Saturday, March 20, 2010

Alex Chilton

My friend Louise did a fantastic interview with the notoriously media-shy artist in 2000. He talks about his drug use, his songwriting (which he thought sucked), the media. Read it here [and, yeah, the website for the Hudson Current is horrendous, and the intro to the interview is duplicated for some reason, but try to ignore that]. Here's an excerpt:

LT: So you must get a lot of people that request Big Star and Box Tops songs at your shows. Does that bother you?

AC: I don't care. If people pay their money to come in, they could pretty much do whatever they'd like. There are [a few] Big Star songs that I play, but that's about all. I mean, a lot of times if people are really hollering out for Big Star tunes, then I'll tell them that they hired the wrong band, and what they wanted to see was Big Star and not me.

LT: Is it weird to have all these die-hard Big Star fans after the fact?

AC: I don't know. It all makes perfect sense to me. We never really managed to grab the public's attention and our record company couldn't quite do the right thing with us to make us a success. So it's all sort of practical. The fact that the records are good and have some good stuff on it, it sort of stands to reason that, after a while, we would have some fans. But I'm not sure I understand the cult of Big Star.

LT:I read that you said that your Big Star songs were mediocre and that Box Tops was a farce.

AC: Well, I mean, there were good things about both groups. I listen to a Big Star record and I think it's pretty good, but I listen to, you know, 150 other bands and think that they're just as good or better. And I just don't see it as something super, super special, at least not especially good in my view.

LT: Do you think that's normal? Because most people in bands are pretty proud of their old work.

AC: Well, I'm pretty proud of it, but it seems to me that what's good about a Big Star record, is that it was kind of meticulously done, very well recorded and well produced. I really think that in a way, the guy who engineered and mixed our records is what's really great about it. I mean, some of the music is good, but we were also kind of lucky that we had a really good engineer. If we'd been recorded in another way, people wouldn't hear us the same at all.

So long, Alex.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:44 PM

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