White Fence

Interview by Brenda Bosma, photos shot by Suzanna Zak in Los Angeles, USA

Hi Tim. If we were sitting here with a bottle of Scotch, beer, some weed and maybe some cocaine and we were toasting the past year, what would you be talking about? Presuming I’m not a cop, of course.

Well, I started a label, got married and put out three records and one 7”, toured with friends. My only regret is not putting out four records, not having another wife and losing the presidency. But there is this thing called ‘drugs’ that helps me erase any regrets I have. So, sorry I can’t really think of any. I work so hard to try and not have them.

That takes a lifetime for most of us… If you’d have made a fourth record, what would it have sounded like?
Like Elmo (from Sesame Street) wearing a leather jacket.

Tough, but cute?

And about the wife?
She’s tough, but cute. No, but seriously: I only have eyes for her. There can only be one.

So if you were president, you wouldn’t ask for Michelle’s phone number?
Nope, I’d build a white fence around the White House maybe. And I’d have male strippers as my bodyguards. That would repel many.

The song ‘Be at Home’ has the line ‘And I know that you always will be at home’. Don’t you like touring?
Well, that line is not my mantra or anything, but it definitely was my motor for the last two years.

Does touring make you appreciate being home more? It puts it all in perspective, maybe?
Yes, I suppose, but I don’t romanticise about it, about any of it for that matter; I just do it. There’s a lot to take in and I don’t really have the time to sit and get emotional about every little aspect. But it’s hard to treat it like some vacation.

Perhaps you could make your own hologram like 2Pac, so you can just stay at home.
I would totally do that! No, seriously. I’d rather stay at home with my wife.

But you’d also miss out on the free food.
Oh right, the disgusting free food.

You don’t like the free food?
My cat could make a better dish.

You must have a few nice memories from touring, right? It must sometimes be like an all-inclusive holiday or a school trip, the feeling of we’re-in-this-together?
I do have nice memories, but it’s mostly of joking around with the guys in the van.

You recorded with rising star Ty Segall. He’s a talented young man. Did you give him any advice or didn’t he need any?
No, we just did our thang.

He tattooed the name Neil on his arm as an homage to Neil Young. You didn’t try to stop him and maybe put your own name up there?
No. I have a name of a girl on my arm. He’s got Neil. Everybody’s got a muse. I would get a Ty tattoo any time.

Yeah, before everyone has one and it becomes as common as a tribal tattoo. Then you would regret it.

But okay, to conclude: just do your thang, don’t have any regrets, don’t analyse too much. That’s your recipe?
That’s basically it. I wish I could sit back and think about the past, reel in the years, but I’m too busy.

How big is the tattoo of the girl’s name?
Not too big. That I probably would regret! 

White Fence play on 12 December at Area51 in Eindhoven and on 16 December at OCCII in Amsterdam. Both shows are free for Subbacultcha! members.