Thursday 1 November 2012
Q & A with Harry Shearer
It's hard to imagine anyone who doesn't have a place in their heart for Harry Shearer. He portrayed heavy metal legend Derek Smalls in the 1984 Rockumentary "This is Spinal Tap" and he was Mark Shubb of The Folksman in the brilliant ("A Mighty Wind" 2003). And, he provides the voices of such much loved characters as Ned Flanders, Waylon Smithers, Otto Man, Rev Lovejoy, Principal Skinner and the excellent Mr Burns in The Simpsons. http://harryshearer.com/about/ Here is a brief e-mail interview I did with him last week... THE REBEL: "A Mighty Wind: The Album" is a splendid soundtrack to a splendid film. What inspired you to write your charming song "Loco Man"? Harry: "We were all mucking about with the styles popularized by the post-folk folk boom--i.e., the "folk" music that was concocted in the Brill Bldg after the Weavers et al scored some chart hits with versions of real or semi-real folk music. Harry Belafonte's take on calypso music was such a style ("Banana Boat Song", "Matilda", et al), and that's what really inspired "Loco Man". And you're the very first person to describe it as "charming", so thank you." THE REBEL: The album's executive producer (T-Bone Burnett) produced one of my favourite records (King of America by Elvis Costello). What was he like to work with? Did he come up with any interesting suggestions for arrangements or ways of recording? Harry: "The arrangements, AFAIK, were pretty much set by the time we went into the studio. But this question really should be directed to the album's producer, CJ Vanston, who had much more contact with T-Bone than, say, I did." THE REBEL: The way Jane Lynch and Parker Posey take it in turns to sing the lyrics of "Potato's In The Paddy Wagon" never fails to make me laugh. Do you actually have much fun making films like A Mighty Wind or is it mostly just lots of hard work and concentration? (especially if you have to play an instrument and learn lots of words etc) Harry: "The best kind of fun is intermixed with hard work and vice versa. That film, like "Tap", was enormous fun to be part of, and an awful lot of hard work. Improvisation is hard work disguised as fun."
Posted by The Rebel Magazine at 15:26