Here’s an interview with a fictitious rockstar you’ll never hear.
Rolling Stone: So, Rob, your shows are legendary. We know the women throw their underwear on stage, you are a man among men, and that the arena goes insane. First, where do you get the energy for these performances, and two, what’s the strangest thing someone has thrown on stage?
Rob: <chuckles> I appreciate that you like the shows. They are a blast to put on and the entire team lives for that energy, ya know? When we’re on the road, prepping, rehearsing; we sometimes don’t eat the way we should. I know I’m guilty of this. We have caterers that bring in all sorts of wonderfully prepared dishes, but we just don’t get much. Frankly, it’s mostly for the crew; we’re just so into the music, man. We don’t have much time to eat. Somebody’ll put a bag of Cheetoes and a coke in my hands at some point, and I’ll munch it down. You know, if I think about it, I don’t know where we get the energy, by all rights we should be zombies. It’s got to be the adrenaline.
Rolling Stone: Yeah, sure, adrenaline, that’s it. <snicker>
Rob: What? <smiles>
Strangest thing thrown on stage? I can’t recall anything specific, but people throw all kinds of crazy shit up there. It’s like some sort of old Testament altar for some people; they’ll throw their favorite book, article of clothing, sometimes food (although I don’t know if that’s because they were unhappy with the show), sometimes children’s toys, demo tapes you name it and someone’s thrown it. People will put envelopes with messages to us, some desirous, others confessions about the strangest things; stuff they wanted to get off their chests. It’s weird. We just kind of take it in. These are people who have poured their hearts into us, our music, and they have this connection that allows them bequeath their guilt, desire, regrets, passions up onto the stage and then leave it.
Rolling Stone: That’s kinda creepy man. These people unbalanced or something?
Rob: No, I don’t think so, in fact, I don’t think they want anything from us that they are not getting. There’s the music. I mean, the smallest amount they paid for the show last night was $75 and it was packed. There must be something they like, right? They are yelling and jumping and dancing and their faces are lit up. It’s infectious, the energy. But if they are leaving behind something, unburdening themselves, it’s so they can go out without whatever it was. The demo tape guys, are young musicians looking for validation a break, something. We listen to most of them, and some are pretty good. We have even gotten back to a few who knocked our socks off. But you see it’s not really about the tape, it’s the act of leaving it. They took the chance, they put themselves out there. That act, I think, is all it was about. It’s like the act of leaving a piece of themselves on stage with us, lets them purge it. They’re all confessions, really. It’s like they are saying, here I am, this is me, unadorned, no pretense. Here are my innermost desires and since they don’t know us personally, they don’t have to worry about being judged. It’ll never get back to them. If the demo tape sucked, nobody has to know. It’s sorta cathartic, i think. It’s all good, man. We’re just stoked that they continue to come to the shows and as long as they let us keep doing it, we’re gonna fucking tear the house down.
Rolling Stone: Pulled it together at the end there, didn’tcha? You’re sort of a rock star philosopher, man. It seems a bit incongruous to the stomping strutting arrogant rock god we all know and love. I know you guys got a lot of bad press for some of the demands in your riders.
Rob: <Laughs> Yeah, sure there’s that. You kinda have to do that, you know. I’m not naturally a dick in real life. I swear. But sometimes for the show you have to act like it. I totally swear it’s necessary up to a point. We’re a focal point of male energy, female desire and to create the illusion sometimes you just have to say fuck it. <Interviewer’s aside: Rob reaches across the table, grabs my bottle of water and pours it down his throat, then tosses it across the room>. That. That was a dick move, but you totally want to be me now don’tcha, bro?
Rolling Stone: <laughing> A little bit.
Rob: There’s a bit of arrogance to being what someone would call a rock god, but I don’t for one second think it’s about me. I strut, I stomp, I stroke my instrument, I sing, but it’s not about me. Sure they came to see the band, but we are surrogates or proxies. Think about it, there’s always some rock god, heartthrob, mega star, diva, whatever. You think those people created the followers, created the fans created the urges to fucking rock? Nah. We’re just like vessels, man. It’s not about me or the band or even about the music.
Rolling Stone: There’s a first, rockstar says it’s not about the music. I mean we all know that about Nickleback, but even they wouldn’t say it.
Rob: Haha, touché. I think you’re misunderstanding. Yes, the music is important, it’s under its auspices that we come together. If it was unworthy, they wouldn’t come… but, and here’s a big but, they would still come to someone. We, the rockstars, are fulfilling a pent up demand. We didn’t create the demand, the human need. They wouldn’t be sitting at home if we sucked. In a more economic sense, they have a set amount of money to spend on food and water, and they choose us.
Rolling Stone: This is turning into either those best or most bizarre interviews we’ve ever done. So let me get this straight, you’re comparing your music to food and water. That’s arrogant even for you. <Snickers>
Rob: FUCKING YEAH! We rock, now worship at the foot of our awesomeness! Being a rockstar is partly an act. D’uh. It’s a shared delusion, one into which we both enter willingly. It’s a collective delusion where the band and I get to feed off the energy of the crowd, to channel it, if you will, and direct it back at the crowd. The crazier they get, the crazier I get. We can’t control it, it’s a collective. We all need to be worshiped a bit and by coming together in these venues, they get to experience that pure energy vicariously. Hell, I experience it vicariously, even when I am on stage. Again, the band and I are not the goal, purpose, or end destination of their energy, just the channels for it. It flows through us, we amp it up, feed it back, and we get more in return. It’s like fucking drugs, man. I sometimes think that’s why a lot of rockstar do drugs. They’re trying to fill the void between gigs. It’s a real letdown, let me tell you.
We all have our roles, you know? Some of us are builders, thinkers, and creators. And some of us are clerics. Not gods, but clerics. We are channels and facilitators for spiritual energy not recipients of it. We’re not rock gods, dude, we’re fucking rock priests!
<flips over coffee table and struts out>