Intervju med Rick Springfield.
Jo jag vet, Rick Springfield kan knappast kallas för hårdrock. Dock spelade han på SRF i helgen och hans karaktär i serien "Californication" var mer hårdrock än de flesta hårdrocksband. Dessutom tänkte jag att det kunde vara jäkligt kul att snacka lite med denne gamle mjukisrocker.
Jag fick 15 min med Rick och vi avhandlade bland annat hans megahit "Jessie´s girl" och hur han turnerade i Vietnam under kriget.
I´m a huge fan of ”Californication” and I loved the part you played in it. How did you end up getting the part? Did they reach out to you or did you call them?
Rick: I got a call that they were looking for someone with some history in the 80´s that they could write a part for the show around. I read for the part and got it and they just wrote it around my name and used certain references, but they had the character in mind before they cast it. They weren´t writing me, they were writing about a character named Rick Springfield.
Was there anything in that part where you could draw inspiration from your own life?
Rick: Certainly. You do that as an actor. You pull out whatever you have in your life that parallels in some way, the emotions that you´re supposed to be going through, but you do that in anything. I´ve done that when I´ve played dads or boyfriends or sons. You pull out whatever that has the same emotions. He (the part) was a bit of a jerk and a hedonist and I´ve never treated people with disgust, so that´s not really me but I´ve certainly felt that at times for somebody. You just use the time you felt like that. That´s what acting is, creating a character that seems real.
Playing such a part has to be a whole lot of fun, right?
Rick: Oh yeah! I knew what the show was and I knew it involved some pretty wild shit and I was up for it.
I loved the scene when you walk up to Hank Moody and say that you shit a pint of blood in the morning.
Rick: (laughs) Dude, the writing is great on that show!
It´s phenomenal! Has there been any talk about your character coming back to the show?
Rick: Yeah, they´ve talked about it and I think this may be their last season and they´re talking about bringing the character back, but I haven´t heard anything more than that. It certainly was one of the more popular coming and going characters of the show. I´m up for it.
You have such an interesting story that you tell in the movie “Sound City”.
Rick: Yeah, it was kinda the start for a lot of things for me being connected to that studio. I think the movie shows the start of a lot of people´s lives. That studio launched a lot of careers and I think that´s basically what Dave was kinda getting at. It was more than four walls of a studio, it had a heart that drew people to it and the heart was the owner, Joe Gottfried. He was the guy whose spirit drew everybody to that studio. He made it work and it really shouldn´t have worked. (laughs)
The song “The man that never was”, how did it come about?
Rick: We got together, me and the Foo Fighters, in a studio and we worked for about four or five hours one night and just came up with a track. After we finished the track, I said “Now what?” and Dave said “Take it away and write a song!”. (laughs) I took it away and worked with Matt Bissonette, who I´ve written the last two records with. We came up with it pretty quickly, like the next day or two it was done.
It´s such a great song! Do you play it live now?
Rick: Thanks! Yeah, we do. It fits in real well, especially with the new album. Our show is very high energy so it really works within the set.
Those days, was it more fun back then?
Rick: I wouldn´t say it was more fun. I´m having a lot of fun now. I think that when you get a few years under your belt as far as notoriety, you learn to do it better. I think I´m a way better live performer now than I was back then and I think I´m a better guitar player now. To an extent, I think I´m a better writer as well. Certainly the newness of the fame and all that was incredibly exciting, but that really only happens once, that first blush of fame. You can only be newly famous once, so it was really exciting, that whole period and I have great memories of that.
“Working class dog” was the first one of your albums I bought…
Rick: Oh great! I think that album still holds up sonically and everything.
Absolutely. When you wrote a song like “Jessie´s girl”, did you feel that it might turn into a hit?
Rick: I thought they all were. That´s kinda how I work as a writer. I work for the hook and try to make it the best song I can and while I´m writing it I´m thinking “This is a really great song! This could really be a hit!”. Then you get them all together and you look at them and go “Ok, I guess this one´s better than that one.”. I thought “Jessie´s girl”was a good song, but I didn´t think it was the best song on the album, but that´s just a personal opinion and I´m glad I was wrong.
What´s the plan now? Are you gonna be touring for the latest album, “Songs for the end of the world”, the rest of this year or are you gonna start writing for a new album?
Rick: Both actually. We´ve built the show around the new record. We have video screens and things that reflect old videos or new videos of the songs. We do four or five songs off the new record and a bunch of hits and I´m looking to start writing again soon.
Will that be a release for next year?
As a writer, are you the kinda guy that has to sit down for two months and get into a writing mode or do you constantly come up with stuff?
Rick: I write stuff down when it comes into my head, but I have to get into the mode and focus and that´s really when I finish songs.
A final thing. I had no idea that you toured Vietnam during the war? What was that like?
Rick: It was horrible! (laughs) We got shot at and there were rockets and almost blew the band up with a hand grenade. We shot everything from 45´s to tanks and it was like John Wayne time, but for real. It was pretty scary. We smoked a lot dope, drove through the jungle and played for the soldiers in bases on basically small wooden stages. One time we played inside a tent because it was raining and we were standing on a bunch of sandbags and the water was slowly filling the tent up. It was rough stuff, but an experience. Looking back, not a lot of guys in my age have that experience. It was pretty wild.
Since then, have you played for the troops again?
Rick: We were trying to get over there (Iraq, Afghanistan), but it didn´t work out. I´m a big supporter and my dad was in the army. We did a song on a Christmas record and the proceeds went to parents who´ve lost children as adults in wars.