Some artists can be a little unforthcoming in interviews but this was definitely not one of those times.
We met Evan Dando backstage at Ben & Jerry’s Sundae on the Common after The Lemonheads gave a blistering live performance and the main man was clearly still on some sort of massive high, natural or not I’ve never heard an artist speak so quickly and sporadically on so many subjects in such a short space of time. My secret is that I NEVER drink any WATER, and NEVER sleep, constantly stay up every night and do drugs!
He had us in stitches with a comic performance the like of which I have rarely seen before. As we sat down on the grass backstage he was talking to one of the organisers offering him a beer (we already had ours) when he noticed that we had started to record.
Evan Dando: I don’t ever drink at all when I’m playing as I just wanna keep,.. Oh right (laughs as he sees the mic) my secret is that I NEVER drink any WATER, and NEVER sleep, constantly stay up every night and do drugs! (laughs).
MN: Great intro we’re gonna use that as a quote! What did it feel like on stage?
Evan Dando: It was amazing as we had John [John Perry lead guitarist of The Only Ones] up there!
MN: How did that come about then?
Evan Dando: Well, we had this album and it needed a little something so I was dealing with Anthony from Cornershop and he knows John so he got him a ticket and ended up playing on 4, 5, 6 of the songs! F*** I want him in the band but he’s in a band already (laughs). He’s my favourite lead guitar player, well J and him [J Mascis – Dinosaur Junior]. J played at my wedding, I’m lucky that way with lead guitarists! (laughs).
MN: And the rest of the band?
Evan Dando: They’re from Indiana, just write them off anyway [he said with a cheeky grin and a shrug of the shoulders] no, they’re from Indiana eerrm Indianapolis! They have a lot of refugees from Zimbabwee right now but otherwise they are doing pretty well.
Confused looks all around as Evan laughs and continues his verbal tirade half talking half mumbling.
Evan Dando: I was just in South Africa Mougabi is being rough on Indiana [we don’t really know what we are laughing at but now we all seem to have caught Evans giggles. I try to bring the interview back on the straight and narrow].We’d take an E seven songs before we’re done , and all these people would be like I love you!
MN: The decision to reform the Lemonheads how did that come about?
Evan Dando: It wasn’t really a decision it was a survival technique. You know, you get more money to play gigs, and also in the last remaining record store wherever it is, probably Hull or Cohasit Massachusetts, they’ll be an Evan and Lemonheads section and I’m thinking call it all the same thing, who’s kidding who, I mean it’s all been a solo project since 1990 anyway!
MN: Yeah, I mean you write everything don’t you?
Evan Dando: Well no, I play everything but I have writing partners like Tom Morgan.
MN: Are you working on new material now then?
Evan Dando: Yeah, it’s a covers record called 'Varshons’ and it’s finished. It’s really good, Gibby Haynes [co-founder of The Butthole Surfers] produced it and it has some special guests on it.
Evan Dando: Actually I don’t wanna jinx it as it’s not all legally done yet. But it’s all done audioly (strange looks and laughter) Audioly? Audioly? Audiodiodioly! (laughs). My friends they were having sex and she told him when I’m coming put the gun in you’re mouth and fire, and he did it and she said it was really warm and groovy when she sucked the blood out of his head, she was coming too.
MN: Any other festivals this year?
Evan Dando: I was in like a really bad mood as I thought that we weren’t but I guess I’m a little spoiled. I wasn’t feeling that up to it the last couple of shows but tonight was really fun, back on form.
MN: And Shame About Ray album you played the whole thing?
Evan Dando: Thing is there are a couple of good songs in there.
MN: Bloody hell loads it was brilliant [journalist crawling up the posterior alert]
Evan Dando: Well that’s the thing even if you feel bad you sing a few and it puts you back on track, I enjoy it a lot too. Some of the more recent shows have been quite intense although we used to have that back in the day too.
Then some garbled chat ensues as to which was the best Lemonheads gig I saw and Evan can remember culminating with,
Evan Dando: Well the best gigs ever were ,,
MN: Kilburn National?
Evan Dando: >Yes!!!
MN: I was there, brilliant! [I’ve lost it now]
Evan Dando: Even Suede were cancelled as we had so many people the fire marshals came in and cancelled it. We felt like we had achieved something. That was the time when we’d take an E seven songs before we’re done but you couldn’t feel it then all of a sudden you’d be done and you’d be like wooooooooooah! And all these people would be like I love you! It was really weird and fun, strange and then you’d find chicks and , [you can see the glint in his eye].
MN: Is it as much fun now?
Evan Dando: Absolutely! I’ve found the right girl now so I don’t have to mess around and get f***ed up chasing girls around.
MN: Anything you’d like to say to the Music News audience?
Evan Dando: Yeah, Jesus Christ died with a hard-on. It’s a beautiful thing to die. My friends they were having sex and she told him when I’m coming put the gun in you’re mouth and fire, and he did it and she said it was really warm and groovy when she sucked the blood out of his head, she was coming too. (And then all matter-of-factly says) You should try it sometime.
Read our Lemonheads review at the Ben & Jerry’s Festival here
An album of cover versions, Varshons, is due for release on September 16, 2008. The band also plans to release their ninth album of original material in 2009