Monday, March 23, 2009

Andy Samberg & The Lonely Island - UGO Interview

Lonely Island Interview

Funny music usually sucks. Most of the time it’s either not very funny or not very musical. Lonely Island has made an album that’s both. I didn’t think they could do it. Boyhood buddies Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone are funny guys. Their digital shorts are the best skits on SNL, and their multiple Internet hits suggest they’re at least a tad musically inclined. But a full album? No way they could pull it off. Yes way? Incredibad hit No. 1 on iTunes, and I’ve listened to it three times since it dropped. I’ve never listened to a full Weird Al album. When “The Dudes” called, I had to answer. Check below to see their thoughts on everything from West Coast hip-hop to Joe Montana to removing j---- stains from your pants.

UGO: How am I gonna figure out who’s talking here?

Andy Samberg: If something sounds really nerdy, it’s Kiv. If something sounds really sexy, Jorm. Everything else is me.

UGO: OK, got it. You guys just finished playing multiplayer Call of Duty with some fans. How’d it go?

Akiva Schaffer: I don’t know that you can call it “playing.” It was more bumbling around and getting shot in the head.

Andy: We held controllers.

UGO: How come NBC hasn’t given you guys a show yet?

Andy: Um… Because we’re on one.

Akiva: Yeah, our contracts aren’t up.

UGO: What are you guys wearing right now?

Andy: Jorm has a sexy little number on: A T-shirt and jeans. Akiva’s wearing a nerd outfit: A cardigan and button-up shirt. I’m wearing Nikes.

UGO: Do you guys have any handy methods of getting jizz stains out of pants?

Andy: More j---. I know it sounds like it wouldn’t work.

Akiva: It really does.

Jorma Taccone: You have to use a lot more j---.

Akiva: A lot more.

UGO: So you all grew up in Berkeley, California together. I’m a Southern California guy myself. I know there’s some beef between our kinds, especially in jails.

Jorma: Yeah, we’re not Norteños. We don’t think.

UGO: What came first for you when you were growing up: Comedy or music?

Jorma: Comedy. We love music, but definitely comedy.

Akiva: Comedy, always.

UGO: Do you have any favorite SNL sketches from before your time?

Andy: Oh my g---. A lot of them, yeah. “Schmidt’s G-y” was certainly a big one for us. Will Ferrell did a skit called “Mr. Tarkanian” which was one of my personal favorites.

Akiva: And there was this one when Kelsey Grammer hosted a long time ago where he’s a private eye, and it’s in black and white, and he keeps talking about burritos [“Private Eye”].

Andy: And “Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.”

UGO: Do you have a favorite host from back in the day?

Jorma: I always remember when Joe Montana hosted, a) because he was my hero at the time, and b) because he did that awesome mas---at-on joke.

UGO: What did you guys listen to growing up? Any Bay Area underground hip-hop like Living Legends, Hieroglyphics, or Soulsides?

Andy: Of those groups, Hieroglyphics especially. We were from Berkeley and they were always right there.

Akiva: That Souls of Mischief album [93 ‘Til Infinity] came out when we were freshmen in high school.

Jorma: All the Kings Horses.

Akiva: Don’t know what that is.

UGO: You can hear in Incredibad that you know your hip-hop. You can hear the influences, Beastie Boys, Lovage, modern crunk rap.

Andy: We put E-40 on the album for that reason. We wanted to show that influence.

Akiva: It doesn’t get much more Nor Cal than that.

UGO: What came first: “I’m On A Boat” or Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly’s “Boats n Hoes?”

Akiva: They were made at the same time. We went to the Step Brothers premiere and saw the music video and we thought, “Oh no. Is it too similar? Do we have to kill ‘I’m on a Boat’ now?” And then John C. Reilly came to our house for a birthday party and we brought him into the studio and played it for him and he was like, “Heck no. Not too similar at all. You guys gotta do it.”

Andy: And once we got T-Pain on the track we figured we differentiated it enough.

UGO: Why isn’t “Iran So Far Away” on the album?

Jorma: There were some sample clearance issues. For that song I sampled Aphex Twin’s “Avril 14th” and his publishing company wouldn’t give us the rights.

Andy: Well, they would but…

Jorma: They cleared it for SNL. If we ever make a Best of SNL Shorts DVD we can put it on there, it can be on repeats of SNL, but it wasn’t cleared for the album.

Andy: It could have technically been cleared for the album…

Jorma: But they asked for an outrageous amount of money.

Andy: For the record, Aphex Twin was super cool about the whole thing. It was the label.

UGO: Jorma, are you going to abandon writing after you become super famous from your upcoming role in Land of the Lost?

Jorma: You really have to see Land of the Lost to see how much I’m really not gonna blow up. I might be able to score some other monkey roles, but no. I really like writing on SNL, and I’ve been able to direct a little too, so, I really enjoy what we do on the show.

UGO: So you guys went to the University of Santa Cruz together. Andy, you went for a couple years before transferring to NYU. Did you guys know anybody like Ras Trent?

Andy: Oh my ---- yes. I think everyone knows at least one Ras Trent.

UGO: I definitely do. I’m not sure that mine had the rollerskates…

Jorma: We had to throw in the rollerskates for the Steel Pulse reference.

UGO: Are you guys fans of Gunther, and has he inspired you at all?

Jorma: I certainly appreciate what he’s doing, and I love some of the photos on his album covers, but…

Akiva: Andy and I don’t even know who he is.

Jorma: He does a lot of Euro stuff. He’s kinda like Tom Hanks in “Please Don’t Touch My Te-ti-l-s.” If you don’t know that one, look it up on Hulu. We based that one on this bizarre Israeli Gunther type of dude.

UGO: What do you guys listen to while making love?

Andy: We don’t make love, we just ####.

UGO: Is that so?

Andy: C’mon, no one believes that. Everyone knows we make love.

Akiva: We make love and then we ####.

UGO: I wouldn’t necessarily expect that order of operations…

Andy: I think that’s the right order.

UGO: I guess that’s one way of getting to know someone. If you could look at a play count of everything I’ve ever listened to while in the s--k, Wu-Tang would probably be at the top. A lot of GZA.

Jorma: You would just put on Liquid Swords and make love?

Andy: I’ve definitely found that girls like b--ing to hip-hop. It makes them feel like they’re doing something dangerous.

Akiva: I’m more of a 12 Play guy. But I don’t really make love. I just take out my Louis Rag and wave it around in the air.

UGO: You might want to keep that to yourself and tell all your homies that something else went down.

Andy: Kiv is constantly telling us, “Guys! I had some s-- last night! I was waving my Louis Rag all over the place!”

Jorma: I love picturing a na--d girl on a bed while Kiv stands there waving his Louis Rag. She’s all, “Hey Kiv, come to bed. Let’s get -e-y.” And he’s just like, “Nah, I’m waving my Louis Rag.”

UGO: I guess it doesn’t really matter what happens. It just matters what your friends think.

Andy: That’s very important, yes.

UGO: Akiva, did I see you walk into Westville a while ago and order the $13 three veggie special?

Akiva: That is very, very possible.

Jorma: That sounds like you.

UGO: Do you eat a lot of vegetables?

Akiva: It’s very hard to eat vegetables in New York.

Jorma: What are you eating right now Kiv?

Akiva: I’m eating a chicken panini.

Andy: Those vegetables at Westville are good though.

Akiva: What were you eating there?

UGO: I think probably one of those scrambles. They’re not omelettes, they’re scrambles.

Akiva: You know what’s great there is their turkey burgers. I don’t really like turkey burgers, but I love them there.

UGO: Do you think it’s an old wives tale that people get tired from turkey?

Akiva: You get tired because you’re full. The amount of tryptophan that’s in turkey is so small that you’d have to eat like six whole turkeys for it to actually affect you.

Jorma: Akiva is dressed so nerdy that I’m inclined to believe him.

UGO: I’m sold.

Akiva: Look it up on Mythbusters.

Jorma: Did Mythbusters do that, nerd?

UGO: I think I hear an SNL skit coming…



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