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Filter Magazine Interview - January 13, 2009

by drunkagain » Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:36 pm


Katie wrote:Is it weird to anyone else how early Filter started promoting this article? They started in January, right? I'm not complaining, but it's sort of odd to me. Maybe that's how Filter always does it. [image]


It is a bit odd, but then again magazines often have a 2-3 month lag time from when they do an interview to when it actually appears in print.
The Filter site says the spring issue isn't out til April 27th - I was hoping "April" meant beginning of the month but looks like we'll have to wait longer, providing the site info is accurate. :)
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by hellomyfriend » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:47 pm

If I saw either of them on the street and they didn't seem to be busy, I'd talk to them (how could I not?), but I wouldn't freak out on them.


Bret doesn't seem to mind the attention the way Jemaine does though ... so I'd be quicker to approach him.
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by earthintruder » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:47 pm

Jemaine is a lot like me that way. He kind of gets weirded out when people he doesn't know approach him, it seems. I know how that feels- I even go to such lengths as to pretend I don't speak English or walk around with my eyes bugged open a little bit so people don't want to talk to me anyway.

But I guess he can't really get away with that, can he?
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by hellomyfriend » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:45 pm


earthintruder wrote:Jemaine is a lot like me that way. He kind of gets weirded out when people he doesn't know approach him, it seems. I know how that feels- I even go to such lengths as to pretend I don't speak English or walk around with my eyes bugged open a little bit so people don't want to talk to me anyway.

But I guess he can't really get away with that, can he?



You what? [image] [image]
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by chloe » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:51 pm

I should start doing that. . maybe the random street wierdos would leave me alone. . but then again, that sort of act might just be right up their alley. ::)
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by Amily » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:29 am

When I see people I don't want to talk to coming towards me I look the other way... like pretend I was never looking in their direction to begin with. It doesn't work that often though because they still see me even though I don't see them. At least I don't have to be the first one to say hi and if they don't say anything, then good. :P
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by hellomyfriend » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:30 am


Amily wrote:When I see people I don't want to talk to coming towards me I look the other way... like pretend I was never looking in their direction to begin with. It doesn't work that often though because they still see me even though I don't see them. At least I don't have to be the first one to say hi and if they don't say anything, then good. :P



[image]
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by mistysquarepants » Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:03 am


Amily wrote:When I see people I don't want to talk to coming towards me I look the other way... like pretend I was never looking in their direction to begin with. It doesn't work that often though because they still see me even though I don't see them. At least I don't have to be the first one to say hi and if they don't say anything, then good. :P


I vote you suggest that idea to Jemaine and Bret lol
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by earthintruder » Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:03 pm

I'm serious! Usually, if I'm alone, I can get away with pretending I don't speak any English. I look at them like I don't understand and say one of two things; "Eg neitun tala Ensku, eg tala bara Islensku og Densku" (Icelandic for "I don't speak English, I only speak Icelandic and Danish") or "Puhun Suomea..." (Finnish for "I speak Finnish...").

Or I make myself look as drugged-out as possible, which if I'm sick or crampy or tired that's not too difficult. People cut you a wide berth if they think you're tweaking off something.

But usually I just pretend I don't even hear or see other people.
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by SheWolf » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:13 am

I'm a city girl so I adept at the "don't even think about coming near me or talking to me" demeanor. On the rare occasion that someone is stupid or ballsy enough to approach regardless I give them the "are you insane?" face.
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by hellomyfriend » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:19 am

I try to do that, but the whole thing falls apart the second I make eye contact. They just go vrooooom right at me.


But to be honest, I don't mind it. I end up in lots of interesting conversations that way. And the ones that aren't interesting at least tend to be unintentionally funny. I rarely feel like anyone is wasting my time.


I always end up talking to the people everyone else ignores. It's nice, actually. :)



And this is off-topic. Um ... Filter ... who's buying / scanning this?



ADD: April 27th ... nevermind. :P
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by sargifster » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:22 am


hellomyfriend wrote:
I always end up talking to the people everyone else ignores. It's nice, actually. :)


[image] [image] [image]
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by Katie » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:27 am


hellomyfriend wrote:ADD: April 27th ... nevermind. :P

See what I mean about Filter promoting this article waaaaaay early? [image]
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by hellomyfriend » Sun May 03, 2009 9:56 am


Sitting on a poolside bench at the luxurious Hotel Palomar in Los Angeles, the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords sips Slurpees and Big Gulps. At the direction of a photographer, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie pretend to talk on Bluetooths and Blackberrys, read Los Angeles Times, and answer emails on a MacBook, giving more and more of themselves to the camera, but absolutely refusing to model with Starbucks and Red Bull.

“They don’t need help,” says McKenzie. “If we endorse their product, it brings down the both of us,” quips Clement with a stone-cold straight-face. On the contrary, it’s likely that any company would go to great lengths to receive an endorsement from Clement and McKenzie, two performers with an incredibly hip cache that would benefit any corporation. But such a move of shameless promotion would most certainly be out of character for the pair of college buddies from Wellington, New Zealand, who have made a career over the last 10 years out of modest cultural humor and naiveté.

In their eponymous HBO series, now in its second season, Flight of the Conchords excel at playing lovable fools who are awkward around the opposite sex, unfamiliar with American customs, and desperate for success. Playing a fictionalized version themselves as off-the-boat folk musicians, Clement and McKenzie so convincingly hit note of humor with heavily-accented subtlety it makes distinguishing their real personalities from their onscreen characters’ a difficult feat. And this, of course, has affected most aspects of their daily lives.

For Clement and McKenzie, their celebrity presents a catch-22. They want to be in the forefront on the screen and stage, but out of the spotlight on the streets; they want to carry out the majority of the writing and acting on their acclaimed television show, but would rather go unnoticed anywhere outside the studio walls. Unfortunately, success and popularity often go hand-in-hand. Clement says he favors the subway in Los Angeles to that in New York because West Coast counterpart is so barren that no one recognizes him. And they both have stories of being followed by fans around New Zealand and New York, all for just a photo or an autograph.

“People expect you to be funny because you’re on a comedy show. And they’re disappointed if you don’t feel like turning on the laughs,” says McKenzie. “I was back in New Zealand this Christmas and someone shouted out, ‘Bret!’ And I look up and say, ‘Hi!’ Then they go, ‘Oh, I just wanted to make sure it was you.’ And I go, ‘Oh yeah, it’s me.’ And that’s it. They went away.”

Today, ever-lasting onus to perform is in full effect. And despite whatever aversion to fame the two may have, since 10 a.m. they have been negotiating a press junket comprised of international conference calls and in-person interviews. “Yeah, journalists come from all over the place to interview us,” says Clement and McKenzie, though entirely agreeable, speak with a waning enthusiasm that rarely peaks to a level you may expect from two such funny men. Instead, they can hardly present one positive aspect of having their faces plastered to building walls, billboards or magazine inlays.

“I don’t know what the good parts of being famous are,” says Clement. “I think the more famous someone gets, the more miserable their life gets. Think of Elvis, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears… you want to avoid it. And here I am doing a photo shoot.”

Despite their end-of-the-day blasé, the Conchords have turned the building electric. Literally. This is the seventh day in a row the Hotel Palomar has hosted a press junket for HBO and every piece of technology used to capture the stars’ charm has given the floor a static charge. It’s truly shocking that attention could manifest itself in such a physical manner, and as they relocate to the hotel lobby, Clement and McKenzie’s star power is exemplified once again.

“We never see anybody in New York!” cries a woman moments later. She is visiting the city with her teenage daughters for a five-day vacation, and along with a few hotel hands and curious guests, she is standing by the front desk excitedly watching Clement and McKenzie walk in and out of the hotel entrance, posing for more photographs with sunglasses, cell phones and shopping bags. She asks the Conchords’ publicist if her daughters can take a picture with the celebrities. They agree, of course, and after posing for a few pictures, say goodbye and hurry upstairs. One of the girls squeaks out a “Thank you so much!” Her sister just blushes uncontrollably.

“Yeah, that happens a lot,” says McKenzie, hunched over a round table in a conference room on sixth floor that is littered with food wrappers, books, empty water bottles, pens, and paper scraps. But in contrast, as the self-proclaimed “most famous people in New Zealand” --- a country barely 4 million --- it may be beneficial for the two to escape an entire nation’s glare by living in America half-time, where they fall into a niche of celebrity far below that of the Tomkats and Brangelinas.

“We’re some of the most famous people in New Zealand,” repeats Clement with a facetious tone. “People will say things but there’s a different energy to it… like, ‘I’d really like to talk to you.’ And it’s really funny because I want to say, ‘I have no interest in talking to you.’ People want to talk to you but you’re not necessarily any more interesting than the next person.” Whereas in America, he points out, “We’ll be celebrities at certain parties but then at other parties, no one will know who we are.”

The Conchords’ comedic appeal of course reaches far beyond the perfect-stranger observations of foreigners coming to America. As a musical duo that developed onstage before it did onscreen, first in New Zealand, then in Great Britain, and finally in the States, Clement and McKenzie are an act that is mobile in several ways. In addition to an internationally touring show, their series’ cong-and-dance numbers are practically readymade for You Tube and, released on Sub Pop Records, are in fact Grammy-winning. As Flight of the Conchords the series relies heavily on impromptu musical interruptions as it does its characters witticisms, at any moment Bret and Jermaine are likely to break into a rap, ballad, or disco number with accompanying music video. No genre is a safe from this modern-day Rodgers and Hammerstein --- French pop, Korean karaoke, cock rock --- you name it, they’ll tackle it. And as if the show’s promotion was not enough, Sub Pop is now releasing one song per episode for sale online, the collection of which helps form the Conchords’ sophomore release.

This season, McKenzie, a surprisingly adept multi-instrumentalist, has done the majority of the musical compositions on his own. “Last year he did too,” says Clement, “but I would just be in the studio doing nothing. Just lying on the couch going, ‘Oh how about a bass line?’”

And as for perils of fame and the alienation of stardom, Clement and McKenzie are indeed more focused on their careers than escaping the limelight. They say creating their show is by far the most stressful thing they have ever done together, far worse than touring or writing. “Just the relentlessness of working every day for over 100 days,” says McKenzie. “With each other every day, you almost don’t see anyone else,” adds Clement. “And also, if we’re creating anything no matter how similar mine and Bret’s taste will be, it’s going to be different in some ways… the way a song is arranged or what’s going to be in an episode, things like that. But, it’s more the stress of the situation because if it wasn’t so stressful, we’d just talk about it.”

But here too they are forming routines and figuring out how to make things work, just as they have done before with the other aspects of their material. “in the first season, Bret and me and James [Bobin], the other creator, would fight over lines,” says Clement. “But, we’d find out later when we’d go to film it on set that we’d hardly even use any of those original lines.”

“It’s crazy the amount of time we’d spend arguing about it,” says McKenzie. “We’d spend a day or maybe a week trying to figure out how to write a certain joke and we’d get on set and go, ‘Let’s not do that, let’s do something else,’ because you suddenly realize it’s not funny or something better comes up.”

“We didn’t know that before about our own process, but we never once had that argument this year because we know it just doesn’t matter,” says Clement, leaning back in his chair with a sigh of relief --- suggesting that here, too, amidst the glitter and glamour, they can find a certain comfort… even if it does involve a few flashing lights.

(from what the folk)
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by Venus » Sun May 03, 2009 10:04 am

Yep and a couple of pics

[image]
[image]


Thanks hippiechick at wtf :)
#heart# Image #heart#
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