In one of the crazier stories to hit the net recently was the curious addition of Weird Al Yankovic to ATP’s Nightmare Before Christmas, on the part of curators Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Al doesn’t seem like the normal guy for an ATP stage, but he took the gig eagerly, because it’ll be the first time he’s taken his act to Europe. Which seems impossible. He’s been around for like 30 years, and now he’s going to Europe? Al talked to Pitchfork about Godspeed and going to Europe. The full interview is here, but here are some quotes.
Pitchfork: What did you think when Godspeed asked you to play ATP’s Nightmare Before Christmas festival?
“Weird Al” Yankovic: It kinda blew my mind. I was so gratified that I was hand-picked. I’d been a fan of their music, but I’d never met them and it just came out of the blue. Of course, I immediately said yes. I’ve been pretty vocal about wanting to play Europe and the UK for many years, but my show is very expensive to fly overseas. There are a lot of costumes, computer servers– we could never work it out so that I wouldn’t lose a small fortune. But the All Tomorrow’s Parties thing came through and we’re doing a show in London the next day. It’s a long time coming.
Pitchfork: I noticed you don’t do too many music festivals, but I feel like you’d go over pretty well at a lot of them.
WAY: I’m always a little leery about doing shows where I’m not the headliner because when I first started playing in 1982 I opened for Missing Persons and got pelted for 45 minutes. After that, I made the decision to headline no matter what, even if I was playing to seven people. I wanted people to be there to see me. A few years later I broke that rule and I went on tour opening for the Monkees. But I figured that’s not really a pelting kind of audience.
Nightmare Before Christmas goes down on Dec. 3-5.