Beck: “People sometimes think that everything you write about is true”

Beck answers your questions on sex laws, The Stone Roses, Scientology and more

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Beck, a lot of your fans are aware of your little fiasco with Wayne Coyne during the 2002 Beck/Flaming Lips tour. How’s your relationship now?
Cathy, Cleveland, Ohio

There was no fall-out, he just got a little randy in the press! The story is this: I was really sick on that whole tour, I had this illness that lasted a couple of months and we almost cancelled the tour. I was pretty out of it. And I think he took issue with the fact I wasn’t setting up my own equipment and that I was taking a nap before the show and stuff. You know, someone would bring my dinner to the dressing room rather than me going to the cafeteria. Everyone has their own definitions of what you should and shouldn’t do, though. They’re trying to keep the punk-rock thing alive, setting up their own kit every night, but for me it would feel a bit pretentious to go out and do that. I actually saw Wayne a while back and I said: “Hey, what were you doing? What was that about?” He just didn’t take it real serious. If you know Wayne Coyne, then you’ll know that he’ll take friends and loved ones to task if he doesn’t like their haircut or whatever. He’ll have words. But I think everyone around him takes it with a grain of salt. He said I could go onstage and kick him up the butt sometime if I wanted to. I declined.

Be honest: what makes you so damn cool?
Matt Bellamy, Muse

Now fellas, what’s cooler than being cool? Ice cold. I am your neighbour.

Do you believe in telepathy?
Cynthia Warner, Richmond, Kentucky

I’ve definitely had people get the same idea as me at the same time, so it is possible. I’ll write a song and someone will come out with the exact lyric, chorus or chord progression around the same time. I can’t tell you how often that happens. Or a band will come out with the same name as one of my albums. I had a song I was working on after Midnite Vultures [1999] with this harmonica loop. I did it with Dan The Automator, and I was very excited about it. Then, three months later, they were playing a song at my record company with the exact same loop. It was a Bubba Sparxxx song. It was our song, everything about it, apart from it had different lyrics. So ideas are in the air.


Is it true that you appeared in a Stone Roses video? Someone told me it was for “Love Spreads”, but I couldn’t see you.
Ben Ramsbottom, Bristol

It’s true! A friend of mine was directing it and I came down to visit. They had a shot where they needed someone sitting in the river with a big beard trying to pan for gold so I did that. I had to wear a three-foot long beard.

Who’s your tailor?

I don’t actually have one, although there’s this Russian woman who did come to my house once or twice to do some tailoring. I tend to buy all my clothes in Japan, though, because they fit me there. They’re so narrow! So if I’m lucky I don’t have to get it tailored. Everything’s a bit baggy in the States. It’s made for big, muscular, football-playing males. Which, as you can see, is not exactly me!


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