An interview with Deep Dark Robot’s Linda Perry and Tony Tornay

 
 

AE: The album has been described as “Dirty French garage pop.” Did you two have a sense of the sound you wanted to create from the beginning or was that something that emerged as you began writing together?

TT:
It emerged, pretty much. When we started doing this, I didn’t know what to expect, but what we ended up doing was just really easy. Linda and I have an awesome way of just being [together]. It’s very easy for us to hang out and record. Every time we tried to introduce outside people it’s seemed to get horribly complicated very quickly. We sat down and thought we were doing demos for something that would become a record later, but then we realized that the demos were just so f–king good that it was like, “This is the record.” It took on a life and a sound of its own. Everything just fell into place and though every song sounds completely different and it’s insane how different Linda’s voice sounds on each song, everything fits. It wasn’t set out by design, but it just happened perfectly.

AE: The tour starts in March. Any expectations?
LP:
[Laughing]

AE: Why are you laughing?

LP:
I expect to be extremely nervous all the time. I expect Tony’s going to be patting me on the head telling me, “It’s going to be OK, it’s going to be OK.” There’s going to be a lot of that. You should expect that. A lot of me being like, “I’m f–king nervous about this f–king bullshit,” I’ll tell you that right now.

AE: What about you Tony? Are you ready for all the head patting?

TT:
I’m the opposite. I’m excited. I love touring. I’m just warming up my hand for all the patting on the head that I’ll have to be doing.

AE: Linda, what are you nervous about?

LP:
I had a hard time in the band that I was in previously because I’m very sensitive. I’m a f–king sensitive person. Criticism kills me. I’ve grown up a lot. I’ve been in the studio for fifteen years. I’ve not been out. I haven’t made an album since ’96. It’s been a long time for me. I’ve been happy where I’ve been, behind the scenes, doing what I do. I’m really excited about going out — don’t get me wrong — and I love this album and I’m looking forward to playing music. It’s going to be great to be with people that I want to be with and play these cool little venues.

But I’m also the kind of person that would rather put a bag over my head and stand in the corner and not be noticed. I’ve grown accustomed to being not in the limelight. Tony, he’s always out there with his band Fatso Jetson. Me, I’m not. I hide myself away in the studio. I make music for a living. I don’t do interviews. I don’t take pictures. I don’t make videos. I don’t do any of that stuff. I don’t answer to people. I don’t have to. I don’t need fame. I don’t need money. You know what I mean? But I want to play music. I want this album to be heard. I want everybody to f–king love it. So I’m nervous about me.

AE: This summer I interviewed Chely Wright about working with you in the studio. She said that one of the things that impressed her most about you was not only your talent and work ethic, which are both immense, but your courage as a songwriter and artist. What do you think she meant by that?

LP:
I think it’s because I’m all over the place. My opinion about artists nowadays is that they play it too safe. Their intentions are not appropriate for what they’re doing, their career choice. To be an artist, you don’t play it safe. What you should be doing is bouncing off the walls, throwing things left, throwing things right, falling down. Your emotions should be all over the place. Maybe that’s what she’s talking about.

Chely was awesome because she was willing to do anything. I will throw you through the ringer. I will take you all over the place. I will not stay in a safe place. I’m open to everything. To be open to everything, you have to be courageous. You have to have the courage to fail just as much as the courage to succeed. I’m willing to fail in my attempt to create.

AE: You mentioned that if there were a Side Two for this album, it would be all about what you learned and gained through your relationship with this woman. Do you and Tony plan on making another album together or am I jumping too far ahead?

LP:
[Laughing] You’re way ahead of us. We’re going to get through this one and see what happens. That’s how we chose to do this. We do have a cover album that we already recorded that we’re going to put out as an EP for fun. And we have half of another EP of just originals. We want to saturate people with music. We have it planned for this year and then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do next year. This year’s dialed in and covered. We have plenty of f–king shit to do.

Deep Dark Robot will release their debut album 8 Songs About A Girl on March 22. Their US tour kicks off March 13 and runs through April 22.

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