Beck chats with Tom Waits


Beck’s current revamp of his site
is all sorts of awesome. First we get the weekly cover versions (they’re making their way through “Velvet Underground and Nico”), then we get a mp3 mix, and now we get part one of a conversation between Tom Waits and Beck. Too too cool.

BH: There’s something about that awkwardness of being bereft of a sound system and that volume you’re used to. You’re stripped of that and suddenly you have to make due with almost nothing. And the people were crowded in there. They were about two inches from your face. That’s another thing. You’re singing right into people’s faces, which is another interesting thing. (Laughs.)

TW: You’d like to be raised up a little bit. I played the Roxy with Jimmy Witherspoon a long time ago, and somebody hit the telephone pole in front on Saturday. Knocked out all the power – this was like 5minutes before we went on. Place was in total darkness. People were lighting candles. Jimmy Witherspoon went and did a killer show. He just put his organist on a piano, and he has this big big, huge voice any way. Got right on the lip of this thing. I was freaked out. I didn’t know what to do. He killed. I guess you have to get reduced to that to find out the origin and basic building blocks of what you do are still in tact. Look under the building, make sure the supports are still there and haven’t been eaten through. (Laughs.) But, yeah, you can do a lot with a bullet mic and a wah-wah pedal. But before that there was changing your voice and raising your volume. I guess we’ve all gotten very lazy with all the toys that are available.

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