Funplex

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  • "Funplex" is a colloquial word used in the southern part of the US meaning mall or shopping complex. In this song the three vocalists adopt distinct characters, running amok in a shopping center. Singer Fred Schneider explained that it's about "the seedy underbelly of the mall."
  • The B-52s' guitarist Keith Strickland explained on their website their songwriting methodology: "I'm trying to convey a feeling when I write. I like to think of my instrumentals as landscapes. The chord changes, rhythms and sound quality of the instruments are all aspects of a sonic space, which is designed for Cindy, Fred and Kate to step into. I want them to feel inspired by the music and expand on that feeling with their melodies and lyrics... little did I know that with our new songs... they were going to get all sexy."

    The band then meet up in their Atlanta studio and start "jamming," creating melody lines, lyrics, and vocal harmonies, turning over a multitude of ideas until they hit upon the ones that serve each song best. The lyrics often come from Schneider who explained: "I'm always writing lyrics. I have notebooks full of ideas, not just for songs, but cartoons, films, everything." Meanwhile the two girls focus on the melody lines. Kate Pierson elaborated: "During the 'jamming' process Cindy and I usually focus a lot on melodies... then the harmonies start to flow and the magic begins. Sometimes we start with title or subject ideas but we often go to our laptops and jam out on lyrics while listening to the music."
  • The song's video features a cameo appearance from RuPaul. The American drag performer explained on his website how this happened: "Yesterday morning, I ran into Fred Schneider of The B-52's at a coffee shop in West Hollywood. He said they were in town shooting a music video for 'Funplex,' and asked if I wanted to make a cameo. I said absolutely, just tell me when and where. When I walked onto the sound stage, the first person I saw was my Mathu Andersen. Funny because I had just been talking about him in a pitch meeting an hour earlier. He had been hired to do make-up for both Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson. By the time Keith Strickland came over to greet me, we all simultaneously realized it had been 18 years since I appeared in their 'Love Shack' video."
  • Schneider told Mojo magazine why they decided to release their first original album for 16 years: "We figured if we're gonna go on touring we needed some new songs. So Keith (Strickland) wrote some tunes, we jammed the lyrics and from the first one we tried, we just knew it was gonna work."
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