Hanging With The Wild Crowd: Our Interview With Fred Schneider

On October 11, 2011, The B-52's released With The Wild Crowd: Live In Athens Ga, the band's first live album. Recorded in February of 2011, the performance marked the 34th anniversary of the band's first concert. We were lucky enough to sit down with Fred Schneider today and he spoke with us about the live album, the band's plans, the key to their longevity, the new song and video for "Batbaby" that he recorded with The Superions, and what he's planning to be on Halloween.

How are you doing today?
I'm doing excellent.

Good. You just released With The Wild Crowd, the first B-52's live album. What took so long?
We've done live albums before, but one was stolen and two were... the tapes were totally flawed for some reason that they didn't check. But you know, we've got a kickass band that sounds good.

Cool. The concert was recorded back in February. Looking back, are there any songs you wish you had included in the set list that night?
There's always tons of them. I mean, we have so many. We just tried to pick something representational of every album. Except... yeah, we've got even Bouncing Off The Satellites.

The concert marks the 34th anniversary of you guys' first concert. What's been the secret to your longevity?
We're vampires.

No. We've always shared everything equally and we get along better now than we did in the past. We've mellowed. We've got a great touring band, they're our friends, so everything just works great.

Between you guys and R.E.M., did you think you'd be the last band standing?
I had no idea R.E.M. were about to break up. I'm sure it's basically they want to pursue other projects. But you never know, they might get back together and do something.

How's the current tour going?
It's like we're never off tour! We have a couple of weeks off and then we do a bunch of dates and then we're off and then dates. I think what they're doing now is planning a 35th anniversary tour.

Cool. Are you taking anyone special out with you for that or is it still up in the air?
We'd like to. Don't know yet. Definitely want to do a big show somewhere. Maybe Atlanta at the Fox [Theatre] or something.

Are there any plans for the four of you to head back to the studio anytime soon?
We've got the DVD coming out... I guess, maybe March? The DVD comes out next year so we're just basically going to be promoting that.

But no new material or anything like that in the works?
It'll probably be singles. It's just too hard for us to get together and do a full album. But you never know.

You guys are the ultimate "party band." Your music starts, and you just can't help tapping your foot. It makes me want to get up and dance and have a good time. It's almost a "live" type of sound. How do you capture that vibe in the studio?
We like to just enhance what we have rather than totally change it or add too much echo and things. We like a "live" sound.

Are there any acts today that make you feel that way? That feel like party music to you?
You know, I don't go on iTunes or anything. I don't download music so I'm the worst one to ask about that. I like Scissor Sisters, of course.

Let's talk about "Batbaby," your new song with The Superions. The song is awesome and the video... I love! Can you tell us about your inspiration for both the song and video?
Like a lot of things I do, just the idea popped into my head. Batbaby. And I thought, "Ok. Batman, Batboy, Batgirl, Batbaby." Once I get an idea in my head, I can just start writing lyrics down so I did that. Noah did the music and Dan does the programming. The video, I'm so pleased with how that turned out. Everyone is pleased. Love that.

It's hilarious. I love how they turn into sex dolls after they've been bitten.
Well, they're drained of all their blood.

Halloween's coming up. I know you're hosting Discoween tonight, but what do you have planned for Monday?
Well, I'll be in Atlanta so I'll go to some Halloween parties here and I'll probably wear what I'm wearing for Discoween.

What's that?
I'm going as Mr. Disco Sensation. Wear some really mismatched clothes.

Now it's time for the CB3, three pop culture questions we ask every guest. Purple Rain or Thriller?
Ooh. That's a tough one. I guess it's a tie. Whenever I think of "Thriller," I always think he's saying, "Because it's Phyl-lis! Dil-ler." "Purple Rain" isn't exactly my favorite Prince song. There are lots of others I like so much better.

Pretty In Pink or Sixteen Candles?

Hate them both, huh?
No. They were after my time.

And finally... Tiffany or Debbie Gibson?
Oh Lord. Well, looking back I would go... Deborah Gibson's very nice but you gotta love Tiffany.

With The Wild Crowd: Live In Athens Ga is available now.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...