"Material World" Interview with Evan Dando

From NME 27th February 1993


Where are you and what are the vibes like?
In a hotel in Kensington. The vibes are stoned.

What's in your luggage?
My bags went missing in transit, so all I have in the world is some cigarettes, three Lemonheads T-shirts and a copy of Life magazine with Charles Manson on the cover.

Last video you rented
John Waters' Polyester. We watched it in the van.

Last good book you read
My Place by Sally Morgan. She's a partly Aboriginal Australian, and it's about finding her roots. It's really funny, also very sad, and it's very well written.

First record you bought
I'd been getting by listening to my parents' records for years, so it happened fairly late. It was a weird bootleg of the first Jonathan Richman recordings on Mohawk Records. I was 13.

What do you think of Bill Clinton?
I'm not a political guy. I can only hope for the best. He's better than George Bush anyway; Bush mixed blood and money far too easily. Clinton may very well get shot.

What did you think of The Word?
It was really fun - just like a gig. I thought it was going to suck, and it was great - especially when she got our introduction wrong.

Fave Simon & Garfunkel song
'April Come She Will'

Fave Dustin Hoffman film
I'll say Tootsie. I really like The Graduate, but that's too obvious isn't it? I'm really worried about the sequel.

Are you attracted to older women?
Surely. They can excite me.

How much does it take to get you drunk?
I get drunk on two beers. Then I just get drunker and drunker.

Fave male pin-up
Johnny Depp. He happens to be in that predicament and he's a good friend of mine.

Three bad things about Boston
1) In general, the people aren't willing to talk to strangers
2) You can't take a left off Boylston Street onto the Mass Pike and get out of town
3) The hypocrisy - a lot of people pretend they're not racist, when it's actually a very racist place.

Describe Juliana Hatfield in three words
Honest, dedicated, pure.

Who is Ray and why is it a shame about him?
Ray is a pretentious idea of the everyman. It's a shame about him because human nature can be quite a disturbing thing to look into.

Favourite folk band
Richard & Mimi Farina.

Describe Ice Cube in three words
Tasty, large, honest.

How does it feel to be a sex symbol?
It feels like a stomach-ache.

What's your message to the people left on the pavement outside Ronnie Scott's?
Sorry! I was just doing what I was told. That's a lame excuse I know, but they told me they'd call the cops if I played out there and I was too tired to deal with them.

Name a record that can make you cry
'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow' - The Shirelles.

Three good things about the UK
The Grove Cafe on Portobello Road; the Camden Brasserie; the Columbia Hotel, which I know is a cliché, but I love it.

What do you think about Charles and Di seperating?
It denotes a very strange moment in history. It has a lot to do with both the last full moon and the breakdown of our civilisation. I hope it will mean an emphasis in the future ofn non-violence as the first priority of the human race.

Which records can make you dance?
'Heatwave' - Martha Reeves and the Vandellas; 'She Watched Channel Zero' - Public Enemy; 'Lust For Life' - Iggy Pop

Who's underrated?
Nate Kato from Urge Overkill. He's the new Frank Sinatra; he should be the biggest pop star on the planet.

Current catchphrase
"Tea, toast and turmoil".

Who's overrated?
Santa Claus

Favourite historical figure
Charles Manson, I guess, but the word 'favourite' seems kinda innappropriate. I'll play safe and say Aretha Franklin.

Worst job you've ever had
A Racket Jerk in a tennis shop at a country club. I had to assign game times and clean the courts. It was terrible.

Who would be in your dream band?
Charlie Watts on drums; Geezer Butler (of Black Sabbath - HM ed) on bass; Eric Dolphy (unlistenable woodwind player - jazz ed) on bass clarinet; Jad Fair on vocals It would probably sound awful.

Fave heavy metal band
Black Sabbath

Worst lyric you've ever heard
"You are the sun, you are the rain/That makes my life this foolish game/You need to know I love you so/And I'll do it all again and again" - Lionel Richie.

Fave Boston bands
The Modern Lovers, Dinosaur Jr, The Remains.

Motto for 1993
Peace, baby.

What do you think of Manic Street Preachers?
I'd like to check them out. It's a great name.

What scares you?
Cops who would rather by violent than make a statement that rings out peacefully into the world. There are great cops out there, but the ones who want to beat people up for the sake of it are really frightening.

Who's a slacker?
James Taylor, the nephew of the James Taylor, who wrote 'Sweet Baby James' about him. He lives in Los Angeles, and he's a wonderful, very intelligent guy who's completely content. He wakes up in the morning and doesn't need to do anything. He just hangs out.

Name one good thing about Macaulay Culkin
He's a cute kid

Is Morrissey any good?
Of course he is. It took me a while to grasp his humour, but now I really like him. When I was on Top Of The Pops, I decided to slip in an impression of him (proceeds to sing a very impressive 'Mrs Robinson' a la Moz).

Formative adolescent experiences
Me and my old bass player took off from our high school beach party in a sailboat. The band was just starting out, we were really excited, and we sailed across the bay and just hung out - it's a beautiful memory. I also travelled to Costa Rica when I was 18 and did a lot of cocaine.

What was it like being a student?
I lasted one semester. I got one D minus and four Fs and spent all my money on drugs. I wanted to be good at English, but my teacher was an asshole. I ended up saying "f___ this" and drove away in a snowstorm.

What did ecstacy do for you?
It was something that was very worthwhile for me, because it taught me that you have to be reverent towards life. Life is so amazing; you breathe in oxygen, it filters into your blood, which goes into your body and you can walk around, get a drink and meet a girl I don't advise other people to do it, beacuse they might not react that way.

Have you ever been camping?
Sure. When I was a kid, I think my parents wanted to get rid of me, so they sent me half way up a mountain with a friend and his girlfriend. There's an outboard motor company in America called Evinrude, and I was so hyperactive on that holiday that Evinrude became my nickname.

Are you going to get your hair cut?
I doubt it. I don't even care how it looks any more. It just feels good.