Thegrill, with Beck Hansen
Beck Hansen's music ranges from hip-hop to disco to country, and the artist known as Beck has the performing personas to match. The 32 year-old Californian took time out from his Australian tour to free-style with Julietta Jameson.
You are an incredibly energetic live performer.
Yeah. [laughs] Certainly in the past. I've tried to just pace myself a bit now. But it usually doesn't work. I just go out and do everything anyway.
What happens to you out there? You don't normally look like the rock and roll animal, Beck.
I just get into the music. I try to make the music interesting for people.
Well, you've hurt yourself a few times so you'd want to be careful. [Most famously, copping a bass guitar in the stomach after leaping off a speaker during a London gig in 2000.]
Yeah. [laughs] People don't understand. The lights are extremely bright and you lose your place [laughs] physically. We've had a few musicians falling off the stage. But actually it's very technical, it's to do with the lights.
I love your latest album, Seachange.
Thank you. I like it. It's the music I kind of felt was missing from the performing. These were the kinds of songs I'd do during sound check, but we'd rarely get to put them in the set. Now they're part of my thing.
I read a review of Seachange that said it was the hangover music after the Midnite Vultures (1999) party.
Yeah. [laughs] That record was going to an extreme, so you kind of need to swing back to the other extreme. But I knew when Midnite Vultures was coming out, that I wanted the next thing to be very simple, direct and emotional.
Who are your influences?
It's not really conscious, but certain musicians, like the Beatles or Dylan or the Stones, are unavoidable just because they did everything. Just when you think you've done something fresh you hear the Stones playing trip hop in 1971. [laughs] You hear the roots of it more than anything. What they did has all just become part of the vocabluary.
Are you still robot dancing?
Well, hey, I do a little bit of it. I kind of let it go for a couple of years and then I was touring with the Flaming Lips and they were very adamant that I continue. [Flaming Lips front man] Wayne [Coyne] would constantly tell me, "You know, another kid's going to come along and take it from you." We were discussing certain things that we used to do live which had been usuerped. He's like, all cautionary, "You gotta keep that one. Mick has the chicken walk. You gotta have something to show, something to do that's yours."
What's the key to a good robot dance?
You gotta be quite toned muscularly. It takes a certain amount of rigidity. But it's a fine line with the robot though. The robot isn't that respectable amongst the singer songwriters. Popping and locking isn't really part of the whole milieu of singer songwriters. It's not really condoned as appropriate behaviour.
Do you care?
I don't really care.
And here's one I found yesterday with Famke Janssen.
On the phone with Famke Janssen
We got the 38 year-old star's mobile phone number and rang her at random for a week
Wednesday, 3:06 pm
"I'm in the living room of my Manhattan brownstone. I'm renting now, but I'm in the process of buying a new place, which has an incredible deck. That will be great for my Boston terrier, Licorice. I'm crazy about him. I'm leaving now to meet with a writer about a novel I'm adapting into a film.
Thursday, 8:47 am
I just got back from walking Licorice. It's the first thing I do every morning when I wake up. I don't care what I look like or what I'm wearing. And I always stop at Starbucks to get a venti cappucino, the largest one they have, without sugar. Then I get an egg sandwich and orange juice at the corner deli and take it back home. Then my day can start.
Friday, 4:52 pm
I'm at a photo shoot for the British edition of In Style. I always find photo shoots a little bit draining. Even though you don't have to use your brain all that much, it's hard work. I have Licorice here with me. We're shooting in a townhouse, and he isn't allowed outside the kitchen, so I'm in there with him now. I'm hoping to work on my adaptation tonight for a few hours. I wrote when I was a Columbia University, and I also took a writing course at AFI [the American Film Institute], so I'm not that nervous about the project. I usually just throw myself into things and don't even think if it's scary until I'm in the middle of the process.
Saturday, 7:19 pm
I'm with a bunch of friends at my favourite restaurant, Nobu. I'm having the yellowtail fish with jalapeno, which I love. I really don't like fish that much, but the food at Nobu is delicious. Call me a Nobu snop. I packed earlier today because I'm flying to Los Angeles in the morning.
Sunday, 5:24 pm
I'm in my room at the Chateau Marmont. When my flight landed, I raced to the hotel, dropped off my luggage and went on a hike in Runyon Canyon. I figured Licorice needed some exercise after the flight. The hike is great, and there are lots of dogs that he can socialise with. Since I got him, Licorice has been travelling everythwere with me. If there were such a thing as frequent flier-miles for dogs, he'd be flying around the world for free by now. He has gone to Costa Rica, all over Europe, and back and forth between New York and LA about once a week for two years. When he sees his travel bag, he gets excited.
Monday, 9:33 am
I woke up at about six this morning- I'm still on New York time. Then I went hiking. I'm now atmy favourite LA breakfast place, Kings Road Cafe. You can sit outside with your dog, and the coffee is the best I've ever had anywhere because it's really strong. I'm having what I always get: poached eggs, orange juice, cappucino and dry toast. After this I'll be doing things for Eulogy, the movie I'm shooting here.
Tuesday, 10:28 pm
I went to Runyon Canyon again this morning, then again to Kings Road for breakfast. I love my rituals. [Later] I went back to Runyon for a second hike, and now I'm back at the hotel. I've been staying at the Chateau Marmont for years. I probably spend more time here that at my home. It's this great old building, the rooms are really big, and I get one with a kitchen and also a balcony so that Licorice can go outside. I always run into a lot of friends here. We sometimes hang out downstairs or play ping pong togeather. It's been fun. Bye-bye."
Hope you enjoy them, dear. ^^