fredschneider

Portrait of an Artist with Fred Schneider: How many guys would rhyme bodices with goddesses?

 

Or:  How I Got to Interview Fred Schneider for 25 Minutes—SPONTANEOUS—BASIL LOVER—HERO OF THE SILLY AND ABSURD

 

This is the first part of the first installment of Portrait of an Artist. D. Crane will interview musicians and artists who blow his mind.  Read along and see him sharpen his interview skills to that of a slightly sharp pencil. Fred Schneider was the inspiration for the song “(do the) Magic Centipede,” off of BOAT’s Setting the Paces LP. His new band is called the Superions, and they have a brand new self-titled EP/LP on Athens, GA’s Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records. They make the most ridiculous surreal/silly dance music around. Stay tuned for the second part later this week.

 

How did you get in touch with Mike from Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records (HHBTM)?

 

I am a record nut and he runs a record store, so naturally we hit it off. I heard that he runs a label with two of my favorite acts, Cars Can Be Blue and the Lolligags. I knew he was an honest guy and a hard worker, so  I suggested to the Superions, “Hey, let’s put this out on a small label.” Originally, it was going to be a single, but there were some remixes that I thought turned out great, and I couldn’t be happier.

 

How long ago did the Superions start?

 

We started about 5 years ago as the Del Morons.  The first song we did was a song called “Totally Nude Island.”  Dan and Noah came up with the music and I just went in the bathroom and came up with the words off the top of my head.  We thought it was fun.  People said they liked it and told us to put it on Itunes, and that they’d buy it. Most of the HHBTM recordings were recorded soon after.

 

What is the songwriting process like for the Superions?

 

When I go down to Orlando, I stay with Dan and Noah. They usually have music, and you know, whatever comes off the top of my head.

 

Do you start with a title in mind?

 

No, I start with a glass of wine in hand, in the bathroom where the acoustics are good.  They have a lovebird who rattles the cage where the ProTools are, and he will rattle  his cage until I let him out, and then we have to chase him around the house, so I just go in the bathroom.

 

Tell me about the video for “Who Threw the Ham at Me”?

 

I came up with the concept for the video.  My friend Alan who plays me because I figure he’s younger and better looking.  He pulled everything together for me.  Alan got the local grocery store to donate the space and the ham.  The rest is video history.  We couldn’t use some of the footage, from the handheld because everyone was laughing.  We made it in five hours.

 

Have you heard reports of the Superions being played in dance clubs in NY and LA?  It is really great wacky dance music!

 

It’s being played on college radio….actually Totally Nude Island is popular in strip clubs! (Laughs)  We are thinking of doing a record signing at a strip club.

 

You should do that!  I always (the two times I was forced at peer pressure gunpoint) felt extremely awkward at strip clubs.  I am sure seeing you there signing albums heighten those experiences to a new bizarre level!

 

What is with the Olympic theme on your myspace page?  Is it related to the Olympics?  Is Fred Schneider a closet curling fanatic?

 

No, we saw cheap tee shirts at Target (embarrassed laughter) and Dan said he saw Snuggies.  We went for both!

 

Tell me about the Disco Garbage Can (the official dance in the “Who Threw the Ham at Me” video)?

 

I realized we needed a dance for the video, so I figured that’s the Disco Garbage Can!

 

Tell me about Dan and Noah.

 

Dan is a waiter.  Noah works runs the Beetlejuice show at Universal.

 

What do the B-52’s think of the Superions?

 

Cindy and Kate like it.  Right now we are working on a live album, we are taking a break from playing live, after the two years we toured Funplex.

 

Do you have plans to take the Superions on the road and play shows?

 

Well, we do, but this has just been organic.  It’s been snowballing.  To mount a show would be really expensive.  We have to see the feasibility of it.  The guys live in Orlando, and I live in NY.  If we could break even, it would be ideal.

 

Do you edit laughter out of the tracks?

 

We know a song is good when it makes us burst out laughing.  Some of the stuff is so surreal.   Nothing like anyone’s ever heard, or maybe would even want to hear.

 

“Sexy Saucer Gals” made me laugh hysterically!  I can’t get past the names of the alien ladies without breaking up!

 

How many guys would rhyme bodices with goddesses? Barba, Go Go, Lula, and Lotron.  I actually forgot to say Lula on the recording.  We are doing I heart Lotron tee shirts.

 

How would you describe the Superions sound?

 

There are no limits.  That’s what makes us different.  Anything could happen…..you don’t know what’s gonna happen by the end.

 

{Stay tuned for part two where Dave starts to get a bit personal with Fred!}

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