A lot of people had those dancing bears for a while. Grateful Dead was all the rage.
I had a friend named Ian Franklin who was punk—like, a total death-rocker punk—and her version of rebelling was turning into the biggest fucking deadhead ever. She was my first, like, Jewish-American princess friend, and I met her one time in a soup kitchen, and she had this brand new Volkswagen Jetta with dancing bears. We were in San Francisco, and she goes, “I’ll just have the water and the salad,” and I was like, whoever that is that needs to be my new girlfriend. Because she’s a genius. She just came into a soup kitchen with a bunch of hungry punks and ordered the water and the salad. And, you know, we and she actually did sound for the Breeders, did sound for Nirvana. She ended up being a really good sound, a well-respected sound person.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a punk rebelling by going hippie. I imagine it’s usually the other way around.
She was so into it! I actually went to a Dead show with her, and I mean … I’m sure I’ve been taken to many of them as a child, but I have no memory of them, and it was so just not me. I’m gonna go sell out and do a TV show, and then that’ll be like a six-month break, and then we put the single out. Then next year, we’ll do all the festivals and stuff.
What kind of TV show are you doing?
I can’t tell you, but it’s a really big one. Your mind’s gonna boggle. Listen, your mind’s gonna boggle even more when they announce it.
OK, so …
Trust me. I know what I’m doing. It’s a network, dude.
It’s a network, but is it reality or is it scripted?
Yeah, it’s kind of … it’s reality.
It’s tasteful. You know, it took them 15 years to convince me to do this shit, and I finally said yes … I’m like, okay, I’m gonna do it. I will tell you this: It’s hilarious. That’s all I can tell you.
I’m in a good position, and it’s a good place, and I really think … the fly-over states have some weird opinions about me still. I’m always considered crazy or whatever, and it’s like, God, I haven’t taken drugs since like 2005. It sucks. You know what I mean? Like, it’s just, whatever. Actually, as much as it’s, like, a shocker, it’s also going to clean up the garbage about, you know, who I am to some extent. I mean, the deal is sort of made, and I didn’t really have a choice, and I was like, “Never say never.” That’s all I can tell you. It’s not a proper network show. It’s not like some VH1 show, you know. It’s not—I’m not looking for love. Let’s put it that way.
That’s good to know because if that were the case, I’m not sure if I could watch it.
I can’t really take those shows. I wouldn’t do that to anybody. I wouldn’t do it to myself. But you’re just gonna have to wait on that one. It’ll be good.
Have you ever considered releasing the rehab tape demos that you recorded?
Not really. They’re not that good. If they were really good, I would, but they’re not that good. Maybe in five years, I’ll revisit that, and I’ll change my mind, but if they were great, I would. They’re really naïve, and you know, naïve can be great. It’s just not that good right now.
The other thing I wanted to clear up was the stuff on Huffington Post about you looking for bandmates on Craigslist.
What went on with that? It was totally true. I put an ad on Craigslist, and it said, “Hole-type band looking for Melissa Auf Der Maur’s type bass player,” and I got one response. That’s true.
I don’t know why it became such a big story, but there it is on Newsday. I got one response from a girl that went to Juilliard for four years, and I was like, “OK, Juilliard destroys people; I can’t deal.” But I love Shawn [Dailey], our bass player. Melissa won’t do it unless Eric does it—and that’s never, ever, ever going to happen. As much as I love Shawn, he’s who I’ll probably always record with, but I’m looking for a girl bass player, and they seem to have gone off to be artists or extreme sports people or something. Where the girl bass players used to be there, now it’s slim pickin’s.
Thurs., June 20, 8pm. $35. With Starred. Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. TLAphilly.com
Rusted Root's eclectic mix hits Coda