Q + A

INTERVIEW: Daniel Johnston

Posted on May 19, 2008 by

This was probably one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever taken part in (and, for placement, this happened pretty much exactly one year ago, in May of 2007. That’s how long we’ve been trying to start this effing magazine). Daniel Johnston was in Toronto as part of the Over the Top Festival, and he wasn’t really doing interviews. He was in pretty ill health, had just made some really creepy anti-Semitic comments at SXSW a few months earlier, and people seemed kind of unsure if he was actually becoming a Nazi or was just, you know… kind of crazy.

MTV Live was doing a feature on him the day after our interview, but they were (understandably) nervous about him giving the Nazi salute or some such thing on live television. Thus they wanted to supervise our interview. We were, for all intents and purposes, MTV guinea pigs. So to set the scene, this interview took place in a room with Daniel Johnston, a female fan, his brother, an MTV Live producer (keep in mind Daniel’s raging MTV obsession), that red-headed MTV Live host, and us (being Paul Korycki and Sam Sutherland of JUICEBOXdotcom).

Daniel was chain-smoking and eating fortune cookies the whole time, and would occasionally fall asleep with his cigarette still in his mouth. Sometimes he’d wake up on his own and answer the question. But mostly we would just wait.

(with files from Ashley Carter) More… »

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