Interview With Mimi Fox
by: Theresa Yarbrough
-July 31, 2006-
Mimi "Fast Fingers" Fox is one of the very few established female jazz guitarists (along with Emily Remler and Mary Osborne), her passion and technical excellence gracing the albums and performances of Darol Anger, Rhiannon, and Terry Garthwaite.
Her new double CD set, Perpetually Hip" was released on ""Favored Nations Cool" label earlier this year.
Glenn Holmes at On Target Media Group arranged for me to have this interview with Mimi. Thank you to both Mimi and Glenn for this wonderful opportunity.
Ty:The first thing I want to ask you about is your latest Cd, "Perpetually Hip". The recording is a two-CD set recorded for "Favored Nations Cool" label and for those that don't know, this is your seventh release. I know you must have put in some hard work and long hours to get that done. Are you happy with the results?
Mimi: As an artist, I am growing all the time and constantly challenging myself to do better...and with all that said, yes, I am happy with how it turned out.
Ty: How did you prepare for such an arduous project?
Mimi: Slowly and diligently! I try to plan things out in advance and also leave room for spontaneity.
Ty: Have you been fortunate enough to work with producers who share your vision in the studio?
Mimi: Always! I wouldn't do a project if there wasn't the right chemistry with everyone involved.
Ty: "Perpetually Hip". I love that title, I have a feeling there's a story behind it.
Mimi: Yes and it is explained fully in the CD liner notes, please see.
Ty: In a business where traditionally women have leaned toward pop, contemporary, country, and R&B you decided to step away from the well-beaten path and make your name in the jazz world. Any particular reason why?
Mimi: Simple, I love the music!
Ty: Where did you receive your training?
Mimi: I am primarily self-taught.
Ty: I understand that drums was your first instrument? How was the transition from drums to guitar and what made you switch?
Mimi: I never actually switched, I still play drums, though not well enough to perform on them.
Ty: What are some of the most memorable highlights of your career?
Mimi: The international festivals I have performed in the Caribbean, Ireland, Australia, Asia, etc. and most recently at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Ty: Describe the typical jazz fan?
Mimi: It varies as in all styles of music& some folks like the swing and the groove, and some folks are more cerebral.
Ty:As a teacher of music, I'm sure you happen across that special student. Is there anyone you're passing the torch to?
Mimi:Many students have gone on to successful careers, but I wouldn't want to single anyone out for fear of neglecting someone else!
Ty: If you hadn't followed your heart and became a musician what do you think you would have been doing all these years?
Mimi: I can't really imagine that...my other loves are animals, politics, and baseball so perhaps a career could be made from these interests.
Ty: Steve Vai had this to say about you, "When she plays the guitar, you get to witness a person whose exceptional technical and melodic gifts are surpassed only by her emotional investment in every note that flows from her." How does it feel to be held in such high regard?
Mimi: It truly means the world to me.
Ty:We often hear of young kids who want to get into the music industry because they view it as all glitz and glamor. What would you say have been some of the disadvantages for you as a musician traveling the globe as a performer?
Mimi: The jet-lag is not fun, nor is being away from the people you love for long/repeated stretches of time& it can be grueling!
Ty: Besides your music and career, what else is important to you?
Mimi: Spirituality and politics, and praying each day that the people of the world can somehow stop suffering, killing each other, and otherwise making a royal mess of things!
Ty:What might you do differently if you had the chance?
Mimi: I would not do anything differently because I have learned from all my mistakes& maybe I would be a little less self-critical.
Ty: What's next for Mimi Fox?
Mimi: Already planning my next CD!