I’m just going to switch topics and ask you a few questions about Empire Records! Obviously it’s the 20th anniversary this year…are you surprised it ended up being such a cult film?
It came as a complete surprise. And I was completely out of the loop, up until about a year, maybe two years ago. I had no idea that it had become what it’s become. And the director too, Allan Moyle, really had no idea. We have a screening, out here in LA, this summer series where they play films in this cemetery, and a couple of thousand people come and they watch movies in the park, and they played Empire Records, and it was the first time the director go to see it with an audience and he was completely blown away that that many people could sit there and quote it and celebrated it, and for that reason alone I completely embraced the love that it has.
That must have been wonderful…
Yeah! Seeing the look on his face…because the movie was taken away from him, they didn’t let him do what he wanted to do with it, he never got his directors cut. So it was sort of like a baby that slipped out of his arms. And to be able to celebrate it with him and see that it did strike chord with people was great, I love it.
It must have been wonderful for him. Do you have any thoughts on why it’s become such a cult classic now?
I really don’t know! I really couldn’t tell you… It’s a complete shock to me, like, “why would you wanna watch this movie!?” But I’m not gonna question it…I don’t wanna know why.
Did you have a lot of fun making it, because it does feel like that sort of atmosphere on set comes across in the film?
Yeah, we had a blast. It was back in the time when we would have a lot of rehearsals before we started shooting, and when you did start shooting a movie would take three months. Now you get it banged out in 24 days. They got us all these houses on the beach, and it was like summer camp. When we started I was 15, and turned 16 while we were out there. The years that I had as a teenager – the things I got to do and the people I got to hang out with…I’m a pretty lucky dude.
I find it bizarre that the whole ’90s resurgence in fashion has come back so quickly – do you find that kind of weird?
I’m glad that it’s the good part of the ’90s, the dirty, kind of grunge, the outcast, the alternative of the ’90s – I’m glad that it’s that part. Because everybody thinks the ’80s was the neon and all that stuff, but they actually did it right. When you see the colours that the ’90s had – they were horrible! The mainstream ’90s fashion was awful! The alternative underground ’90s, the Reality Bites, Seattle grunge scene, that stuff is getting popular now, and from what I remember that was the outcast version of the era. The ’90s that I’m thinking of is the late ’90s, right before we went into the 2000s, just streak-tipped hair… Believe me any picture I took from that period…it’s just embarrassing. There was a period between 1998 and 1999 where apparently it was just cool to be a douchebag.
I feel like every generation has that though – we just don’t realise it at the time…
Yeah. The great thing about this generation though is that we can actually see how bad it is right now. The selfie generation is so fantastic…
But it’s also the worst thing ever. Imagine being a teenager now, and all of that shit that you did in your house, with your friends, that luckily no one has any evidence of, for them is everywhere – it will always live on the internet, permanently!
Everybody is living the worst Myspace profile now.