The musician and parodist Weird Al was on The Sound of Young America earlier this year, but the details of his new album were still under wraps. It was so top-secret, he couldn't even allude to it. We agreed to do the interview if we could do a follow up when Alpocalypse was released.
The caveat from their side -- that we come over to Al's house to record! So this time, we're at Al's to talk about the timing of parodies, getting artists' permission (including Lady Gaga), and where he stores all those Hawaiian shirts.
JESSE THORN: It's The Sound of Young America, I'm Jesse Thorn. We booked Weird Al Yankovic to appear on our show six or nine months ago, and it was a great pleasure to get to book him on our show. At the time he had a new children's book out, and he was putting the finishing touches on his new album. We asked if we could hear the album, and they said, no, absolutely not. Everything that “Weird Al” does is kept under lock and key until he decides to release it. He will not even allude to the new album in the conversation.
So this was the compromise that we came up with: we do our interview with Weird Al Yankovic; we talk about the children's book and his career and all of the amazing stuff I've always wanted to talk about “Weird Al” with; but, we would then do a followup interview where we would talk about his new record that we could put out now, when his new record is just about to hit stores. Their caveat was that I would have to do it at Weird Al's house, which is hardly a caveat; I would basically do anything, I would become a furniture mover so that I could visit Weird Al's house.
So before we go to my conversation with Weird Al in the Casa de Al, let's hear a song from his new album Alpocalypse. This is called TMZ, it's a parody of the hit Taylor Swift song “You Belong With Me.”
WEIRD AL YANKOVIC: Welcome Jesse, thanks for coming.
Weird Al Yankovic is the undisputed king of parody music and the all-time bestselling accordionist. His new children's book is When I Grow Up. His new album is due this summer.
JESSE THORN: I’m tempted to say that my next guest needs no introduction, except that it occurs to me now that this is the radio and you can’t see him. He’s Weird Al Yankovic; probably the best song parodist of all time. He’s sold more than 12 million records, and now he has a brand new book for kids called When I Grow Up that was a New York Times best seller. His new record comes out in the summer, and it’s such an honor to have him on The Sound of Young America. Weird Al, welcome to the show.
WEIRD AL YANKOVIC: I appreciate that, thank you.