The Lonely Island Talk "Turtleneck & Chain", Michael Bolton, Calls from Justin Timberlake, and More
Mon, 16 May 2011 08:50:01
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Comedy music act The Lonely Island, featuring Andy Samberg of Saturday Night Live fame along with Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, are barreling towards the #1 new album debut on the Billboard chart this week with Turtleneck & Chain, their second album. Their first was the awesomely hilarious Incredibad. The Lonely Island are sort of like The Beastie Boys, only funnier and more, well, boyish.
The trio –Schaffer and Taccone also work on SNL—makes no apologies and doesn't try to disguise its music for what it truly is. They happily admit that they are a comedy act and a parody act and nothing less.
The group just issued a video for "Jack Sparrow," featuring the inimitable Michael Bolton, which you can view here.
Turtleneck & Chain boasts 19 tracks, including guest spots from Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and many more.
ARTISTdirect.com News Editor Amy Sciarretto spoke to the trio on the album's release date and here's what they had to say. Note: We attribute all quotes to the band as a single entity, since it was a fast and furious chat over a speaker phone during a busily packed press day.
Why is Bolton so cool?
He is absolutely, 100 percent cool and he is genuinely talented.
A-list pop stars appear on Turtleneck & Chain: Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, and of course, the inimitable Michael Bolton. Did you have a favorite? Come on, give it up, even if it's not politically correct to do so.
We love them all equally. We literally love them all equally. They get the same amount of private time and of loving time with us.
Do you get turned down by a lot of pop stars that you pursue and if so, how do you handle the rejection?
No, not really. We don't get bummed out. We have asked people who have been too busy or they politely said "no" since what we do is not for them, which is the answer you like to get if that is the case. You want them to be comfortable if they are going to participate, since if they aren't, it'll show and be so obvious.
How diplomatic of you. Do you ever want anyone to take you seriously with this project? Or is it all for laughs, which seems to be the case.
That's not possible, since we are comedians. It's comedy. If people like the music, then we are excited about that as well, but it's always, always comedy first. That is the joke: to make it sound like a real pop song.
I remember Andrew W.K. once said that millions of dollars were poured into his records to make them sound like a million dollars weren't spent on his records. How do you guys put the music together?
We get beats sent to us now and then and we pull those and pick things we like and it inspires ideas, but in terms of lyrics and melodies? We write all of that. We generally do a temp track for singing parts and send them to the artists we are pursuing. It's just us three, with no engineer, at home with a MAC computer and with a cheaper Pro Tools set up that you can throw in and we record each other. If there is a part where the three of us need to be on the mic at once, we have to press record, run over to the mic and do that part.
It's like those old-fashioned cameras where someone would have to set the camera up and then run in front of it to be in the actual shot, whether it be with family or whomever.
Totally. We invested in longer chords for the headphones, from the computer to the mic. That was our big expense for the record. It sounds worse if you download it illegally with guilt. It will destroy the listening experience.
How was it working with Bolton, who got the royal pop culture treatment back in the late 1990s with Office Space and now again with The Lonely Island? Was he into it or did he require some convincing?
He was instantly down to do it. We even had discussions on the boundaries he would and would not cross. He got it right. He had a busy tour schedule and we came up with the time to lock it down and wanted to make sure he was comfortable so he would own it and go for it. And he did.
You've worked with Justin Timberlake before with "Dick in a Box." Do you just call him up when you want to work with him on something?
We're friends. He calls all the time and wants to hang out. Like every day. We're all like, 'Find something else to do.' I was in LA recently and went to see Prince. Put that in your friendship pipe!
What's the funniest jam from The Lonely Island?