Most Confusing Tom Waits Interview Answers
Smoky-voiced singer songwriter. Experimental musician and cult icon. 90s pop songs non-coverer. There are many ways to describe Tom Waits, but perhaps the most apt one is enigmatic: a mystery wrapped in a riddle (disguised as a sphinx).
Need more proof? Sift through these positively inscrutable responses Waits had to some pretty standard-issue interview questions and judge for yourself.
6. Interviewer: You classify yourself as a poet or as a singer. Which one do you like to be classified as?
Tom Waits: I’m a Methodist.
Thanks, Tommy, that clears it right up!
5. Interviewer: Many of your albums are filled with references to sailors and the sea. Do you think there's a reason for that, beyond growing up in San Diego?
TW: I think all songs should have weather in them. Names of towns and streets, and they should have a couple of sailors. I think those are just song prerequisites.
Come to think of it, he may not have been that far off base. See nearly the entire Decemberists oeuvre as evidence.
4. Interviewer: In your high school about the strongest drug that you’ll find used there is pimple cream.
TW: I’ve always maintained that reality is for people who can’t face drugs.
Maybe? I mean, I guess? You know, I’m just gonna take your word for it on this one.
3. Interviewer: Do you have a favorite sound?
TW: Bacon. In a frying pan. If you record the sound of bacon in a frying pan and play it back it sounds like the pops and cracks on an old 33 1/3 recording. Almost exactly like that. You could substitute it for that sound.
This is pretty handy advice, though, because my record player has a broken needle, and it’s true, sometimes you do just want to hear that record crackle sound but you’re SOL. But now you’re not! Unless you’re a vegetarian, which I am, so, well, still SOL I guess. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
2. Interviewer: What were your parents like, Tom?
TW: My father was an exhaust manifold, and my mother was a tree.
Ok, that’s not actually biologically possible, but…
You know what, I’m just gonna leave it.
1. Interviewer: Where have you never been that you’d like to go?
TW: I’ve never been to Stonehenge. There are moles beneath Stonehenge, the most elaborate system of mole catacombs is beneath Stonehenge. There are more moles beneath Stonehenge than there are anywhere in the world and the community, they reward moles that have the courage to tunnel beneath great rivers. It takes an understanding of physics and engineering, that type of thing. Because if you make a false move, you bring the river in on you, you wipe out the whole world. They have executions for moles that have made the wrong turn.
Bye, Tom. Buh-bye.
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