FEATURE: Animal Collective Interview with Aziz Ansari


In terms of TV shows…I don’t watch a lot of TV either. The most recent TV I have been into (and by recent, I’m talking the last year)… The first couple seasons of The Wire. I’m not normally a cop drama kind of dude, but that show just sucks you in. I agree with Dave, Xavier is pretty amazing. I guess it’s old now, but I watched all the Mighty Boosh seasons this year and got really into them. Seems like a bunch of stuff from England that I really like. Brian and Dave turned me onto it, but Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place is awesome. Parts of Snuff Box are really good, though overall I’m not super into that one. Other than that I’m into watching NBA games and this year I’ve been more into football than I have been for a really long time.
More later.

That Ultimate Warrior video was sweet but kind of scary too. Brian I liked the ‘90s jam you sent and I should say I’m with Brian as far as being nostalgic for those types of productions. This is the song that kind of stands out as really capturing the feeling of the time, and it’s become sort of a benchmark production for me:

The productions were so chunky and thick back then and I really like that. There was a kind of ubiquitous rhythm sample back then too, with the shakers in it that I really like. I don’t know what it is but that PM Dawn (best name) jam uses it.
I remember Yo! MTV Raps and The Jukebox and BET but the radio was really the thing back then. I remember listening to the more esoteric mixes they would have later in the night when me and my brother or Josh or some other group of people would play ping-pong and whatnot after school.
I’m at my mom’s place today so I’ll look for some baby pictures. I’m pretty sure I can find something embarrassing. Hope you dudes are good…

Hey guys,
Hope you had a good wedding/Halloween.
Noah, meet my good friend Mark Morrison:

Josh, a stay in the country sounds like a good idea. I wish you the best of luck building that home. If only one of us could put you in touch with the Ultimate Warrior, I’m sure his strength and energy would be a great asset to any construction project, or let’s face it, any project in general.
I spent Halloween in LA. I dressed as Marty Mcfly from Back to the Future. I was at a party talking to a girl who couldn’t figure out my costume and I said, “Haven’t you seen Back to the Future?” She said, “I’ve never seen Back to the Future.” I said, “Guess what? I hate you,” and walked away (Not really, but I should have).
Brian, being from South Carolina, I went through a stint as a kid when I was pretty into wrestling. I actually spent some time watching some old clips on YouTube on a very productive afternoon and remembered one of the best/lamest wrestlers. It was this dude named Glacier that was in WCW. The character is what I can only guess is a sad attempt to rip off the Sub Zero character from Mortal Kombat? Check out this photo:
I think they want us to wrap up soon, so I’ll hit you all with a barrage of questions:
- Tell me about your favorite piece of furniture in your house.
- What’s the last great meal you had?
- What jams really brought the folks out to the dance floor at the wedding this weekend?
- Who is the most random person who’s said he or she was a big animal
Collective fan?
Take care,

Halloween was awesome. The wedding was awesome. I had a bunch of friends down crashing at the Mom’s. Spent Saturday getting costumes together. I attached a photo.


At the end of the night we came back to my place and watched this movie:

Most of us were pretty bent at that point. One of the best visual movies I’ve seen in a while. Hard to follow, but worth it. Almost every scene in the whole movie is another amazing set or some crazy art department creation.
Dancing: a lot of people got really into dancing. There were a lot of jams that got people really amped, but when the DJs played “Poison” by Bell Biv Devoe. Almost everyone on the dance floor was singing along. It seemed like every couple I looked at was miming the lyrics to each other. When we were in high school, there was this kind of open mic talent show thing that happened a couple times a year. One year, Brian, Dave, Guy Blakeslee (of Entrance), Brendan Fowler and our friend Dave Shpritz covered “Poison.” Dave did the Devoe rap in the middle. Mind blowing. I wish there was a video of it somewhere.
Furniture: I’d have to go with my piano. It’s been around since I was a baby. When I was really young I would play under it. I really liked to be down there when my dad was playing and feel the resonance of the strings. I try to play a little every day. It’s a really good place to go clear my mind.
Meal: this summer I got into baking sourdough. I mostly just make bread and bagels, but in June, my girlfriend at the time was visiting and we made pizzas with sourdough. It’s kind of the perfect crust. You can get it thin and crispy but it will stay chewy. We made two pies. One was chipotle peppers and pineapple. A friend of ours got into jalapeno and pineapple pizza a few years back. Me and Dave both got really into it too. It’s such a good combination. I stumbled across the chipotle variation by accident really. Emily made the other with sliced anise and a fennel seed sauce. I don’t know if it’s the last great meal I had, but it’s definitely one of my favorites. I wasn’t so into cooking until the past couple of years, but I think it’s really satisfying to learn how to make really good food.
Thanks Aziz.

That looks like the most awesome wedding ever. And the costumes? Wow. Makes my Marty Mcfly costume look like a real piece of shit. Just so I save face, I attached a Halloween photo from last year where I really did it up. I used CGI/hologram technology to go as myself in the late stages of Benjamin Button disease dressed as a jack-o-lantern.


I do know Snuff Box. I’ve seen that girlfriend clip and the guitar lesson thing is great too. I think you guys mentioned Dark Place earlier too right? I love that stuff too.
Tim and Eric crash course, you’ll love this:

Cinco shower

Petite feet

Dancing: a few weeks go, Paul Scheer from Human Giant got married, and I gotta say, I’m pretty sure “Poison” by Bell Bev Devoe fucking rocked it at that wedding too. Any wedding DJs reading this, if you don’t have BBD in the crate, you’re failing at your job.

It was the most awesome wedding ever, but I guess I’m biased. It’s good to finally relax, but I’m sad it’s over. It was really sweet to have so many people we love all in one place for a few days. The AC crew came through big time with the costumes, as did many of our other friends. Dave as Raggedy Andy (if that’s what it was) ruled. My parents went as Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy for a Halloween party sometime in the early ‘80s. I remember them dressing up. Josh as the Fall Guy also ruled and got a lot of compliments, though he should have titled his costume “Must Be Treeman.” [Our manager] Brian DeRan must have lost serious pounds in sweat in the yeti costume. Best group costume award went to the Biospherians.
“Poison” was actually the only song my wife requested during the wedding. She had a feeling people needed a jammer to get things to another level so she went and asked the DJ to play it. He already had it cued up on the turntable as the next song. As Josh mentioned, some of us covered it at a high school talent show, so we have a special place for it in our hearts. I think just Dave and Guy and I did that cover though. Didn’t guy do the rap? Wait, there are two raps—I think he did one and Dave did the other. One did the “Yo slick, blow” rap, and the other did the “Me and the crew used to do her” rap. I can’t remember which was which.
I feel you on the Back to the Future interaction. I sometimes can be a bit ageist, but I try really hard to get over it. A few years back I had a friend who was 28 and dating a 20-year-old and they came to my house for dinner. It was one of the first times I was hanging with him and I wanted us to get along. But then something came up about Ghostbusters and he said he’d never seen it, and without even thinking I said, “Get out of my house.”
Favorite piece of furniture: record shelves that my father-in-law built. (Can you tell how much I’m into using the post-wedding lingo?) I wish I had a comfortable piece of furniture that was my favorite in the house but I’m super attached to any chairs, couches or tables right now. We just got my family piano moved to our house a few weeks ago and that could eventually be my favorite item too. It’s been in the family for over 50 years but I haven’t had access to it since the mid ’90s. I like family heirlooms.
Wedding jams: I think “Thriller” was another big hit—obviously. It was definitely the one I was most looking forward to and I said if I only dance to one song all night, it has to be “Thriller.” But me and my wife were at the bar getting more champagne and got sucked into conversations with guests and just as we pulled ourselves away and rushed out to the dancefloor, the song ended.
Last great meal: We cook a lot of awesome meals in my house, and we love cooking so they’re pretty much all our favorite, but for the last truly great meal, I have to go with an eight-course meal we ate in San Sebastian, Spain, while we were on tour there last summer. It actually got to a point where we were getting worried about performing because it is hard to play on a full stomach of rich food. We started telling the waiters not to bring us anymore food but they insisted since it was a set menu. I actually think when they went back to the kitchen for the dessert Dave or Noah just snuck out of the restaurant.
Random AC fan: there have been a lot. My brother showed me a review of Merriweather on ESPN.com. That was pretty random. The dude wasn’t a fan though.
Last thing I should tell you to track down is Forbidden Transmissions. They are internet compilations of weird media stuff. Scott Colburn has a lot of them on his computer and burned us some DVDs that we watched during the recording of Strawberry Jam. From the stuff you’ve sent us, I think you’ll enjoy it. You can find a lot of the individual stuff on YouTube or Ebaum’s World, but it’s really funny to watch them all together in these half-hour shows.
Take care,

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POSTED January 7, 2010 1:25PM IN FEATURES, MUSIC INTERVIEWS Comments (30) TAGS: , , , ,




  1. Calum says:

    Best interview ever. Brian’s Ghostbusters story was amazing.

  2. Jeff says:

    This is so incredibly boring and completely self-indulgent. gross.

  3. WW says:

    jesus christ, I’m witcha Jeff…

  4. Kyle says:

    jesus christ, I’m witcha Calum…

  5. ian says:

    they also covered Polly ;)

  6. Chris says:

    I actually thought it was both the best interview ever AND boring/self indulgent/gross.

  7. Skerrit Bwoy says:

    aziz is the second best dancer i know. kaboom!!!

  8. jimmy blevins says:

    LOL at the comments on the Mo (Boxer’s Omen) YouTube!!!

  9. terry beach says:

    i’m getting tired of the cool dudes interviewing cool dudes gimmick. that wedding photo gives me the doosh chills. what a bunch of of art students.

  10. Teefus says:

    fuck a douche chill, this shit gave me douche-pox…

  11. WhatsGolden says:

    What a bunch of haters hear. If you didn’t like it, how come you were fanboy/hypocrite enough to read the damn thing, finish it and comment on it? Don’t hate on someone’s wedding like that, calling the man a douche because of the way he celebrated one of the best days in his life? You guys are lucky that this is anonymous.

    Long live Animal Collective and Aziz Ansari

    P.S. Most of you are just bitter scenesters I’m guessing. Getting tired of the “cool dudes interviewing cool dudes gimmick”, don’t read it. Looks like the ones in the interview aren’t the douchebags here.

  12. richard says:

    you guys should have used google wave !!!

  13. Stanshall says:

    Really enjoyed that. Questions could’ve been a little more pertinent, I suppose, but the format/laidback approach really loosened them up. Nice one.

  14. tony says:

    one of ac’s best interviews. you can tell they’re really more in their element here and as it’s really laid back. i love xavier renegade angel and tim and eric so i thought that was pretty cool, too. If you guys think they’re all douches then why the hell did you read the thing? Get a fuckin’ life people jesus

  15. Jim Jonze says:

    it’s called skimming…I fux w/ the fader all day (mostly for the hippity-hop) but sheehit, this measured about an 8.9 on the douchedar for sure…

  16. Hussdog says:

    What is the deal with many of these comments? I liked this format of interview, and you know, it’s not the job of Animal Collective to write killer interviews – they’re musicians. This was a fine effort.

  17. jensquared says:

    haters need to chill. it’s an interview…of course it’s going to be “self-indulgent.” as of fan of the interviewer/interviewees and early 90s hip hop, i especially enjoyed it. i love me some PM Dawn and Monie Love.

  18. iFidel says:

    Bolis>Anything. Seriously, I climax every time I eat it. THAT good. Best pizza in the DC/B-More Urrea.

  19. Stefanie says:

    Seriously one of the best interviews ever. Love the email format and youtube links. Duh, interviews are about the interviewee, if you don’t care about the band then don’t read the interview. I personally haven’t read a better interview with Animal Collective. Anyone who appreciates Bel Biv Devoe and PM Dawn rules.

  20. Myles says:

    Best interview ever. Anyone who wasn’t into this simply isn’t an Animal Collective fan. There are a million bands I dont like, but I dont go around reading their interviews and bitching in the comments. Its awesome to see how normal these guys are.

  21. nate says:

    well you know, i think it was just awesome.

  22. MJP says:

    i love reading hipster comments in blogs! awesome…

  23. Taylor Johnson says:

    this makes me love animal collective even more. Aziz is the fuckin man too, his new dvd looks awesome

  24. Axe Somebody says:

    The unknown, ubiquitous shaker sample referenced by Noah is “Ashley’s Roachclip” by the Soul Searchers, specifically at the 3:30 mark. It was used by PM Dawn, Eric B & Rakim, Run DMC, Geto Boys, LL Cool J, Easy-E, EMF (“Unbelievable”), among others. It was also featured on damn near every song by Milli Vanilli.

    Hard to find a better drum break…

    Here’s a link: http://sneakmove.com/e/champions/the_soul_searchers/ashleys_roachclip.mp3

  25. Tracy Willis says:

    Oh god…animal collective and aziz together is too many good things. Aziz’s new dvd is sooo funny!

  26. pookie says:

    snooozerama. Here’s a cool R n B video, Here’s a zany costume. I’m alt, but not too alt to watch project runway, because my “girlfriend likes it”


  27. charlie lutwidge says:

    so sweet hearing from josh. where is the little avey photo? best ac interview hands down.

  28. Prill Prill says:

    Aziz is that prill prill. Good stuff.

  29. YES. says:

    Great interview format. Incredibly engaging to read. Well done.