My interview with the supremely talented, very sweet and wonderfully verbose Rob Dickinson is now online at SheKnows. You can read the article about the former Catherine Wheel frontman right here. Go on. I’ll wait here ’til you’re done.
Alrighty… now here are some outtakes from our hour-plus chat. (Note: These excerpts are not necessarily in sequence, and gaps occur where I took pieces to use in the final cut — so what you will read below doesn’t always flow well.)
The photos with Rob in the black t-shirt were taken in Tucson on July 23 of 2006, his 41st birthday — the day after my interview in Phoenix, which was a white shirt day.
RD: Not really. No, I’m not very good at that.
You’re not good at remembering?
RD: No, I’m good on a physical, personal level, and I go out each night and say hi to everybody who wants to say hello after my show. I love that, it’s great… but maintaining a blog — it’s something that doesn’t come naturally. One thing I have learned is that if it doesn’t come naturally, I don’t do it.
I’m just getting my head around the enormous power of the fucking internet in terms of… you don’t need record companies anymore. You just don’t if you understand what the internet can do for you. That’s another thing we’re going to pursue in terms of getting my stuff more widely heard. I think it’s still something I’ve got to come around to. I think I will — I’m just slow to coming ’round to these things. So I’ve got other people looking after my myspace page and stuff, which I certainly look at.
RD: I don’t, but I borrow one occasionally.
Do you have a telephone?
RD: I’ve definitely got a telephone. I’m not a total luddite, but I’m a bit of a luddite. I’ve got an email address, but I don’t really want people sending me emails. I’d much rather deal with people on a physical, personal level. But I actually see the importance of it, and in my own, sweet, slow time I will get ’round to figuring out how I can best understand it and use it. It just hasn’t happened yet.
My mom’s online. My grandmother is online. (me, rather bemused)
RD: Well, my mother’s just got online — she’s 70.
In Britain, everything’s 20 years behind, so…
RD: That’s really true.
Do you miss England?
RD: I miss the pubs. (laughs) Not really, there are a lot of ghosts in England. There’s a reason that I’ve gravitated to this more optimistic — though fatally flawed — country. England’s fatally flawed, but it certainly isn’t optimistic. Not from what I remember anyway. I need to surround myself with optimism and sunshine. I suck up bad energy if it surrounds me. I have to surround myself with positivism.
Who else is out there that you’d like to work with?
RD: Steve Perry. Steve Perry is my new friend — my new best friend from Journey.
Are you serious?
RD: I’m serious. I’ve met him through David Donnelly, who mastered the Catherine records and my record. He’s been a really good friend of mine. He’s mastering the Journey back catalog at the moment, so I’ve been hanging out with Steve quite a lot. He’s an interesting guy. So I’d like to do a duet with Steve Perry. So maybe we’ll do that, all those great songs. I’m a great fan of Journey — sucker for a good tune.
What kind of music do you listen to?
RD: Not much. I’ve got to say that when I listen to music, I go back to my old favorites. If I’ve had any conquest, being conquered by an artist, there’s this guy Devendra Banhart. Do you know Devendra Banhart? He’s this kind of folk singer from San Francisco. He’s got a very great record called “Rejoicing in the Hands,” last year I think it was, which was great. I listen to my Neil Young records and my Floyd records and my Scott Walker records. But I notice I don’t do a lot of music listening — I spend so much time worrying and thinking and doing my own stuff.
Do you play music in the car, or do you listen to the radio?
RD: I listen to NPR on the radio. It’s the closest thing to BBC radio that we have in England. I listen to classic rock, actually, in California. I listen to 95.5 KLOS. I’m getting into Creedence Clearwater Revival — never knew anything about them before. I have to start buying some Creedence records.
Not download them?
RD: No, I’ll buy them. I’m not going to download them.
What — on vinyl?
RD: No, a CD. I’m with the times, baby.
And for more from Rob Dickinson…