INTERVIEW: Ben Folds

Published on theMusic.com.au, Jan 2017

Ben Folds Shares What We Can All Learn From ‘Trapped In The Closet’ By R Kelly

Classical music can learn a lot from R Kelly’s Trapped In The Closet, an affable Ben Folds tells Daniel Cribb.

Most fans of pop and rock would admit to rarely listening to classical music, let alone going out to experience it live – except for the rare occasion when a band enlists an orchestra to perform alongside them, which, as Ben Folds comments, is “not that good most the time”.

Few acts that embark on such an endeavour have enough time to workshop the dynamic in a way that truly complements the insane talents of the classically trained musicians backing them.

Flashback to 2016 when Folds last visited Australia with acclaimed New York ensemble yMusic and we put forward that there were times when audience members almost forgot the headline act was even there. “I totally understood that and that’s kind of what I wanted, so you’re on it,” Folds tells.

His latest album, So There, was a collaborative effort with yMusic, and while he was preparing for certain sectors of the classical community to turn their nose up at the idea of a pop musician releasing such a record (he’s been performing with orchestras for years), it was met with wide acclaim all ’round, even going to #1 on the US Classical Music chart. “There was a formula that proved, after the fact, to be very effective, which is sort of specific to that album,” he says.

“If you listen to the record, it’s mostly a pop record and it’s in the voice of a guy who’s been selling records in the pop world. Now, selling shit in the pop world is still topping the charts in the classical so, when they called it classical and my crowd bought it – then suddenly I’ve got the number one Billboard Classical record for a long time, but it’s not really an indication of my going in and taking over the classical world.”

Although Folds is now firmly planted in that world – currently National Symphony Orchestra’s artistic adviser – he’s not looking to repeat the So There formula again. “I definitely lose a lot of opportunities by jumping off something when it starts to work,” he admits, a statement that is backed by his eclectic back catalogue and countless projects. For Folds, it’s more about doing what enjoys as opposed to cashing in. “It’s like, ‘Okay, the iron’s hot – time to strike.’ And I go, ‘Oh, I think I’ll do something else’.”

Frequently jumping between genres over the past few years, he’s noticed correlations and interesting (and bizarre) influences between pop, folk and classical music. “R&B and hip hop have encouraged us to look at the beat differently, and what plays the beat, and I think that actually opens up a lot of opportunities for classical music,” he says.

“Remember that ridiculous Trapped In The Closet by R Kelly? It’s good shit, right? It’s 45 minutes of the same song and he’s telling this crazy-ass story, but it’s actually kind of brilliant. The beat is a water faucet drip – that’s all it is.

“It’s not a drum, it’s not anything that we’re used to – this kind of reimagining of groove textures is really exciting because they can be done by all kinds of crazy shit in the orchestra and the rock bands are stuck with their drums.”

Folds’ Paper Aeroplane Request tour hits Australia in February, with the US muso going back to his roots and performing in solo mode. The show will see punters writing song requests on pieces of paper, turning them into paper planes and then hurling them onto the stage, which should make for an extremely memorable evening given his comedic wit and improv skills.

With touring duties and his artistic-adviser role, Folds has had little time to think about his next studio album, but he’s still found time to add credits to his IMDb page, proving even further he has worthy comedic value by playing himself on US comedy You’re The Worst at the end of last year. “I really enjoyed it,” he laughs. “I have so much fun with that stuff.”

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2018/01/17/ben-folds-daniel-cribb/

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INTERVIEW: Gyroscope

Published on theMusic.com.au, Jan 2017

Why Gyroscope Chose Self-preservation Over Releasing Another Album

If Gyroscope didn’t take a break, they might have imploded, as frontman Dan Sanders tells Daniel Cribb.

“We took the tool belt off for a while and were living life for what it was; gaining different knowledge and experiences,” begins Gyroscope frontman Dan Sanders on the band’s time away from the spotlight.

Besides the occasional hometown gig, it has been pretty quiet in camp Gyroscope since the touring cycle of their acclaimed fourth LP, 2010’s Cohesion, died down, but they have in no way lost their spark, channelling their renowned live energy into two blistering new songs for double A-side release Crooked Thought/DABS.

It’s the first new music we’ve been gifted in seven years, and by all accounts, it has been worth the wait, with the release showcasing a revitalised act.

It took that time away from the band – focusing on family and individual projects and careers – to figure out how to juggle everything and put Gyroscope in perspective. “We’ve always said from the start that it was family first, but we’ve realised you can do this and do that and still make it work and enjoy it and write some cool tunes along the way,” he explains.

Given their relentless release and touring schedule from conception until Cohesion, it’s easy to see how they might have imploded had they not taken a step back. “When you start to get in a cycle where you write, you record, you tour, you write, you record, you tour, the monotony gets in the way of some sort of real life, because you become a machine where you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel – you get stuck in that and it starts to get you down.”

The band was touring so frequently that they had to designate certain times to write, almost like clocking into a day job, which, as Sanders says, doesn’t always work.

The two new songs aren’t as polished as previous hits – a Spotify shuffle from Baby, I’m Getting Better to Crooked Thought might have one thinking they’re listening to two different bands – but that raw, gritty nature is what makes them so charming, and is the result of a more “organic” method of songwriting. It’s how one of their biggest hits and best live songs to date came to fruition.

“It’s us, four dudes, getting into a room and jamming like we did with Doctor Doctor,” he tells. “45 minutes later you’re out for a smoko and you’ve done it; you’ve got this belter of an idea. [Doctor Doctor] literally started with me busting out a riff, Zok [Trivic] starts on the guitar, Brad [Campbell] comes in on the bass and Rob [Nassif] on the drums and we all just joined in and jammed and that was far and few between back in the day because we were just so under the pump.

“We know now this organised side is where we create our best music.”

That’s how the new double A-side was born – the band getting into a room together and throwing ideas around to see what stuck. And it seems a lot did, with Sanders revealing they picked the two singles from 30 demos. “There’s songs in the back pocket that we will use,” he tells.

Whether or not a selection of those appear on another A-side or a new album — Sanders is unsure — but it’s clear they’ve figured out the key to longevity and will keep chugging along after their upcoming Australian tour. “We’re a bit bull-headed and being in Perth we’re away from all the hoo-ha, so I think if we can just keep doing what we do and including family as inspiration, it’s a pretty powerful force and we’re digging it.

“Gyroscope’s got a new sense of purpose… It’s exciting, man; we’re getting back to basics.”

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2018/01/09/gyroscope-dan-sanders-daniel-cribb/

INTERVIEW: Tonight Alive

Published on theMusic.com.au, Jan 2017

Fighting Demons With Music

Tonight Alive vocalist Jenna McDougall tells Daniel Cribb the path to Underworld was a “scary” experience.

Embracing the calm before the inevitable album release storm, Tonight Alive vocalist Jenna McDougall has been spending some time in Melbourne following the band’s recent run of Australian shows. “I’ve just been trying to get into a good headspace before the end of the year,” McDougall begins.

The singer has been spending a fair amount of time at 24Hundred – the merch store attached to their label, UNFD – and even played an acoustic set there alongside some old friends; the perfect format to preview the intimate new subject matter of the band’s new LP, Underworld. “I feel so excited and very much at peace with everything I said and did on the record,” she says. “I look forward to doing it on stage, because I think it brings a fifth dimension into it and I really love the full body experience of a song.”

That’s conveyed perfectly via the music video for lead single Temple, which features McDougall thrashing about the screen and giving it everything she’s got. “I feel like that video’s the first time I’ve ever got show my stage self in a video.”

“Demons come out through me when I perform, and I like twitching and I like feeling energy leave my body and I’ll do really bizarre moves to make sure that it does.”

It’s a stage presence in tune with what’s being sung about throughout the album; its production and live execution are both therapeutic for McDougall. “I feel a very deep and honest connection with those lyrics, so naturally my body reflects that,” she tells.

“In the first line of the song I say ‘I’m intoxicated by my depression,’ and for the first time I was actually like ‘I am depressed, I am so deeply unhappy and I feel so completely trapped in my life right now.’ And just admitting that was one layer off the entrapment for me.”

“I was really sick when I wrote that song,” she reveals. “I’ve been dealing with a bit of an eating disorder the past couple of years, because I have allergies to everything, so every food I was eating would give me an allergic reaction. I developed this fear that I couldn’t eat anything without my eczema going nuts and it was already in a chronic state and I couldn’t do anything about it.

“That’s part of what I’m talking about in [Temple], which is totally scary to talk about. When we wrote that song, I’d only told one person that I was struggling with that, and that was Whack, because we write all out songs together. It was pretty far out to put it in a song and put it in front of the band, our team and the world; it’s an amazing feeling to work with honesty on that level.”

2017 was a big year for Tonight Alive, with a lot of exciting developments, including signing with UNFD, who will release Underworld the same day the band play Unify, alongside Parkway Drive, The Amity Affliction and more. But there was also some bittersweet news that dropped back in October, as guitarist Whakaio Taahi announced he’d be stepping down from the band to focus on other projects. “I guess [Underworld] is kind of like his last labour of love, and I’m not really sure how it’s going to be moving forward and I’m not really prepared to start thinking about what that’s going to be like, in terms of songwriting and things like that.”

There’s a sense of dark urgency around the music on Underworld produced by the duo, but McDougall stresses it’s not a negative record; a statement backed up by the lyrics throughout. “Every time we write a song, I’m very mindful that I’m not saying there’s no hope or that we’re doomed; I really don’t appreciate that type of music or message.

“If people truly believe that and they put it out there then that’s one thing, but I’m coming from a self-help standpoint and have been for a long time and I really care about personal development and evolution of the mind and spirit and that’s part of why I always have a silver lining in our songs.”

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2018/01/04/tonight-alive-jenna-mcdougall-daniel-cribb/

INTERVIEW: Nirvanna The Band The Show

Published in The Music (NSW, VIC, QLD) and on theMusic.com.au, Nov 2017

Why ‘Nirvanna The Band The Show’ Deserves Your Attention

Canadian pals Matt Johnson and Jay McCarrol admit Nirvanna The Band The Show can be hard to digest at first, but it’ll only take a few episodes until you’re hooked.

“I would look at the trailer for this show, and be like, ‘That looks like a bunch of shit,’” tells Jay McCarrol, one half of Viceland’s Nirvanna The Band The Show. It’s nearing midnight in Toronto and only a few days before the show’s second season premieres, but his partner in crime, Matt Johnson, is in the thick of editing. “Jay doesn’t edit,” Johnson begins, with McCarrol relaxing at home on the other end of the conference call.

The series follows the childhood friends as they try to get a hometown show at Toronto venue the Rivoli, with each episode playing out an elaborate and convoluted plan, from inadvertently holding up a bank to trying to crash a Christmas parade, all while parodying iconic films and TV shows like Jurassic ParkHome Alone and Daredevil.

Initially emerging as a web series 10 years ago, it was brought back to life earlier this year by Viceland. “Our show doesn’t really look like or seem like any other show that people are groomed to enjoy, where it’s easy for them to settle in right away and know what they’re into,” McCarrol says.

“I think when people watch our show, and we’re lucky enough to get them for whatever reason, and they start to dig into it a little bit and give it a chance then it’s really rewarding for them.”

Its guerrilla-style production is one that Johnson used in his first feature film, The Dirties, which won a wealth of acclaim and even caught Kevin Smith’s attention and saw him release it.

Part of makes Nirvanna The Band The Show so charming is that loose production style and its hidden camera scenes, but it wasn’t something they initially gave too much thought to.

“We didn’t really plan so hard the whole, ‘Oh, we’re going to shoot it with unsuspecting people and weave them into the plot.’ The media likes to talk about it, but with us, it was just the easiest way that we could tell the story, and the funniest way,” McCarrol explains.

“You’re in dude,” Johnson adds, referencing a moment in season one where a brief and unplanned conversation with a stranger outside the venue gives the episode the perfect end note.

“Some of the time that’s where we’re getting our plots from,” he tells. “But other times, we’re trying to force certain things to happen, so that things will make sense. It kind of goes both ways.”

“We’re starting to know what we’re getting into when we shoot certain scenes,” McCaroll says.

While the storylines and grand plans in each episode are brilliant on their own, it’s McCarrol and Johnson’s onscreen characters and the dynamics between the two that really drives the show. Their real-life friendship is evident throughout and contributes to the natural flow of things, and something they lean on heavily throughout production, with McCarrol quick to state that neither of them are “proficient or elegant writers”.

“We don’t really write the show,” he admits. “We write what we think is a good premise…we always end up looking back at a rough cut and saying, ‘Okay, well only half of this is working,’ and, ‘Look at what just happened here with this person on the street. We need to explore that.’ So we go out and re-shoot. You can see that our hair changes a lot if you look closely,” he laughs.

The absurdity of their onscreen personas gets amplified in the season two. “Some of that stuff is some of my favourite stuff that we’ve ever done,” Johnson says on an episode entitled The Buddy, which finds the perfect blend of character development and hidden camera content. “I think what Jay and I think is really funny is more of the drama,” he continues. “The characters are basically brain dead in many ways, but then they’re experiencing these complex emotions.”

Most episodes begin in their apartment, with the duo messing around or coming up with another scheme. “A lot of people would say that’s just what they want to see,” McCarrol states. “We would say that too sometimes, but really what drives it forward is when we can finally come together and tell a compelling story with a good backbone of characters that make sense off of each other.”

“You’ve got a good example of that in your own backyard,” Johnson adds. “The first episode of Summer Heights High, Jay and I go back to over and over and over and over again, in terms of character.”

Johnson’s appreciation of Aussie talent stems from his friendship with local filmmaker Dario Russo, the creator of SBS comedy Danger 5. “[Danger 5] is another Australian original that, in my opinion, is really, really excellent.”

“Are we just naming Australian things we know, like Tim Tams?” McCarrol asks. “No, no, these are Australian television shows, Jay. Very important,” Johnson responds.

The conversation continues, with a recommendation of Russell Coight’s All Aussie Adventures thrown their way before the pair engages in a conversation reminiscent of what you’d see onscreen. “I’m really liking The Deuce right now,” McCarrol says. “It’s not Australian,” Johnson responds. “I thought he just asked if we were watching any shows?” “No, he said Australian shows.” “Well, I’ll just tell him off the record then, The Deuce is a good show. James Franco is exactly how you want him in it.”

The turnaround between seasons was lightning fast in comparison to other shows, and while they’re developing praise from the likes of Rick & Morty creator Justin Roiland (“one of the best shows ever made”), they’re not sure where it’ll go. “We don’t really even know what our expectations are for how the show can grow,” McCarrol admits.

“We’re in the middle of shooting [season 3] right now,” Johnson reveals. “I shouldn’t say in the middle of shooting it, but we’ve shot a good portion of it already.

“I hope that it doesn’t come out until next summer because I think that’s almost kind of when it needs to. But I don’t know what the plan is for when it will be delivered.”

“Every now and then, we pop our heads above water,” McCarrol says, “but for the most part, we’re just a little tiny team making it as best as we can.”

You can stream season one of Nirvanna The Band The Show via SBS On Demand.

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2017/11/25/matt-johnson-jay-mccarrol-nirvanna-the-band-the-show-daniel-cribb/

INTERVIEW: Shelley Hennig

Published in The Music (QLD) on theMusic.com.au, Nov 2017

Why Fans Connected So Strongly With Teen Wolf

Teen Wolf star Shelley Hennig tells Daniel Cribb why the supernatural hit is more relatable than a lot of other shows out there.

“Why do you think I’m napping? I only nap when I’m depressed,” sighs US actor Shelley Hennig, still processing the series finale of Teen Wolf.

Over the past three years, she’s developed a loyal following through her portrayal of Malia Tate on the MTV hit, and the reaction garnered from fans when the final episode aired recently proves just how strong an impact it had.

“Even though it was a supernatural show, it was surprising relatable; if you put aside the powers that we had, at the end of the day, they were pretty relatable teenagers dealing with being different, and I think we can all relate to that.”

In-between life or death battles with supernatural creatures, most of the characters were worried about getting good grades. “I appreciated that,” Hennig laughs. “It kept things grounded.”

While the show might be finished, Hennig says it won’t ever truly be gone, with dedicated fans around the globe keeping it alive; like those attending Supanova Brisbane and Adelaide this month to meet her and other guests such as Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) and Graham McTavish (Preacher).

But Hennig’s stepping away from the supernatural and into the world of hip hop with her next film. She showcased a natural comedic flair throughout Teen Wolf that fans fell in love with, and she’s keeping that ball rolling with upcoming Netflix film The After Party, featuring Andy Buckley (The Office), Wiz Khalifa and more. “Basically, it’s a movie about a young rapper who wants to get signed by a record label and if he doesn’t within 24 hours then he’s going to join the marines,” Hennig explains. “My brother in the movie is his manager, and I’m just out of high school. I’m the older sister who the artist has always had a crush on, so my brother makes me come along to convince him to come back out instead of joining the marines.”

Hennig will also appear in the upcoming TV comedy Liberty Crossing as Carly Ambrose, which is currently in post-production. “I’m open to anything, it just seems that comedy has been coming lately,” she tells. “Comedy’s hard, though. Comedy and drama are both challenging in different ways. Comedy is a lighter day, mentally, but also more challenging in other ways.”

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2017/11/08/shelley-hennig-daniel-cribb/

INTERVIEW: Me First & The Gimme Gimmes

Published in The Music (NSW, VIC, QLD) on theMusic.com.au, Sept 2017

Why They Choose To Put Tours Before Albums

Punk rock and politics don’t always go hand in hand, as Me First & The Gimme Gimmes vocalist Spike Slawson tells Daniel Cribb.

“My fear of heights was triggered,” Me First & The Gimme Gimmes ringleader Spike Slawson recalls of a balcony filmed acoustic session with The Music during the band’s 2013 Aus tour.

There’s been a number of touring line-up changes within the group since that stint, with The Living End’s Chris Cheney now locked down on guitar for the band’s 2017 Australian tour. With “better outfits, funnier jokes, and more compelling dance moves” on the menu, the tour also celebrates the recently release Rake It In greatest hits record, which marks a massive 22 years for the band. “It’s kind of bizarre,” Slawson tells. “It’s kind of like a blur; it seems to have happened very quickly.”

They’ve survived two decades of a rapidly changing music scene, and are one of a handful of ‘90s acts who can still sell out Australian tours, which Slawson partly attributes to the atmosphere they create at each gig.

While, as individuals, each member of the band (which currently also features Lagwagon’s Joey Cape and Dave Raun, alongside Bad Religion’s Jay Bentley) has strong political views, a Gimmes gig is a chance to temporally forget your troubles and some of the world’s issues, and have some “dirty, trashy fun”.

“I definitely think there’s a place for political statements in music and art, but I think if people are going to be serious about something, they’re going to be motivated by more than just one guy yelling in a song,” he explains.

“Punk culture informed my political outlook, so maybe it will for other people to, but I don’t always necessarily agree with it either. It doesn’t make any sense for us to be overtly political.”

Anyone familiar with the band’s extensive back catalogue of covers albums will confirm there’s little room a political agenda. Although fans had a steady flow of Gimmes albums over the years – most recently 2014’s Are We Not Men? We Are Diva! among some EPs – we might not see another for a while. “Playing shows is more fun,” Slawson says. “I like playing these songs live and telling jokes and dancing around and if recording some songs gives you the opportunity to do that, then that’s kind of what it’s good for.

“If you don’t have 12 great songs to put on a record, why bother? But if you have two or three good ones, why not do a 7-inch and go play those songs somewhere.”

When and if the band manages to assemble its all-star, original line-up (which includes NOFX’s Fat Mike and Foo Fighter’s Chris Shiflett) for another release, we might see a change in format their previous efforts. “I would like to cover a variety of genres and have it be more centred around events – weird live shows like weddings or communions, things of that nature,” he tells.

It’s a similar format to the band 2004 live album, Ruin Jonny’s Bar Mitzvah, recorded at Fat Mike’s accountant’s son’s bar mitzvah. “The great thing about playing events like that is you’re always going to have an older generation or even people your age that are going to want to have nothing to do with it, but are just indulging their kids, so there’s this weird, awkward tension.”

There mightn’t be any new music from Me First & The Gimme Gimmes within reach, but you can expect some punk boogie gems from Slawson soon. “I also have a band called the Re-Volts, which is original material… we’ve been playing some shows around town and working on a new record, which we should have out next year.”

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2017/09/19/me-first-and-the-gimme-gimmes-spike-slawson-daniel-cribb/

INTERVIEW: Joel McHale

Published in The Music (QLD) on theMusic.com.au, Sep 2017

The Real Reason ‘The Soup’ Was Cancelled

Making fun of the Kardashians for a living doesn’t end well, as Community star Joel McHale found out. He tells Daniel Cribb why being a celebrity is so strange.

“I watched Game Of Thrones last night, so I’m happy about that,” an upbeat Joel McHale begins, pacing around his home in the sweltering LA heat.

“There was one season where I was like, ‘Uh oh, it’s losing me – they’re writing too many checks they can’t cash.’ And boy, did they. It’s one of those things that happens every ten or twenty years where the entire world goes, ‘We all get it, we all believe the show is ours, personally.’ I’m going to be sad when it’s gone.”

While US comedy Community – in which McHale played the charming Jeff Winger – mightn’t have had the entire world on the edge of its seat, by the end of its sixth and final season, it did have a cult fan base just as invested and broke many a heart when it wrapped in 2015. With that said, there’s still hope for a film, although at this point there’s “nothing on the books”.

“Obviously most of the cast is pretty dang busy right now,” he says of co-stars Alison Brie, Donald Glover and more. “What’s cool about the show is it continues to have fans – thank god – and I that speaks to the genius of Dan Harmon’s writing and some of the performances.

“My kids are watching it now, which is pretty strange. They know Gillian [Jacobs] and Alison, and I made out with them a bunch. I was like, ‘Is that weird?’ And they’re like, ‘It’s a little weird.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, just so you know, we all pretended we had other names and that was on a sound studio.’ And they’re like, ‘Dad, stop talking, we’re trying to watch.'”

You might be under the impression so far that McHale spends a lot of his time watching TV, but it’s the exact opposite. During his ten-year stint as a writer and the host of E!’s The Soup, he consumed enough pop culture to last a lifetime, but since it was suddenly and surprisingly cancelled in 2015 after 22 seasons he hasn’t had much time.

McHale first saw the writing on the wall when the network asked them to stop making fun of E! juggernauts the Kardashians, which is what they had been doing his entire tenure on the show. “More so, E! got out of the comedy business when Chelsea [Handler] left and, sadly, Joan [Rivers] died,” McHale explains. “We were the last man standing.”

A sea change in management also led to a shift in the show’s business model, which wasn’t sustainable in the long run. “We used to re-air in America like 12 times a week and as soon as we became a union, they had to pay all the writers for every episode and we went from 12 re-showings down to one.

“That did not fit their model and that was the end. We were doing perfectly well in E! ratings; we did great compared to other stuff on the network.”

He’ll have plenty of time to catch up on TV during his flight to Australia in September. “What are you talking about? Are you telling me it’s a long flight? I feel like it’s about 4–5 hours, something like that,” he jokes.

“Coming to Australia, I feel like I’m going through a wormhole it’s so long. I will tell you secretly – I mean, it’s not a secret because you’re recording this and you work for a magazine – but I love Australia. The only thing that confuses me is putting mayonnaise on lobster, that doesn’t make any sense.”

McHale’s glorious return will see him undertake his first full national tour of Australia. “I am all over the map, you will have a hard time getting me offstage,” he tells. “I talk about a shit ton of different stuff, that’s why the show is called – A Shit Ton Of Different Stuff With Joel McHale… it’s not called that.”

It would be a fitting title, given McHale does have a lot to say, proven through the release of his first book, Thanks For The Money: How To Use My Life Story To Become The Best Joel McHale You Can Be (“I think everyone will agree it’s the greatest book ever written.”), which dropped last year.

“I did not want to do a regular celebrity biography – not that there’s anything wrong with those, but I kind of feel like you have to have an insanely compelling story to be able to fill up an entire book, so I filled up half a book; that’s about as interesting as I get – one-half of a book.

“It is kind of a self-help book, but moreso a send-up of other celebrity books and it talks about how ridiculously insane it is that, for whatever lucky reason, when comedians or actor make enough money to live, all of a sudden people start giving them stuff for free. It makes no sense, it’s silly and it really is a strange thing.”

Although it’s hard to believe given his recent on-screen credits alone on The X-FilesThe Great Indoors and brief stints on Rick & Morty and BoJack Horseman, that he wouldn’t be able to fill an entire book with engaging stories. In Thanks For The Money, McHale talks about Community co-star and comedy legend Chevy Chase, who is widely known to be difficult to work with.

Despite their differences (some documented through humorous anecdotes in the book), McHale is portraying Chase in an upcoming film about Doug Kenney, the founder of the highly influential National Lampoon’s comedy empire. “We just did reshoots,” McHale reveals of the David Wain (Wet Hot American SummerRole Models) directed A Futile & Stupid Gesture, starring Will Forte as Kenney alongside Emmy Rossum, Seth Green and more. “Not only is [Will Forte] so good, he’s a total asshole,” he says. “WAIT! He’s the opposite; he’s probably the nicest person I’ve ever met. He’s so nice that it’s off-putting.”

Kenney also wrote the iconic Animal House and produced Caddy Shack, “and then he died – he fell off a cliff in Hawaii,” McHale adds. “I play Chevy Chase, who was his best friend; they were the best pals. It’s kind of the story of his life, which doesn’t get a lot of press as to what he did and what he accomplished in a very short period time. He died when he was like 30.

“While Richard Pryor was changing one kind of comedy and Monty Python was changing another kind of comedy, in America, comedy changed drastically because of him. He’s kind of like the Alexander Hamilton of comedy in America; he made it up out of nothing.”

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2017/09/11/joel-mchale-daniel-cribb/