Once again, I'm stealing from Rolling Stone. From Jonathan Ringen's "The Acid Nerd Gangsters" (8/24/06).
"I discovered Pink Floyd when I was 18. The Beatles, as well. It was so mind-boggling that people would make music for the sake of experimentation. For the Gnarls record, a lot of psychedelic music was a big influence--that mix of experimentation and melody."
"A lot of people perceive that if black people are doing music that isn't traditionally black music, then it's a deliberate attempt to do something different, but this record wasn't deliberate on either of our parts. We didn't worry about who would listen to it or what station would play it. We were just trying to impress each other."
"Growing up, I was artistic and autistic. Not technically diagnosed, but I was bound to color outside the lines a little bit."
"I experienced a lot of detachment, a lot of isolation when I was a kid. I thought I'd grow up to be a hit man. Isn't that crazy? No pun intended."
"When was the last time you heard a black man talk about suicide?"
"I want to please in the sight of my maker and my mother. I'm gaining favor. A lot of my music is to ease my rite of passage, just in case."
"There was a write-up about the San Francisco show that was quite cool. It said the crowd was like the line at the DMV--children, women, senior citizens, everyone is out there. It doesn't make any sense to me, but I'm having fun. It's like, I'm not alone anymore. I'm finally in the 'in' crowd."
And my personal favorite:
"I like fried chicken and scrambled eggs."
Note: So that's Gnarls on Gnarls. Sadly, there are those who feel both musicians have sold out by moving away from their hip-hop roots. For this project, at any rate. Personally, I think that's a crock. Here's one example of what I'm talking about. I sincerely believe this scribe would be a lot more excited by St. Elsewhere if it had only sold 10,000 copies. Why should he begrudge Danger and Cee-Lo their success--after all, they've earned it the old fashioned way. You know, through hard work, patience, and plenty of hard knocks along the way. I find the argument that they "whitened" up their sound to break through to a wider audience particularly offensive. Also, Mr. Breihan describes the album as "tossed off." From everything I've read it was years in the making, so that's just innacurate. Granted, I'm sure some songs came together more quickly than others, but this project got started a long time ago. That said, I can understand that it isn't to all tastes, and I don't deny anyone their disappointment on aesthetic grounds. Different strokes and all that. But allow an artist to take a risk on occasion--and don't slap 'em down when that risk pays off. After all, isn't that what we've come to expect from those we consider true artists? Or do we just want them to do the same thing over and over again...even if it makes them miserable? Images from the AMG and the Gnarls Barkley MySpace Page.