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WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 21, 2007

Busdriver interview in the Tampa Bay Times

The Perfect House Guest

It looks like Busdriver has his own blanket, he just needs a place to crash for the night. Do you have a vacancy?

Busdriver needs a place to crash.

The 29-year-old progressive rapper, known to his accountant as Regan Farquhar, opens for Deerhoof at Crowbar this weekend. He's been featured in countless publications and has an apartment in L.A., but when Bus takes his hip-hop act on the road, he doesn't always know where he'll lay his head at the end of the night.

Busdriver spoke with tbt* about his latest album, his disdain for Hollywood and why he makes a good house guest.

Tell me about the title of your album, RoadKillOvercoat. Where does that come from?

It was just kind of a funny thing, a funny little coupling of words - pairing of words. When we were driving, me and my tour partner ... were talking about the road kill and he said something to the effect of road kill overcoat in the context of whatever we were talking about. I was looking for a title of the album ... I just took that. I had nothing else good, so...

The single Casting Agents and Cowgirls appears to be another case in which you just throw two words together. What's it really about?

It's not really random. They're kind of the accoutrements of the decadent celebrity - f---ing retreats that people tie themselves in after they've had some conventional success. The chorus says, "You did it, you got it, you wowed the world of casting agents and cowgirls."... So it's kinda like you've impressed this seemingly innocuous bunch of f---ing Hollywood functionaries of god-knows-what, and the casting agents and cowgirls - the casting agents are the people who draft the talent, and the cowgirls are the talent.

What goes on in your mind when you're picking out clothes for a show?

I usually try to pick things that I can sweat in, truthfully, and that's pretty much it. I wish that I had outfits and things, but A, there's not much going on. Like when I'm touring, the accommodations are pretty bare. There may be a backstage, there may not be. There's no tour manager. There's no anything. And there may not even be a hotel room that night, so I feel obligated to not have that much that I'm responsible for, and a series of costumes and outfits could be too much.

When there's no hotel room, what do you do?

Make friends.

I've read in other interviews that people say your lyrics are intelligent, almost like they're surprised that a hip-hop act could be smart. Does that bother you, or do you consider it a compliment?

Yeah, it is bothersome because hip-hop lyricism lends itself to be more convoluted than other forms of music, 'cause that's the emphasis. All in all, the lyricism in hip-hop is more convoluted and cerebral and thought-intensive than other genres, at least as far as where I'm concerned. ... But then again, I'm very flattered when they say the lyrics are intelligent.

Is there anything else about your Tampa show that you want people to know?

People can expect me to ask them for room and board. That's what they can expect. They can expect lots of fireworks and lots of pleading and some on-stage crying, to be quite honest.

I don't think you'll have to plead too much. It'd be cool to have you as a house guest.

Are you rolling out the carpet?

Am I rolling out the carpet? Sure. What do you like for breakfast?

Eggs and stuff. I would make you breakfast, of course, as being the guest imposing. We can buy eggs. Wow! This interview has proven way more necessary and influential on my trip than I'd planned on it being. I'm quite pleased, actually.


Dalia Wheatt
Tampa Bay Times

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