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Not every band splits, though. The Fixx, noted for their New Wave standards "One Thing Leads To Another" and "Saved By Zero," never took more than a year-and-a-half off. They've toured steadily in the meantime, and a 1998 album, "Elemental," demonstrated that they're as accomplished as ever as musicians. They play down their use of synthesizers and computers now, in favor of more conventional instruments, and their songs tackle more personal subjects. Instead of nuclear proliferation and the dangers of materialism, they now write more introspectively.

"When I was younger, I found myself stimulated to write by a naïve sense of impotence," lead singer Cy Curnin notes. "Here I am, a young man, try and make my statement, change the world. As you get older, you realize you can't change the world, but you can change your world, and the way you see things."


Either way, the world has changed around us. Curnin's son, for example, is playing with an F-16 flight simulator during his father's interview. By contrast, when The Fixx's most successful album, "Reach The Beach," was in circulation, the less-advanced Pac-Man and Frogger were helping to establish video games as an entertainment form. The Internet didn't exist at the time. Now, The Fixx hopes to build a database of fans, gaining e-mail addresses from which to notify their audience of new career developments.

The bands may be smarter about technology, but they've also gained a maturity about the star-making machinery that surrounds a music career. Younger acts often don't have the perspective to see how today's small decisions can have long-term effects, and can be pushed around a bit by older figures in the business. The Go-Go's, for example, acquired a retro- suburban image that they felt didn't really represent their punk roots.

"We'd be exhausted, and we'd go into a photo session and they'd say, 'Here's these little outfits, put 'em on,' and they'd dress us up like dolls," Valentine remembers. "We might protest a little, but it was like 'Whatever, get it over with.' Now we look back and see these photo sessions of us wearing these completely stupid outfits that half the time the magazine wanted you to wear, you know, so we're a little bit smarter about all that kind of stuff now." / Issue 15 - September 2018
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