Interview

Circuit Des Yeux

Circuit Des Yeux

Tuesday 10th January, 2017 10:23AM

Later this month Circuit Des Yeux will be gracing these shores for a special double headline show with Weyes Blood in Auckland. The unique artist, whose real name is Haley Fohr, is coming this way on the heels of releasing her third record Jackie Lynn - however Fohr will not be performing any songs from this latest offering, as she penned it as a one-off concept album separate from the deeply personal work that she emanates as Circuit Des Yeux. Ahead of her upcoming visit we spoke to Fohr on the phone to ask a little more about Jackie Lynn and where she fits in the picture...


Hey Haley, where are you at the moment?

I'm in Chicago at my house.


Oh awesome, you've got some downtime at the moment?

Yeah I just got off a two month tour a couple of days ago actually, so now it's time to relax.


Do you live alone or do you have roommates or...

Actually this is the first time in my life I've got my own apartment, and it's amazing. I hope I never have to go back.


Haha yeah living alone is great! Anyway, I wanted to ask you a little bit about your most recent album Jackie Lynn, because it seems like it would have been really interesting to develop a character like that and you've really conjured up a complete persona for Jackie. What was the genesis for that project?

I had been touring for about a year for In Plain Speech, and it's quite heavy material for me - it's very obtuse and deep - and I'd also been doing quite a bit of press, and it's kind of like looking into a mirror too much. And I was hearing a lot of feedback, and Circuit Des Yeux is really personal for me - so I decided to come up with this musical theatre outlet where it's really not tied to the way I feel inside at all. It's completely fabricated and I wrote the songs within about a month. It was more just based on fun, I wanted to remember how to have fun making music, and keep it kind of light and airy. And it was a really fun time recording it.


On your Bandcamp page, you've laid out Jackie's backstory and persona and everything. Do you have a vision of what Jackie looks like that you can share, or is that something you prefer to leave to the listener?

Um, I think that there is power in just the right amount of clues. I think that's what I tried to do, like create an abstract paintings of Jackie, but I also wanted the listener to be able to fill the holes with their imagination.


I've read you describe the making of Jackie Lynn as a case of following your muse, and the outcome was pretty well received. But before putting Jackie Lynn out into the world were you worried about how it would be taken as a concept album?

To be quite honest, I was never worried about what the world would think of Jackie Lynn because I didn't think the world would really give a shit about Jackie Lynn. I had no loyalty, had no peer there was a lot of freedom in that - and I initially was going to self release it and do no press and just see what happened. But I don't know if it's because there's a drum machine involved or the songs are, they are a little bit of a different style, they're shorter and easier to remember, but people really seem to like the songs and like the concept. I'm just trying to have fun with it, but also not devote too much time or energy to something that feels really removed from myself.


Sure, that makes sense. I'm curious about your usual moniker Circuit Des Yeux, you've been using that name for a really long time where did it initially come from and what does it mean?

Um, it's an abstract term I coined when I was in high school. I was taking French class and I wasn't very good at it, I think I got it C, but it roughly translates to the circuit of the eye, which to me, my music is kind of like a window to the world, or it's the way that I see the world in the brightest, most clear way. And I think singing is kind of like my main language rather than speaking or using vocabulary. So in that way, it is like a closed circuit for me.


Your live shows are really highly regarded and I understand you tour a lot, what keeps you sane on the road?

It changes as I grow older. Nice bed, good food, friends. Because I've done the circuit in America quite a bit I have really good friends in every town and that makes a big difference. I'm not just going to a show, I'm going to see some familiar faces. So I get to keep in touch with those people and that's great.


You're coming to New Zealand for the first time they coming with Weyes Blood. Are you old friends or was it more a synchronicity and touring schedules?

It was kind of a synchronicity in touring, but I've known Natalie since 2009 on a personal level so yeah, musically it makes sense. She's awesome, we'll have a good time I think.


And I imagine that you won't be playing any Jackie Lynn songs, because you keep that project quite separate from Circuit Des Yeux. Is that correct?

Yes, you're correct. You are one of the few people who are correct on that.


So could you please share one of your favourite Circuit De Yeux songs to play live?

My favourite song is 'The Story Of This World' and I usually end my set with it. It's extended quite a bit since I've been playing it live, it's maybe 16 minutes long or something. But yeah, it's much different than the recorded version but I love it. The meaning of that song changes from night to night, and I feel like in our current political environment itís very medicinal. Itís not especially poignant in any way, but it just has a medicinal quality. And it makes me feel powerful to play it.




Circuit Des Yeux is performing with Weyes Blood on Wednesday 25th January at Whammy Bar in Auckland, head over here for more information and to buy tickets.




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