FEATURE: Animal Collective Interview with Aziz Ansari

Speaking of random covers from you guys (“Poison”)— I have a cover you did (or an mp3 labeled as you guys) of Nirvana’s “On a Plain” at Other Music. So good. Real quick—favorite Nirvana song of the moment? I’m always partial to “Drain You.”

Brian’s wedding was indeed a good time. There was a photo booth there and I forgot about it halfway through the wedding and now I’m bummed I didn’t get any pictures taken. I think my favorite Halloween costumes are those that are pieced together randomly with different elements or garments. I’ve had many a NYC Halloween costume like that and Josh’s was sort of like that this year. I remember once I let my friend Tim draw this really elaborate design on my face with a sharpie cause I was leaving my job for a party and didn’t have anything else to wear. I found a blonde wig in the garbage and that pretty much was my costume. Only later did I realize it wasn’t really such a good idea to let someone draw all over my face with a sharpie. Took awhile to get off.
We are working on this movie with our friend Danny and for one of the “scenes” I had to wear a costume that involved me putting Vaseline and glitter on most of my upper body. What a bad idea. I must have spent three hours in the shower scraping all that shit off. I think I almost cried cause I thought it never would come off. There is probably something that easily removes it, but I don’t know what it is. So keep that in mind if you are ever thinking of putting Vaseline and glitter all over yourself.
I’m with Brian on the eight-course meal in San Sebastian. The food was so good that i decided to eat meat for the first time since 2005. Unfortunately the pork was the worst part of the meal but at least now I have reaffirmed that I’m not missing out on much. I think I had French toast for dessert twice on that tour, in San Sebastian and in
Japan at the Fuji rock festival. It’s kind of hard to beat the food in Japan though. I feel as though I can keep eating it and never get full and it’s all so good. I always get this rubbery spicy octopus there that is amazing.
I’m gonna go with the couch that’s in my apartment as my favorite piece of furniture. It’s super big and I always pass out on it watching movies and I read on it a lot.
“Poison” definitely made me psyched. I wish those DJs had more late
‘80s/’90s jams though. I requested Heavy D and was denied. I think Guy did the first rap and I did the second when we covered “Poison” by the way. Here’s one more jam of that era from my way.

For me the most random person that has gotten into our music is my young cousin Sydney. She is in grade school in Maryland. I guess I really just never imagined that people in my family would ever genuinely get into what we are doing, he he. It makes me really psyched though.
As far as Nirvana songs go there are so many. I’m always blown away by “Hairspray Queen” because it just makes me think, What the fuck? And it
could also be some weird dance song. The singing/screaming on it is also pretty mind blowing.

Dude— I can’t believe you brought up being covered in glitter. We are filming a bunch of scenes for Parks and Recreation today where we are in a fictional strip club called the Glitter Factory. At one point, my character is really depressed and accidentally gets hit with a “glitter bomb” and I’m covered in glitter! They luckily got this really big glitter that basically seems like shiny confetti so I should be okay. The club we are filming at is a real club called Bare Elegance. according to the Bare Elegance-wrapped SUV parked outside, it’s rated #1 in Zagats. There’s also a fantastic billboard for it outside where it says, “Your Choice,” and one side you see a man vacuuming his couch while his wife is reading a magazine. The other side is a woman’s crotch. Yeah, not my favorite place to film.

Here’s some AC trivia for you. What’s the other Nirvana song we covered aside from “On a Plain”?
For my fave I’m gonna go with “Scentless Apprentice”. That jam just gets me pumped. The long version of it on With the Lights Out is really amazing too. Dave Grohl’s beat on that jam just rips. I’ve been teaching myself to play drums and I like to work on that one sometimes.

Do any of you guys watch Lost? There was once an awesome scene where the main character Jack is supposed to be on a bad bender and he’s riding around LA blasting “Scentless Apprentice.” It really cracked me up for some reason.

Never seen Lost. Have a feeling it’ll be one of those series I watch on DVD one day down the line. It’s rare I watch TV series when they’re on. I just wait for a million friends to tell me to get it on Netflix. The same thing happened to me with The Wire.

I forgot to answer the most random fan question. I’m gonna go with my cousin as well. I’m not super close with my father’s side of the family, the Dibb side. It has been really difficult to be close with them since they all live in California and I live on the east coast. After my father died I tried to reconnect some, but it remains tough. A little over a year ago, my cousin Kevin emailed me to ask if I could get him into a show that AC was playing in Belgium. He was there on a high-school year abroad. I was really surprised and psyched to hear from him. I didn’t really know him at all. Last time that I had really hung out with him, he was a baby and I was like 13. Since then we have kept in touch. It’s made me really happy to be reconnected with a Dibb, and I guess it’s thanks to our music.

Aziz, my friend Eric writes for Tim and Eric, and I was watching a bunch of jams he gave me all during the last tour and they were sweet. I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in a while like 10 years or so now I would say. One time Josh and I and some other friends went as boxes and we just cut two armholes in the sides of cardboard boxes and went out. I thought it kind of ruled, but there were people who wouldn’t give us candy because they said we didn’t have proper costumes. A car drove by us late in the night and threw eggs at us but the boxes just absorbed the impact and they all bounced off. I was pretty psyched on that.
I’m not really at a point where I’ve got sweet pieces of furniture but I hope I’m there soon. Everything kind of feels disposable at this point. I got a wheelie chair for the studio I work in and it looks kind of like a Star Trek chair and that’s pretty nice. I mean it’s very functional and does what i need it to so I guess that’s my favorite thing. I wish I had one of those Posturepedic beds, those rip.
The meal that Brian mentioned was amazing.I remember dude who brought us there was so mellow about the whole thing, like no big deal, but I just kept thinking holy shit this place is insane. He ordered a white wine right near the beginning and when I drank I was sure there was about 9 different steps of flavor. But I still have to go with Pizza Boli’s in Baltimore because that’s my favorite. I like pizza a lot, I should say, and I’ve attached an old picture that provides a little insight into that. But Boli’s is the best and I’m wondering now how many Boli’s pizzas I’ve had to date. I’d say several hundred at this point.

We’re about to move, and the lady whose place we’re moving into said she had Strawberry Jam, I think, and that was pretty surprising for me. She said she heard it on the radio here and went and got it because she was psyched on the track she heard. I’d guess she’s in her mid-50s.

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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.