Tell me about your new album, Something Else.
I just follow my heart. I have my default setting, which is just all these old amps and stuff that I have, and the instruments just as I play and the blend of music that I've loved since I was 2 - it could be anything from Jimi Hendrix to Simon and Garfunkel.
How I arrived on this record was, the last record was developmental. I did two records at once, and one of them was a heart-on-the-sleeve, like, "these guys obviously like 60s music", and the other one I just did whatever I wanted. So it turned out that the very last record was this experimental, all over the map record of us, so I knew I had to return to the root of what I am as a musical person.
I didn't want to orchestrate things, because I think that people lose you after a while. Because most people aren't that bright, so they go, "What happened to you? You changed, I like the old you." So it's really easy just to go, "Well here it is in spades, here's two albums of the (old) me."
You've been making music for a while. Do you ever consider that you may have influenced other working musicians today?
Yeah, in other ways. The old guys don't get it though. Because they're so f****** good and they're rich.
I had a couple goals when I started, and one of them was, I didn't want validation. I didn't want some fat white guy deciding that he didn't hear a hit, because he already signed The Cure or something, and that meant that I wasn't allowed to play music. And that's what the world is like for a lot of people, because they need the money. So when I talked to Seymour Stein and all these guys, I was like, "you know there's nothing you can do to stop me. At this point, if I stand still, I'm going to get more successful than anybody you can push probably, because you guys just don't know what you're doing."
Someone like Shayne P. Carter, he's so amazing, but he signs this great deal in New Zealand because that's what there is, but they're not going to do jack diddly squat for him with all this great music, and I just wanted to avoid that stuff.
Long story short, I wanted to be known as a guy that has an archetype that you could just do that. I want to make it okay for people, if you're 50 like Shayne, to just play music, because everybody fought me. They tore down my posters and slandered me and just did everything right, non-stop, but none of them are playing music anymore. I knew all of these people.
What's more meaningful to you as a musician?
When I went down to Dunedin and played with The Chills down there, for me that was amazing, and to see everybody so happy, that's great. All this Robert Plant stuff doesn't mean anything to me. Going to Tasmania and playing for 3000 people is crazy if you're not on the radio, and that's what I do, and to me is worth more than being in a magazine.
It sounds like you're quite familiar with New Zealand's music scene.
I've always loved that stuff, I love all of the Flying Nun bands. I know a lot of these people and I love them, and I love whatever it is in those smart people that brought up that stuff. I don't know if it's magic mushrooms, or sheep, or whatever the hell it was, but I love what it is.
It's great, and even if the English people copied it without telling anybody, it's not the same thing, and part of it's just entertaining each other … they're living life to the funnest, they're living the good life. I'm over the moon about coming, I love the country and I love the people.
Who: The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Where: The Powerstation
When: Saturday, June 16