Interview with Evan Dando by Jim Macnie

From Musician Magazine August 1992

Evan Dando recognizes quality. The day after Mad magazine publisher Bill Gaines died, the Lemonheads singer/guitarist assessed the historical status of smart-assed juvenilia. "Mad was the Oreo, and Cracked was the Hydrox; I always dug Oreos. l used to read my dad's copy, and I'm sure it helped shape me in some way." Maybe that accounts for the frivolity on the band's new It's a Shame about Ray. Indie rock that doesn't hate mainstream pop, it sounds Oreotic-a real-deal confluence of smudged guitars and vocal élan. Dando's a hit-and-run songwriter with a sharp eye, and the record's crammed with tunes that get to the center of their subject matter toot suite. "Real short songs are it," he confirms. "The CD trend is to stretch everything out. Nah. A great album can happen in a half-hour. Look at Rubber Soul -12 short songs."

The Beatles aren't his only reference point. A few nights earlier he busked himself through Gram Parsons' "$1000 Wedding," Billic Holiday's "Jim" and other chestnuts at CBGB. They fit in with the Lemonhead ditties, which range from a that's-that breakup song for his parents to a capsulated moment of self doubt in a diner. "General stuff doesn't have much weight. I learned that in high school, from Joyce's Dubliners and Dylan Thomas. They're specific in talking about experiences, and that's what I model my songs after. It's about language and words, and not being afraid to state the obvious."