With This Is Thirteen being an introduction to your music, what do you want people to know about your musicality if they haven’t seen the film?
I would urge them to see the movie and they’ll appreciate the record even more. The CD is the beginning of a new cycle as a band on every possible level. We went back to our original format of writing and we topped that off by using our same producer [as on the first record] so it’s an amazing sounding record. There’s not any compromise on it—(chuckles) it’s sort of like another Hallmark moment. Coming from the early ‘80s, [we] carved a very distinct style of our own. There are elements of other things in it, but collectively speaking, it’s pretty individual and to me that’s the most important thing—to make records that no one else can make but you. I think that’s precisely what we’ve done this time, and I think some of our weaker records are records that sound less like ourselves.
Do you find it difficult to make music fans out of film fans?
Well, some people say, ‘How do you feel about making it in a movie and not because of the music?’ And that’s not really true, because the fact is that the music is what made the movie happen. The guy who made the movie is a fan of the band. There would be no fan if there was no music.
And in turn the movie makes it more possible to get your music out there.
That’s right, all it is is that one hand washes the other. And there’s a number of elements at work here. There’s the story within the story in that we met a 15-year-old kid back in 1982 and made such good friends with him, we took him on the road, made him a part of our family, and that came back 20 years later in [that] Sacha Gervasi, who wrote The Terminal for Steven Spielberg, ended up doing a movie about his best friends who took him out on the road when he was a kid. There’s a magic to that and a purity that will never happen again.
The other element is about a band that stayed in obscurity and survived it. I mean, most bands probably would have [quit]; they’re not the people that Robb and I are which is yet another element. There’s so many different elements on so many different levels that have to be all in line with each other for anything to happen at all. What if my sister didn’t lend me the money? What if we weren’t able to do that [record]? There were a lot of things in the movie and the chances of the way things happened. What if we didn’t get a gig in Japan? And we didn’t have a gig in Japan when we started the movie—it’s not like we wrote a script. These are the turn of events that created that movie —[the] really bombastic things that shouldn’t have happened but did happen.
And how do you respond to that?
It’s really an incredible, miraculous, unique situation that can only happen once and definitely deserves the light of the day as far as the world is concerned —the world should know about stuff like this because it just does not happen normally. This is a very special anomaly that could only happen once and it’s a beautiful thing. It’s a great demonstration of the capacity of the human spirit both for Sacha and for us and for people in general who witnessed it. For one of the first times in human history to actually take part in the epilogue of a movie which, what we usually go to see, is fictitious. This is not, there are so many things that are extraordinary and unique and very special and I just can’t tell you in enough words the level of appreciation and just complete awe that I am in as a human being to be part of something like this.
I think those who have seen the film can agree with that. We get to live it with you.
Believers can become a bucket full, an ocean full —there is hope. There’s hope for everybody, it’s not just me. And I think what this movie really is in a certain sense is an outright message to all of us that we owe it to ourselves to go after the things that we have passion for and it will be the best you can be, which is what we all really want to be in our heart of hearts and the core of our being. That’s part of the human spirit. The best you can be is when you follow your dream and things you have passion for. And those that follow it and become successful, nothing in the world can be more fulfilling. That’s why I think it’s resonating very well amongst the population of the world—the human spirit is the same in all of us. We make our own destinies. We build our own hells and we build our own heavens. And we owe it to ourselves to build as much of a heaven as we can while we’re here—and for others if you can—to share it. Those are my sentiments.