Wednesday, August 29, 2001
Grant-Lee Phillips chat
I would like to ask if you have any before-concert
routines or rituals that transport you into performance
My friends and I very much enjoyed your recent Chicago
show. Thanks for taking the time to chat with the "Humid
Kind" at the rockin' Double Door Sauna Club.
"The Burgundy-and-Gray Lady"
Grant-Lee Phillips: My pre-show rituals? A little prayer, a lot of pacing, that tends to prepare me.
That was a humid night! We had a legendary night.
Hi Grantey--I just got "Mobilize" yesterday and can't stop
listening to it, but I would like to know on the inside of
the back sleeve of the C.D. it says 'IT'S UP-TO-YOU'. Is
this a secret message to me :-) or is there a special
meaning behind it. I see no other reference to it on the
rest of the CD.Thank you Grantey~~~~Linda~~~~
Grant-Lee Phillips: Hmmmm....the album art was actually modified from an old children's game. One of those games where you have to shake the little silver ball so that it finds its way from on way to the other. The game had to do with climbing Pike's Peak, it's a challenge. That's the reference. No cryptic references though.
Grant-Lee Phillips: Glad you liked the record!
Love your music.If you were in The Archies [band that is
],which character do you see yourself being ? and why ? We
the people need to know.Thanks and much success to you with
the new release.
Grant-Lee Phillips: That's an easy one - Jughead, he was the one with the beanie. I just like the beanie. I told a fella who was hanging out in the alley the other day that we were The Archies.
Was releasing Ladies Love Oracle through the internet a
good experience, or did it point out the necessity of
working with a label. Also, how has working with Rounder
been, compared to a big label?
Grant-Lee Phillips: Hey J.J., by all means, Lady's Love Oracle was a totally great experience. You find that there's a sense of victory when you approach things hands on. Rounder has also been a great experience. I like the accountability and personality of dealing with a smaller group of people.
Why did you get Michael Stipe to take those cool pix on the
inside of the new album?
Grant-Lee Phillips: Michael is a dear friend. And a great photographer. I had a good hunch that he would capture a more off-beat and casual portrait than if I went into a studio. He was the best guy for the job.
I gave Michael a ring one day and asked him if he would do it, he said yes sure, but I have to do it pretty quickly. Basically I hopped on a plain and went to Athens Georgia. Michael had the locations on hand.
Do you remember the live in Japan?
I saw your live three times.
At live in small place, I had a chance to talk with YOU!
Thank you,that time. I hope you that you will come to Japan
again soon. Thank you.
Grant-Lee Phillips: Wow, all the way from Japan! How great! I do remember having a wonderful time and spending time with some great people there. Tokyo is like no place else I've ever been. It's like Times Square x 2000, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will get back to Japan as well as a number of places I was fortunate enough to see with Grant Lee Buffalo, that goes for Europe, Australia, and so many others.
How is it to perform in front of a small crowd( like in
Montreal yesterday)By the way,great show!
Grant-Lee Phillips: I found as was the case last night, that a small and intimate crowd can be just as powerful as a large one. Our performance in Montreal was one of the most exciting on this tour. With Grant Lee Buffalo, we had the opportunity to support bands like R.E.M., The Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam, while these were all memorable performances, there's something undeniably rewarding about performing to an audience that comes specifically to see and hear you.
Hi Grant. Big fan of yours. Loved GLB and the solo
records are great. Is there any chance of you touring with
E and Jon Brion sometime? That'd be a show made in heaven.
Grant-Lee Phillips: I'm not sure if I could ever convince Jon Brion to go on the road, but that would be a hoot.
E from the band The Eels, is also a friend of mine, I've come to believe that The E stands for Eccentric. It would have to be a pretty large bus to fit the both of us. He's a great artist, in fact they both are.
Hi Grant! My wife and I LOVE your new album! We also are so
excited to see you live again in Seattle! (10 days and
My question is; We saw you play at Largo last year with
your band the Specters and you played several new songs
that are not on "Mobilize". Are you planning on releasing
those songs with the Specters?
Grant-Lee Phillips: There was a brief period in which Bill Bonk and Phil Parlapiano and the drummer Scott were being referred to as The Spectors, as I seem to recall, we were testing out a number of songs that I was writing at the time. To be honest the band name nor the songs, none of that was set in stone. They were probably 20 other songs that I chose to leave off mobilize, they may be recorded at some point in time.
Hey Grant! The show in Chicago was excellent. I have a
stupid question. Saw some tour pics posted on your site
and wondered what exactly is tattooed on your chest?
Grant-Lee Phillips: It looks like a baby calamari, but it's actually the sun.
Grant-Lee Phillips: I've had it for about 13 years. I like the idea of associating the heart with the sun. Calamari, especially if it's fried, isn't too good for your heart.
Is it true that your next album will be recorded using only
Grant-Lee Phillips: Hello Victor,
I haven't heard that rumour yet although I may have started it. I do play banjo. I pose the challenge to you Victor, to make that all-time classic banjo album.
How much of your decision to write, co-produce, and perform
the album yourself was a result of being apprehensive about
collaborating with a group again?
Grant-Lee Phillips: I've always allowed the songs themselves to lead me and to guide my strategy. I felt as though the best way to tackle Mobilize was to act as producer and as a truly solo artist. I would credit a spirit of excitement rather than one of apprehension. In the end, Mobilize, is a sort of collaboration between myself and Carmen Rizzo at least in terms of it's overall sound, the engineering and the programmed elements..
"Mighty Joe Moon" remains one of the greatest songs ever
recorded...Is there a place in the world that you visited
where you were dazzled by the geography and/or people?
Would you ever sing in Van Halen if they asked you to?
Grant-Lee Phillips: I'd love to hear how Van Halen would approach Mighty Joe Moon.
Presently I'm being dazzled by Toronto.
Would you ever allow one of those boy bands to record one
of your songs- "Mockingbirds" for example and under the
assumption that the songs would get played to death and
make you lots of $?
Grant-Lee Phillips: Allow it? I would usher it. Yeah, why not? Think of all the albums I could make with that kind of money. Just don't me to dance like that.
A few folks have covered my songs. Now and then I'm happily surprised to hear that a band has covered Fuzzy. There's a lot of little bands that never put out records that play my stuff.
We've yet to stick to a set list on this tour. We can play a zillion cover songs but it's hard to say when that's going to happen. When I toured by myself I covered Wave Of Mutilation by The Pixies and Jealous Guy by Lennon.
your song 'spring released' is great. it would be wonderful
to hear it on the radio: in a perfect world everyone would
hear it. what are the barriers to getting songs played?,
even on so-called "modern rock radio"
Grant-Lee Phillips: If I only knew the combination to that lock.....
Spring Released has actually enjoyed a good deal of air play on certain formats. Although I don't obsess about these type of things, it's always satisfying to hear that the music is being played somewhere.
Hi Grant, what's up with the Humping Tanks on the cover of
your CD? Are they supposed to be humping? Or did you just
get artsy and they happened to appear like that? Or
perhaps it has a secret meaning, or is symbolic of some
sort of previous historical event? PERHAPS?
Grant-Lee Phillips: Tanks for nothing...(ha ha ha).
What can I say Hilary? They are rather cute little tanks. Tanks for writing.
Grant-Lee Phillips: To all of you....allow me to say thank-you for making this tour the most enjoyable one to date. For those of you who have already joined us on the road, many thanks to you for your enthusiasm and your good spirits.
For those cities that we are bound for...we look forward to sharing this music with you face to face. All my very, very best, on behalf of myself and the entire band. We send our love. Adios!
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Grant-Lee Phillips fielded questions from fans as part of an exclusive JAM! Chat.
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