 alongside James Brown in East Berlin, toured with both The Police and Dire Straits, was on the bill of the final Bob Marley European festival tour dates and has toured the USA and Canada. In more recent years Watts has developed a reputation as a multi-media artist, poet and playwright, and has often been described by fellow artists as ‘a force of nature’. Watts has amassed an impressive and eclectic range of creative work and his performances are characterized by his verve, warmth and humanity.
LONG FISCHER-Z & John Watts BIOGRAPHY (used by permission of www.promo-team.de)
John Watts’ 36-year career has included 20 albums and around 3000 concerts and festivals worldwide. He has been successful both in Fischer-Z and as a solo artist throughout Europe, with album sales in excess of two million. Peter Gabriel, Steve Cropper and Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ Brass section have all contributed to his recordings. Watts has performed to crowds of 167,000 alongside James Brown in East Berlin, toured with both The Police and Dire Straits, was on the bill of the final Bob Marley European festival tour dates and has toured the USA and Canada. In more recent years Watts has developed a reputation as a multi-media artist, poet and playwright, and has often been described by fellow artists as ‘a force of nature’. Watts has amassed an impressive and eclectic range of creative work and his performances are characterized by Watts’ verve, warmth and humanity.
Watts developed his musical career in punk clubs while studying clinical
psychology and working in mental institutions. The first
was released in 1979 on United Artist Records, alongside
releases by their contemporaries,
The Buzzcocks and The Stranglers. Word
was a cult record in the UK (John Peel supported the
Remember Russia) but Fischer-Z achieved an even bigger critical and
commercial success across continental Europe. There were several
The Old Grey Whistle Test and a first Top of the Pops
appearance with the Europe-wide successful single
The Worker – the story of
Watts’ father’s daily commute to London. The second album,
Going Deaf For
, firmly established his ability to convey worldly political issues in
narrative songs against a background of quirky pop and reggae-influenced
music (comparisons were made with both
Talking Heads and Ian Dury). The
single (1980) was featured heavily on the fledgling MTV channel.
European success was cemented with Red Skies Over Paradise
(1981), described by
Der Spiegel as “a candid and passionate appraisal of
Cold War Europe”
. This album included songs that resonated with audiences
right across continental Europe.
Berlin, Marliese, Battalions of Strangers,
and the title track have all been described as classics of that
era and sales topped a million. Watts’ reputation was firmly established as a
leading exponent of overtly political pop songs. Watts disbanded the original
line up in the summer of 1981 because he felt the band had drifted
too far from their original art punk ideals.
Watts’ first two solo albums
One More Twist (1982) and The Iceberg Model
(1983) included the anthemic single
One Voice and experimental The
track. He briefly formed a band called The Cry and released a
Quick Quick Slow (1984) produced by the highly respected
American Jimmy Douglass. In the 1980’s, Watts was very deeply affected by
the political events unfolding as Thatcher tried to beat down the trade unions
in Britain. His
Dark Crowds of Englishmen song is about the miners’ strike
and the disappearance of a way of life.
Fischer-Z with a new line up in 1987 and had single
The Perfect Day (1988) based on lonely-hearts ads and Say No
(1989), a call to arms for the poor and the powerless – taken from the albums
(1988) and Fish’s Head (1989) respectively. He made the
album (1991) at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios
Further From Love and the title track, which highlighted civilian
suffering in time of war. The next two
Fischer-Z albums Kamikaze Shirt
Stream (1995) continued to combine a political point of view with
songs grounded in Watts’ real-life observations and experiences.
Watts returned to his solo career with the album,
Thirteen Stories High
(1997), one of his most admired indie guitar-style albums. Many songs from
this album such as
I’m a Reptile and Angel of Gardenia are firm favourites
with the fans. For his next album
Bigbeatpoetry (1999), he branched out
combining poetry, prose and song lyrics with a DJ and beats. An era of multimedia
projects began with
Ether Music & Film (2002), where he traveled
internationally, recording musicians in the streets and in their own homes
using only his laptop.
Real Life Is Good Enough
(2005) was a noisy two-piece, electric guitar and
drums album which Watts made with Sam Walker. It was compared with
early albums. The sister album, It Has To Be (2006), consisted of
songs drawn from Watts’ interaction with strangers he met in ten different
European countries who shared some of their life experiences and he named
a song after them. For the first time the album packaging included poems and
short stories written by Watts.
Morethanmusic album (2010) added improvised orchestral cut-ups and
a filmic dimension to Watts’ work and included a first single
Head On, inspired
by him observing a seven-year old child watching the live execution of
Saddam Hussein on her mother’s mobile phone, and a second single
the most popular live song from the album. Watts made video clips to
accompany all the songs on the
In 2012 Watts embarked on the ambitious
incorporating his play,
The Last Picasso, performing poetry from his book
The Grand National Lobotomy
and developing songs which now form part
of the forthcoming
Fischer-Z album. The Last Picasso Is written in black
comedy/absurdist style, and it was said that with this work, Watts had “
nothing less than a completely new genre. A miscellaneous mixture of a
musical play, rock concert and multimedia performance”.
, 23 February 2012).
The Grand National Lobotomy, Watts paints himself and his art in typical
pithy and self-deprecating style in a piece entitled ‘Eggers’, “…
a story writer,
poet and starving living legend of English descent, who will cover anything
you like from Live 8 to prostate, Gordon Brown to Eva von Braun, Karl Marx to
stripey underpants, Stockhausen to Waterman, Botticelli to vaseline, earth to
earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, Beck to Becks…”
Fischer-Z album, This is My Universe is due for release in Spring
2015 and includes the track
Martha Thargill, in which Watts revisits the
miners’ strike and the disappearance of a way of life 30 years on. On the title
This is My Universe he combines poetry, beats and guitar noise to
dynamic effect. He casts a dark and rueful eye over love and marriage in the
Just-a-Man, and a manifesto for the proactive and genuine
just Like Justice. Another new Fischer-Z song, Tale of Bales,
once again combines a political theme with contemporary art-rock music.
Watts is currently performing