Bradford Cox Explains “Sharona”-Gate

By Tom Breihan / March 8, 2012

At an Atlas Sound show in Minneapolis earlier this week, some heckler requested a cover of the Knack’s new wave nugget “My Sharona.” Frontman (and, for this tour, sole member) Bradford Cox responded by playing an hour-long cover of the song as a sort of absurdist joke. Reports of the show circulated quickly. And yesterday, Cox called Pitchfork to explain the unhinged set — or, really, to explain how the cover was no big deal and how it was also awesome. Cox’s interview with Pitchfork is as much of an insane performance as the cover itself was, and it’s the sort of thing that makes me glad I don’t work at Pitchfork anymore. Below, some choice quotes:

“It was one of the best performances I’ve done since Deerhunter started. No one else fucking allows themselves to become unhinged. If it’s frightening to people, then those people seriously need to look at the mediocrity they subscribe to…

I am just a little, tiny punk person. It’s not like fucking Lana Del Rey carved an upside down cross on her cheek and defecated all over herself on stage at fucking Bonnaroo…

I am a terrorist. As a homosexual, my job is simply to sodomize mediocrity. I am terrified and horrified and shocked that anyone would mention Phish in any article related to me…

People had a fantastic, great time at this concert. At the end of the night, the majority of the audience was on stage dancing and having a great time. I’m a good time kind of guy. I’m like Sly from the Family Stone. I’m all about smiling and good times and white teeth. It was a very natural show and the people that didn’t like it can suck my dick. They got the full fucking set of emotional fucking sincere whiny white people music. And then they got fucking ‘My Sharona’ as interpreted by Faust. It was like a death trance…

Have these people never seen Deerhunter? I mean, Jesus Christ, there’s never been a Deerhunter or Atlas Sound show where there’s not some form of improvisation. This just happened to be more in a humorous vein. It’s unfortunate the narc that videotaped everything didn’t get all the best parts. There was this really great chord with harmonic undertones.

The saddest thing is that nothing can happen for an audience of 400 people anymore. Now it has to be on the internet and it has to be broadcast so widely. That intimidates people. Maybe that’s the issue that makes people want to be more inhibited onstage. It makes people more self-censoring. That’s the reason people think I’m a nutjob, because I don’t give a fuck who reposts or how I sound. I don’t Twitter, I just randomly urinate out of my mouth. And then people sift through the feces looking for seeds.”

There’s a whole lot more of this at Pitchfork.