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March 8, 2011

Chrysta Jones talks about Workshy's new album "Bitter Sweet"

If you grew up listening to the music of '80s pop-jazz acts like Sade, Everything But The Girl and Swing Out Sister, surely you have heard of the British duo Workshy.

For 2011, Workshy releases a new CD "Bitter Sweet" and Chrysta Jones talks to us about their latest effort.

1. Workshy's latest release is called "Bitter Sweet". Why did you call it "Bitter Sweet"?

It seemed like a title that reflects life as we know it now.Nothing is as sweet without the bitterside and it is the mixture of the two that life is about.

2. How long did it take you to finish the new album?

We dd it in about a year or so...it took us a while to decide to start...and then it took a while to get out, but only really took a year to do.

3. "Smile Again" was released in 2007, and you had significant amount of time in between. What did you do in between albums to prepare for the next?

Well to start with Michael had a bad accident just after "Smile Again", so it took him a while to recover ...he's fine now but he needed a good while to get back on track.

4. How is "Bitter Sweet" different from all your other albums?

I think maybe as a result of the accident this one's a bit deeper and more reflective at times...but then has the antidote up side. Hence the title!

5. You recorded a covers album "Soul Love". Have you thought of doing another covers album?

Michael not so much , but I would love to.

I love writing songs but also love the things interpreting other peoples material do your imagination and singing.

6. Workshy has strong fan base in this region particularly Japan. Why do you think after three decades you still have them hanging onto your every word?

I think there is a sympatico between Japan and the U.K., Tokyo and London....we are islands and have a similar mentality...I think the music reflects our common experience.

7. Do you listen to any new mainstream stuffs like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber?

Honestly , no...but I get to hear it as my daughters are 9 and 11 so they can't be avoided. I don't dislike.

8. What do you listen to these days?

I still listen to the good old things Stevie Wonder ...I like new things like Adele, Amy Winehouse and Plan B...and like really old things too old blues and Jazz albums Thelonius Monk, Etta James and others, and love the '80s music I was brought up with but didn't like then!

9. Who are some of your personal musical influences?

I have just named some but love Bacharach and David...Carole King as a songwriter, old Gershwin, Cole Porter as songwriters and torch songsters.I love David Bowie and know all the words to most of his songs off all eras.

10. You have been to the Philippines twice. Any fond memories or unpleasant ones?

Mainly great memories...always being treated well and lovely loyal people...

There always been choices you can make that you could regret but I choose to use it as experience and move on.

11. Can you give us three of your favorite tracks from "Bitter Sweet" and why?

Of our songs I really like "Bitter or Sweet" as its quite an emotional entreaty... it's a song about those moments where you realise you thought you new what you thought and then suddenly get a new perspective.

I also like "Silly Games" as its another emotional but a bit more uplifting tune..enjoyed what we did with it having known the song forever..and gving it a new flavour...

12. Do you have a favourite Michael Jackson song?

I love 'Ben". I used to sing it as a child and now i sing my children to sleep with it.

13. Do you have a dream collaboration?

It has to be Stevie Wonder!

14. What gives you more satisfaction? Recording or performing?

They cannot be compared one is thrilling the other is fulfilling I'll let you guess which is which.

15. Did you love music as a child and how did that lead you to become part of Meal Ticket?

That was my dad's band...but I did used to sing with them and we were always having people around with instruments when we were younger..

16. Workshy's music has been called "coffee table soul and smooth jazz", is that a label you are comfortable with?

It's a bit insulting and not really accurate! I think edgy easy listening would be more complimentary.

17. How do you guys decide who will sing which track?

It's usually about suitability but sometimes we write one for ourselves or the other one.

18. Do you have a favourite Workshy album?

I think I like the current one best 'cause it's new and fresh to me...and the others go in and out of favour like food types or wine!

I am fond of the range of songs on "Clear".

Workshy "Bitter Sweet" album preview:

Workshy "Bitter Sweet" CD will soon be released in the Philippines by Universal Records.

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