Elastica singer Justine Frischmann has given a rare interview, speaking about the Britpop band and her new career as a painter.
Frischmann’s band split up in 2001 after two albums (1995’s ‘Elastica’ and 2000’s ‘The Menace’). Since Elastica’s demise, Frischmann has lived mainly out of the public spotlight, rarely giving interviews. She returned to music briefly in 2003 to co-write songs for MIA‘s debut album.
Now Frischmann has spoken to The Guardian at the Volta art fair in New York, where her art work is being displayed. Explaining the move from music to art, Frischmann said: “One of the things I loved in the band was the visual stuff – it was as fun as making the music.”
“At this point when I look at the videos of my performances I feel that it’s another person,” Frischmann added of her time in Elastica, revealing that she hasn’t seen ex-boyfriend and Blur frontman Damon Albarn in years but is still friends with Brett Anderson, who she also dated and formed Suede with.
“I don’t really have any desire to make music, to be honest,” Frischmann continued. “I really feel I’ve found my medium [with painting]. Also I think I’m a socially anxious person. I kind of deal with it but actually I’m really happy on my own. When I’m in the studio and things are unfolding and exciting I have that feeling that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be. I don’t think I ever really had that with music, it always felt like a rollercoaster ride and there was going to be a horrible smash.”
She did, however, add: “I got to go all over the world and have a real snapshot of the planet in ’95, ’96, and I got to meet a lot of my heroes. One of the most valuable lessons was to realize that success isn’t necessarily enriching or enlivening. We live in a culture where there’s so much emphasis on celebrity and we all grow up feeling like being famous must be really great.”
Frischmann also spoke of how some of her loyal art collectors “don’t even know I was in Elastica”: “I did a short film for Volta and the guy opened by saying: ‘I have to let you know, I’m a real fan.’ I thought, ‘Oh, he means Elastica’, and it turned out he was talking about the paintings. It’s great.”