Andy Samberg Talks “Iran So Far” & Aphex Twin

Yes, we instantly fell in love with Andy Samberg’s latest viral digi short “Iran So Far” while watching it in our hotel rooms after Brandon’s wedding a few weekends ago (congrats, B!). Our love so blinding (deafining?) that we missed what eagle-eared commenter gl0tch immediately identified: “Iran So Far Away” was built upon a sample of Aphex Twin’s “Avril 14th.”

Since then the track’s usage and the legal consequences for NBC have been everywhere, but we reached out to Andy that week to find out just who was the Aphex Twin fan in the Lonely Island crew. Took a little while, but today he got back to us with the backstory and subsequent fallout. And we won’t argue with his reason for being late…


Sorry it took me so long to respond, the show keeps us
very busy. To answer your question the piano loop in the beat we made
is a direct sample from
Aphex Twin’s “Avril 14th”, we are fans of his and love that song in particular.

Since SNL is a live show we’re allowed to use anything for one-time
airing and only require permission for all other airings. Since it all
comes together so quickly we will often air something and then suss
out clearances in the weeks following (this was the case
with a short we made that used an Imogen Heap song, which she later
cleared ). The NBC lawyers are currently trying to make a deal with
Aphex Twin’s people about clearing it for future use, so hopefully
they’ll come to an agreement.

Hope that answers your question, love stereogum – see you in the rad zone!


Love you too, Andy. But “the rad zone”? More like the Super-Awesomely Retarded Awesome Zone!