PAUL FREDERICK – AKA FRED – WAS FRONTMAN OF LATE 1980S / EARLY ’90S NOISEMAKERS THE FAMILY CAT. THE THREE-GUITAR BAND TROUBLED THE MAINSTREAM CHARTS ONLY ONCE, BUT WAS A FIXTURE ON THE LIVE CIRCUIT AND PUT OUT A STRING OF RESPECTED SINGLES INCLUDING DEBUT (AND NME SINGLE OF THE WEEK) TOM VERLAINE, REMEMBER WHAT IT IS THAT YOU LOVE, STEAMROLLER, RIVER OF DIAMONDS AND WONDERFUL EXCUSE. THE BAND SPLIT IN 1995, BUT IN 2013 LABEL 3LOOP ISSUED A WELL RECEIVED DOUBLE-DISC ANTHOLOGY, FIVE LIVES LEFT.
After The Family Cat Fred formed the short-lived Pure Grain before settling into studio work (with cowriter and multi-instrumentalist Chris Cordoba) as Jack Adaptor. This month 3Loop have released the duo’s sixth – sixth! – album; the erudite, eclectic and enormously enjoyable J’ACCUSE!
Cordoba’s production wit and Frederick’s distinctive voice (and, as he says in this new edition of The Mouthcast, “dark lyrical matter”) mean that Jack Adaptor’s new album is one of those all-too-rare quietly triumphant records; confident, fun, adult, fully formed and self contained. It’s indulgent in the way that Prince records can be indulgent – a micro-universe – but J’ACCUSE is never once in danger of tipping over into sneering, smugness or exclusivity. Fred talks about the writing and recording processes involved in the making of it – including single NUMBER ONE RECORD – and also looks back at his time fronting The Family Cat as a series of “building blocks” towards Jack Adaptor.