An interview with the legend that is Weird Al!By Sj.Cliff
Weird Al is music history personified. With a career spanning over 35 years, from music tv to the wonder that is YouTube, his hilarious parodies have been enjoyed by generations. With his new album storming the charts, we decided it was definatly time for a chat!
Hey Al, how you doin?
I’m doin’ great thanks. It’s a little early over here in LA.
Ooo, what time have we caught you?
It’s about 7 in the morning. Yesterday my day began at 2AM. I had to do satellite TV on the east coast so 6am starts are a bit of a treat now.
So, your new album is out…it’s a bit unusual to bring out 8 new videos is 8 days! What are the thoughts behind that?
It’s nothing I’ve ever done before but I wanted to give it a shot because MTV isn’t really music television any more. I thought the best way to market this album would be through the online community.
What an epic idea! Your first video is full of comedians and TV stars – how did you get everyone on board?
They’re all friends of mine. I just got out my address book, looking for people to be in my video. Pharrell got a lot of his celebrity friends so I thought I should do the same thing.
What’s been your favourite song to parody? You’ve done so many…
It’s hard to say. I mean, people ask me that a lot and there’s no real answer. I can say that I like my new album better than any of my previous albums. I like to think I improve. I always say this but its always sincerer but I like to think I top myself with each new album that I put out. Because this is possibly my last ever album, I’d like to think that it’s the best ever.
Having a look through your discography there are a lot of tunes to be proud of. I have noticed a lot of polka! How you mix it with modern songs?
Well I grew up playing the accordion – that’s my only formal musical training, three years of accordion lessons. It kind of warped me at an early age because I loved rock and roll and I wanted to join my friends rock bands but for some reason they didn’t have a need for an accordion player.
I’ve seen a fan video of your polka version of 'Wrecking Ball'!
I didn’t do a whole parody of that because I didn’t think that people would want to see me naked on a wrecking ball. I wanted to spare them that visual!
You’ve generated a lot of fans in your career that’s spanned over 30 years. How did you get into this business?
It was something that I did for fun. I’ve been twisting the words around in songs since I was a small child. It was just a phase I, apparently, never grew out of. I used to send tapes of my amateurish versions of songs to a disk jockey in the states called Paul who used to play them on his nationally syndicated radio station and that encouraged me to do more.
It’s awesome though! After your syndicate radio shows, you moved to MTV (when it was Music television). Has the switch to online affected you?
Well the internet is the new MTV as far as I’m concerned. It’s music on demand. It’s wonderful because you don’t have to wait around for hours for your favourite song to come up in rotation – if you want to see what your favourite artists are doing they’re just a Google search away. I think that’s terrific and it’s healthy and that’s where the future is headed.