Justine Frischmann

Justine Frischmann

Justine Elinor Frischmann (born 16 September 1969, Twickenham, Middlesex, England) is an English singer and guitarist, best known as being the lead singer of the now defunct band, Elastica.

Early life

Justine Elinor Frischmann was born on September 16, 1969, in Twickenham, Middlesex, England, to a Hungarian refugee and Holocaust survivor father and a Russian mother Frischmann was born to Willem, a Jewish-Hungarian Holocaust survivor, and to a Jewish-Russian mother. She grew up in a house built by her father, a structural engineer, with her older brother Richard Frischmann and attended St Paul's School before studying Architecture at University College London. Initially, Frischmann had wanted to pursue art, but after her father expressed doubts, she agreed to swap going to art college for The Barlett at University College London, spending six years studying architecture. On this campus, she met Brett Anderson.


Frischmann began dating Brett Anderson in 1989 and played rhythm guitar for the band Suede. One of the band's founding members, Frischmann thought of the band name after Morrissey released his single "Suedehead". Frischmann and Anderson parted ways in their relationship in 1991, and Frischmann eventually began dating Damon Albarn, the lead singer for the band Blur. She started feeling like "the token girl playing guitar in the back".


Frischmann later founded and fronted her own band, Elastica, which were formed in 1992 but emerged in 1993 with the single "Stutter" thanks to help from BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq. They were signed to his label, Deceptive Records and band members were: Frischmann on vocals/guitar, Donna Matthews on guitar, Annie Holland on bass and Justin Welch on drums. In 1995, Elastica were nominated for the Mercury Music Prize for their album Elastica. Each track consisted of punchy basslines and sharp lyrics that climaxed at the 2 minute mark, capturing the punk sound that was a large influence on the members. The band struggled to complete a follow-up album. In later interviews, Frischmann admitted that the group's 2000 release, The Menace, was a result of burn-out following the stress of long periods of touring. The band toured North America in support of the release, but disbanded soon after.

From 2002-2003, she collaborated with her friend and flatmate M.I.A. by co-writing the first demos for her album Arular. She co-wrote the music on M.I.A.'s 2003 single, "Galang." In 2003, she performed lead vocals on Pleasure's single "Don't Look The Other Way". She has also produced demos for the band, White Rose Movement.


In 2003, Frischmann co-presented a series called Dreamspaces for the BBC Television about modern architecture. She also wrote the incidental theme tune for Channel 4's Working It. In 2004 she presented the UK's premier and longest running arts programme The South Bank Show and appeared as a judge for the Stirling Prize for Architecture.

Personal life

Frischmann split from long term boyfriend Damon Albarn (of Blur) in 1998. Despite the split, the two have remained friends. Most of Blur's album 13 is about Frischmann, most notably the #2 single "Tender" and "No Distance Left to Run", which reached #14 on the UK Singles Chart. "Coffee & TV" was the only song on 13 not about Frischmann; lyrics written and sung by Graham Coxon. The sad nature of these songs came about because they were written at the end of the relationship, but there are other Blur songs about the positive sides and the often eccentric and energetic Damon Albarn's love for her before they split up: "Yuko and Hiro" is about his love for her but their inability to see each other because of both being in hugely successful bands) from their 1995 album The Great Escape and Blur.

Frischmann now lives in Los Angeles and Boulder, Colorado, where she studies visual arts and psychology at Naropa University, a small, Buddhist-inspired liberal arts college. In August 2008 Frischmann married her U.S. college professor.

External links

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