Father John Misty showed up to a recent Rolling Stone interview tripping on acid (of course) and chatted with the interviewer about a lot of things, including his recent SNL performance (he was on acid during that too) and Donald Trump. The most interesting factoid from this particular interview appears when FJM offhandedly says he turned down an audition for a role in season two of Stranger Things. Read on:
You’re still on Sub Pop, an indie label, after selling 250,000 albums. Were you tempted to sign with a major label?
I talked to every major label under the sun. They do this Jedi mind trick: “It’s time to go to the next level.” I’ve seen smart, principled people try, but it never works out. But as long as they say, “It’s time to go to the next level,” then you will forget all that. There are many other things I’ve said no to. I was asked to audition for the second season of Stranger Things. I didn’t want that level of exposure. I don’t want to be TV famous.
This makes perfect sense — I think that literally every man with a beard is Father John Misty so it must be really fucking annoying to actually be Father John Misty. He probably has people asking him for photos and autographs all of the time.
FJM went on to respond to a comment about that one line in his song that references sex with Taylor Swift…
Some critics are saying what you wrote is no better than what Kanye West wrote.
If you can’t see the difference between those two lines then you are a bullshit music writer. You have to think that is really a Trump-ian form of malignant self-permission where I wrote songs thinking, “What’s going to get the biggest reaction from the pearl-clutching brownshirt liberals?” That’s not how I do things.
…and he shit on music writing again.
A lot of the songs on your new album reminded me of Neil Young’s On The Beach.
I think someone should start a website where they do modern-day music writing – the intersectional-virtue-warrior style of music writing – about old albums. With On The Beach it would be, “Oh, great. Another white man singing about how tough it is to be white.”
FJM also talked about Lorde’s performance on SNL vs. his own performance on SNL, and made an astute comment about how music blogs like this one would definitely excerpt this very quote and make it a “thing.” Here it is:
What obligations do artists have to combat Trump?
People kept asking me what I was going to do on SNL. I think you only have to pull stunts if the content of your music is meaningless. Artists need to consider whether they can live with themselves if they’re just singing about breakups and whatever. I mean, Lorde is on the show next week. The dichotomy between my performance, which I’m sure has been widely derided, and hers … I’m not going to get into this because the headlines when it gets picked up will be “Father John Talks About Lorde” and then a picture of me in earbuds screaming next to a picture of her where she’s like, “Huh?” I think people only want symbolic victories in the world of popular music where you can vaguely project the feminism thing even though their industry is so clearly anti-woman. If it’s vague enough, narcissists can project. They need blank surfaces to project onto. And we are living in a narcissist culture, so it makes perfect sense. And a lot of the worst narcissists are the most fuckin’ self-righteous ones.
Man, narcissists are the worst! This has been your Father John Misty Said A Thing Update.