America Online Chat Session


Host :
Welcome to Center Stage, Matt Johnson! We're thrilled to be "chatting" with you.

TheTheLive :
Thank you. Good to be here at last.

Host :
We have many questions already. The first is from Amphigorey :

Question :
Is the band going to tour off the album, or are we going to have to wait until Gun Sluts?

TheTheLive :
Weekly World News found Hank alive and well in Paris, so he can tour it himself. We will tour Gun Sluts in '96.

TheTheLive :
Apparently the system has frozen so we have to continue tomorrow. Only joking.

Question :
I Saw the Light is a long way from "I ain't never been to church or believed in Jesus Christ." I wanted to ask how Matt Johnson's religious feelings have changed over the years.

TheTheLive :
I'm a born again agnostic!

Question :
Matt, How do I get a copy of the DUST TO DAWN video. Saw it Europe this summer. Can you tell me?

TheTheLive :
Send lots of letters to Mr. Gottlieb at 550 Music 550 Madison Ave., 21st floor NY, NY, 10022 or E-Mail Dave_Gottlieb @ Sonymusic.com. By the way it's Dusk, not Dust.

Question :
I noticed on the new album, J. Marr didn't play, is he gone for good?

TheTheLive :
Nothing is gone for good.

Host :
When you go on tour for Gun Sluts, will you be playing Hanky Panky?

TheTheLive :
When we tour for GunSluts we will be playing songs from Hanky Panky (and maybe Hank'll join us).

Question :
Matt, I was wondering about the middle-eastern influence in your music, how you got into it, why you do it, etc.?

TheTheLive :
I can't remember really. I've always found middle Eastern voices and instruments haunting.

Question :
Matt, why did you not have Andy do the album art work on Hanky Panky?

TheTheLive :
He just seemed to get fed up and disillusioned with painting. (For the time being).

Question :
Matt, isn't it a bit risky to do a cover album after having your widest acceptance yet in the US with Dusk?

TheTheLive :
Yes it is. But careers are there to be risked and played around with. Too many bands make the same album year after year. Once you produce what everyone expects you're artistically dead. I think.

Question :
Matt, isn't it funny how as we grow old we cling to the past like we cling to the air?

TheTheLive :
Yes, I remember that lyric. Maybe I should rephrase that to hair!

Question :
What band has inspired you?

TheTheLive :
Muhammed Ali, John Lennon, George Best, Orson Wells. If you know what I mean.

Question :
Another Boy Drowning. What inspired you to write such deep lyrics at such a young age?

TheTheLive :
That was the first real song that I wrote. The first song I cried to that I wrote. I can't remember the actual inspiration. Maybe simple teenage melancholia!

Question :
Will or has "From Dusk Til Dawn" been released in the US? All I can find is a $65 Japanese version. Is it really that good?

TheTheLive :
It is unbelievably fabolous. Sorry about the spelling. I must get a computer that can spell!

Question :
I have been looking for the long-version (w/ sax) of "Uncertain Smile" for years and have never found it. Is there a chance that will ever be re-released?

TheTheLive :
I have a personal collection of 100,000 copies that I sell for $5,000 each. I'll let you all know.

Question :
Matt, I love Dusk, but found a happier songwriter who perhaps had less to say about his good times than bad. Is Hanky Panky a time for you to work with someone else's words while you think out the next phase?

TheTheLive :
I've had a certain amount of flack for doing a cover album but what people don't realize is that as a singer it is pleasurable and liberating just to sing someone else's words.

Question :
Matt, are you aware of the on-line community of TheThe fans? What do you think?

TheTheLive :
I've never heard of AOL until about 3 hours ago but I think it is wonderful. LOL.

Question :
Matt, it surprised me how well these Hank songs hold up under some heavy instrumentation and production. Did you have to experiment a little to make sure it all came together?

TheTheLive :
3 months of pre-production and experimenting. Less than my own songs, but still a fair amount. By the way, I'm typing all this myself, so, if it's a little slow that's the reason. I just thought it would be more intimate that way.

Question :
Infected was very different than your other albums. Was it because what was going on musically at the time? your frame of mind? What was it? It's still my favorite The The album.

TheTheLive :
All my albums sound very different from each other I think. The thing that pleases me is that different people like different albums. There's not one that really stands head and shoulders above the others.

Host :
What type of music, which artists is/are Matt listening to currently?

TheTheLive :
I only listen to the sound of silence nowadays. Well as silent as New York gets.

Question :
Matt, saw you on Jon Stewart show two nights ago. Are you planning any more TV appearances?

TheTheLive :
MTV 120 minutes this Sunday. Look for us on Letterman in March.

Host :
What was the name of Matt's first band?
Answer : Road Star.

Question :
Matt, lyrics have always been an important part of your songs. What takes longer, the music or the lyrics. And, have you ever heard of a group called Momus?

TheTheLive :
Never heard of Momus (then again I haven't heard of hardly any groups) The lyrics do, unfortunately.

TheTheLive :
Thanks a lot everyone. It's about to end, but go to private room with free drinks drugs and girls (and boys).


Go Back