Welcome, welcome, welcome to armchair expert. You sound like a miniature mouse. I am a miniature mouse today. Oh, my God, his body swell.
Yeah, and I'm talking schepper. Oh, wow. You're full of yourself. It seems we had the funnest conversation with Sarah Wallis.
I loved her as a musician.
I'm in love with her as a musician and in love with her as a songwriter and then just got completely bowled over with who she is.
Oh, she's awesome. I know. We really want to hang out with her. Yeah. You're really going to want to hang out with her, too.
Sarah Birrell's is a Grammy Award winning and Tony and Emmy Award nominated singer, songwriter, actress and author.
She was in Jesus Christ Superstar with John Legend. And she also wrote all the music for the hit Broadway musical waitress.
And she's had a bevy of wonderful albums, Careful Confessions, Little Voice, Kaleidoscope Heart, The Blessed Unrest, What's Inside Amidst the Chaos. And she has a new album out right now called More Love Songs from Little Voice Season one. You should check that out. She couldn't be a better songwriter, so please enjoy Sarah Birrell's.
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He's in our chat. Can you hear us? Oh, yes. Oh. Oh, my God, is that embarrassing? We were plugged in like we could get your audio, but the part for whatever reason, that turned off the mic. Yeah. Need to go in another eighth of an inch.
No worries. Most things need to go in another on.
I don't know. In six months we've done a lot, I don't know, 80 of these and then we can't figure out how to talk to you.
It's really shallow. There's nothing simple about it. I just peed with my ear plugs out and I was like, I'm pretty sure I'm just peeing into this microphone.
I like I have in my quite you know, what is 20, 20 is a bee.
Can I tell you the funniest story along that way? A good friend of mine joined a zumaya meeting.
It was morning is really early, so he's making his coffee and everything and he thinks his video's off and his audio is off. He starts coughing pretty bad. He's a smoker, right? He goes, DACs, I am making noises. Right?
I'm like, like like really trying to get in and right at this moment where he is like, oh my God, I almost got he's like back through this can't takes the fucking computer into the bathroom, has a full explosion and starts hearing people laughing from the zoomer a meeting and realizing that the entire thing has been heard by everyone.
Oh my God. If they weren't close then they are now.
Needless to say, he has not returned to that. A zoo meeting.
How are you doing? Are you in New York?
In New York? I think, you know, for all intents and purposes, I'm doing OK at the moment. It's a real moment to moment this year. That's been my experience of it. I'm like kind of even, you know, within a day. I'm very prone to the peaks and valleys. And it's been obviously an emotional year. So right now I'm like, fine, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Minute to minute. Yeah. Monica and I were talking last night about how, like, you have your normal life, you have your normal challenges and struggles that everyone has.
But I think we keep forgetting that it's happening within also this context of like crazy uncertainty.
But you're not aware of it. And then your other problems just are taking the shape that are so profound. You know, like, wow, I normally handle this. And then you just you've got to keep reminding yourself, like, oh, this very atypical and it's very stressful.
And I've found that I think because of the severity of everything, like all of the real issues that are going on, it doesn't feel like does any of this other shit matter, anything matter other than literally life and death and this election, that's like no, no, it's true.
But yeah, there's like half the country is on fire. There's the global pandemic. There is an election, you know, seconds away. It's a lot it is a lot too much to argue too much.
Some would argue too much. And I would agree.
Well, let's start with the fact that you wrote a song that my wife then sang that is by far my favorite thing she's ever sang.
I can't tell you how often I force her to put on superhero.
Oh, my God. Is it good? Is it. Oh, my God. The girls sing it and it's such a goosebump maker and it's on Central Park, the cartoon. How'd you end up working on that?
I think it came through Josh Gad. I think he reached out and also Lauren because it's a my friend. Telvin, you worked on Bob's Burgers with Lauren and so Lauren and Josh both reached out, asked if I was interested in writing for animation is like the big bucket list for me. So dream come true. And then getting to write something for Kristen the thing was just like come on, get out of. And this is a sweet scene and that character is so delicious.
And then just getting to be really playful and imaginative and trying to imbue humor and kind of awkwardness of her age. And yeah, I had a lot of fun and they were so collaborative. It was a really fun, easy kind of back and forth. It's awesome.
You do creatively kind of share some connective tissue in that there's like a cuteness and awkwardness. And then yet there's also the perfection of some section of the song.
There's like like that's what Kristen does so well say in Frozen or something where she can be bumbling and insecure at a moment and then really brave and all these things. And I think you creatively are kind of arnow.
That's my assessment.
Yeah. I think that it feels really honest, like that sort of version of how people well, the people that I tend to, I guess, gravitate towards either people that kind of approach life that way. Like, I am so not cool and collected. So, you know, the people that kind of move through honestly, that give honest to me, because we're all kind of like a little bit of a mess and trying to hide it most of the time.
Yeah. Collecting secrets along the way. Yeah.
You're from Yreka, which is an intriguing.
Place for me to think that you're from simply that we drive through there often on our way to Oregon. We've stayed there.
Where did you stay? I'm so curious. Where did we stay in Eureka? Like in the actual city?
Or did you camp or was it you know, I want to say that we got some coastal.
I can't remember I can't remember what we've been through there a few times.
And I'm kind of obsessed with Humboldt County in general. And what is it called the like Emerald Triangle?
Oh, is that what it's called? It is going to argue. Why are we there yet? Yeah, but the weed I could care less about.
But there's also like crime and there's like people disappear.
Yeah. Oh yeah. There was a documentary like Murder Mountain or something like. Yeah. Did you watch it. No, I didn't see it actually, which I should totally watch it, but which I think is kind of hilarious because I've never heard anybody say it is murder like they made it seem like we all talk about murder mountain. I was like, I don't know if that's actually accurate. I know I should watch it.
You're destroying my fantasy of murder.
Your fantasy is like, ah, there are a lot of meth heads everywhere.
It's very working class. It's this really interesting mixture of super crunchy granola, progressive liberal mindedness and very conservative redneck people trying to live off the grid and stuff.
Yeah, some of that and a lot of country music. A lot of oddly like a little bit of Southern accent sometimes.
Yeah. Yeah. That close to there I have such a fondness for the place, but it's a really unique place, which I think is why I love telling people like Go Explore. It's like a beloved and weird place.
My main memory is like driving through the town on our last trip there, looking up healthy restaurants for my wife, clearly not for me, and there being like thirteen great options for organic food and like you say, logging trucks passing new and all this conflicting stuff like dudes in lumberjack wardrobe and then all these healthy restaurants.
It is. It's really unique.
Yeah. It's got a really cute little downtown. It's like an area that used to have really robust industry logging and fishing being the main ones, which is why the community sort of built up and then a lot of those jobs went away. So it hasn't really figured out what's next in terms of how to sustain economically. So unfortunately, there's a lot of homelessness. There's a lot of people just kind of making it work.
OK, now, your mother worked at a funeral parlor, which is just fantastic. I got a few questions about that.
What role did she have there, I guess is let's start there because she worked.
And this is sort of brief. It wasn't like six feet under where like I went down and saw the dead bodies, you know.
All right, fine. But rats. But moving forward, she did like intake. So, you know, families would come in and she would work with them on designing the service, essentially. And she really loved it for a while. It was a hard job for obvious reasons, but I think it made her feel like she could really offer support in a really difficult time to people. And she's really good at that. So she liked it. And then I think actually it went corporate and they started getting pressured up.
So like get the grieving family to buy the really nice coffin. And she's like, I don't like that.
But I've always, like, been really perplexed by, of course, it's a business and of course they sell products, but it is a weird time to be like, really strong.
So it's just somebody I know also, like the amount you spend on this coffin is going to be a real representation of how much you valued this person.
Totally. But he doesn't need a cup holder up old.
I don't think he needs the iPad attachment. I don't I don't think he's going to watch me anymore.
So you said I heard how savage I was when my father died. I was dealing with it over the phone. It had happened in Michigan. And so I'm calling around and I'm like, I just need a cremation. OK, well, we can cremate him in this box or that box. And I'm like, put them in a plywood box. I don't mean to be rude, but what are we talking about? You're going to throw this thing in the fucking oven.
Why would I buy something nice? Is there a cardboard option?
We won't buy plastic because that's not going to go well for the environment. But yeah, right. Oh, I'm with you. Honestly, I'm with you.
OK, now, at what age would you say you start getting interested? I know obviously you did musicals in high school, but does it predate that or is high school your kind of introduction to when you start singing and performing?
I started singing and performing maybe a little earlier than that. I did some community theater probably when I was around twelve, but I started playing piano and I was really like sick. And I took lessons for a little while and I didn't like it. I didn't like when they were like, do something different with your right hand and your left hand. And I like this is hard by.
And so I didn't follow through in that sense, but I never fell out of love with the piano. So I did a lot of afternoons at the piano on my own. And then got involved in my choir and stuff in high school, but community theater was maybe my more introduction into performance and I just loved it. I was a total ham and I was an awkward kid. And I got made fun of at school and I felt like all the weirdos to go to the theater community.
And it's like this beautifully inclusive, wonderfully diverse group of people who, like, lift each other up like this is the magic spot for sure.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I feel like I really missed out on that.
I wish I would have done more of it when I got to college. I was a communications major in college.
Oh, hold on.
That's going to be the bulk of you and I because we were there at the same time. I just figured out. No way. Yeah. Really? Yeah.
Let's just put it up again because I really want to geek out on that. Yeah.
OK, yeah. So community theater and then high school. I did a little shop of horrors of high school and that was like a peak existence. I was living for that production. Yeah.
But seeing you now I feel like it'd be hard to think that you got made fun of. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're a major babe.
Yeah. Right. What about just like awkwardness or awkwardness.
I was a chubby kid. I went to Catholic school, which is just a whole other separate mean. We can dive into that too. But yeah, I had like the new kids in my class and it was such a small class. And you just like as I want to say, like maybe even second or third grade, you kind of get your roles or your whatever the stereotypes about you like, they're just indelible and they didn't change. Each year would pass.
And I'm like, I don't think something like that anymore. Like I'm like, I don't have this like grew. I would have just like a crisis of identity where I'm like, I would feel good during the summer and I worked really hard.
But anyway, there was no upward migration out of your class strata. No, until I changed schools, I went to public school in eighth grade and then it changed. But the body dysmorphia and all of the self-image issues, those are still intact. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Did you have to battle to get into public school? Was that a hard fight? I assume you wanted to go to public school or.
No, no. Actually, I have a strong memory of a really good conversation with my mom. And by good, I mean, she was like a real tough love with me on this moment. I would come home crying school all the time. And finally she just was like, what do you want to do about this? You cannot come home crying from school every single day. Do you want to switch schools or not? And then finally decided to go.
Then my my best friend at the time named Animacy, she switched schools too. And we like went to public school and I was like, you get to choose what you wear every day. This is a dream come true. And that's a very stressful.
My mom had the exact same experience, so Catholic school up to eighth grade, then went to high school and she's like, oh my God, what is fashion?
Well, I wanted these shoes. And you pin your pants in, like, just total panic of what everyone seemed to have figured out totally.
I was body suits and flannels is really what I was prime in my like junior high high school, like grunge, 90s, grunge. Absolutely.
OK, now this is very exciting because we started UCLA at the same time, despite the fact that I'm four years older than you. We started in both in 98. And what I love about the fact that you are. Com majors, my main memory of the first few months at that school were every class. They'd kind of ask you what your major was.
And eighty percent in the class was always like, come, hopefully, like it was everyone.
And I like this. What did people want to be in. Com what's going on. And you made the club. This is very exciting.
Yeah. But I was undeclared my first year then. Then I knew communications was like this. Impacted Major. I think once you finally got in you realize it's like, oh it's because all of the jocks, all of the sorority girls like all everybody like everybody's in this thing. And then and then you get to the end of your years of study, you're like, I'm not totally sure I studied anything. Yeah. I can't tell you what we learned.
Well, that makes me so happy to hear because my first thought was just like, can you study communicating for two years? I mean, I had like a one com class.
You learn interpersonal, interpersonal and interpersonal. And isn't that a rap on communication? Right. Right.
I remember we had a couple of sociology classes that I really thought were interesting, but I think the reason I liked it is because it felt like it was just studying human behavior. So that's what I can tell you about it. Yeah.
Now, coming from Eureka, you were Catholic school them public. That's a big leap. And then you leave Eureka and you come to UCLA. Did you want to go to UCLA just because it was in L.A.?
I didn't even want to go to UCLA. I was all set to go to San Francisco State. I think one of the things about growing up in a small town that I have learned about myself is that I tend to be very myopic about what's right in front of me. I'm not really like a big dreamer that way. I'm just like kind of do the thing right in front of me. And I had a lot of family in the Bay Area, so.
San Francisco felt very logical next step, and I had I almost auditioned. I had auditioned for San Francisco State. I got in there because they and I actually was getting like a little vocal scholarship to go join the music program. There was like two thousand dollars or something. And then I wasn't even going to apply to U.S. schools because I come from money and they were expensive. And I didn't even want to put that burden on the family. And my sister gave me a check for two hundred bucks.
And she's like, these two hundred dollars apply to some schools, some of the U.S. schools. And I got into UCLA and never in a million years that I think I would even get in. And my English teacher at the time it was faulter, she pulled me aside. I had showed her the acceptance letter thinking like, well, I'm not going to go here, but this is cool. I got into UCLA and she's like, you may not not go there.
Like, you cannot get into UCLA and not go to UCLA. I won't allow it. Wow. So I went to UCLA.
So your sister and your English teacher, people telling me what to do.
That's my whole life. OK, so now I want to just drill into one thought.
When you first were like, fuck piano lessons, your explanation was is is hard, which is a great one and I can relate to.
But yet you seem to be open to like suggestion or trusting people.
There's like a humility in the fact that you listen to your English teacher or that you listen to your sister.
Yeah, I still struggle with trusting my gut on things and I struggle a little bit with answering that question that feels like it should be so simple. The question of what do you want? Like what are you aiming at? What do you want for yourself? And sometimes I find that question to be impossible to answer. I can't possibly know. And so I tend to do what's in front of me because it's easier than like figuring out that very tragically difficult question.
But yeah, I think I trusted them. Certainly my English teacher was a really close confidant of mine through school, and I loved her so much. And yeah, it was just serendipitous. And I accepted without going to see the campus. And then I got to orientation and I was like, at my doing this. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like what?
I'm Beverly Hills nine to one now. Oh my God. I remember seeing the beaches of Los Angeles for the first time and like I grew up north. How you dress like this to go to the beach. Yeah.
And it's a dark brown beach and the water's forty nine degrees. Oh there's like sharks. You don't go in the water, you're just walking your dog or whatever. And then I go down and it's legit Baywatch down there and my mind is blow blown.
I too moved to L.A. and I moved from a town similar to the one you described, which is like it was very blue collar, all automotive workers, very high hillbilly contingency, even though we are by Detroit dudes with accents. To your point, inexplicably crazy how that happened.
Yeah, tons of violence just fights every day. Everyone's violent people are challenging each other at Burger King and everywhere else.
And then, yeah, I moved to L.A. and I was like, this is incredibly different. And whatever thing that had defined myself as cool is not working here.
People people don't want to hear any white stories. I'm smoking on campus. No one smoked. Everyone smoked in Detroit. And I'm like, oh, my God, I'm a fucking dirtbag here. I'm a complete dirtbag.
I remember feeling just like tragically inadequate because I didn't know what anyone was talking about. Like I got to school. And it seemed like all the girls had these Kate Spade bags. I had never heard of it. I didn't even know what it was. And I'm like, why is that thing important? Like, you cannot purchase something that is Gucci in Eureka where it doesn't exist. So my whole understanding of the world was completely different. I'm like, oh, I'm supposed to know this stuff, which is why I still fucking don't care about it.
But like, it was mind blowing and then I just felt like an alien. Did you try to care?
Like, was there a section of time where you were like, I guess this is how I'll assimilate, so I'll get the bag and I'll do it and then ultimately just no.
Or you were just like, no, I did. I had a little bit of time where some of my dear friends still all joined the same sorority. So my freshman year I made a close group of girlfriends and they all rushed and joined the same sorority right when we got there freshman year. Now, I didn't join and by the end of the year I was like, these are all my friends. They're all on the team through it, like, am I a sorority?
I never even really know what that means. And I went to a rush event. First of all, I felt so weird in the room, like, everyone is perfectly nice to me, but I, like, turned on this real, like, bushy tail, like, sweet guy. I'm like I just went through, like, the body snatchers thing. I don't even know what happened. And I walked out. I was like, well, I can't do that.
That is just too crazy for me. But they're all super, super sweet to me and very inclusive. But I went through a period of time. I was looking for my home, and then I met my a cappella group. And that was like a real game changer for me where I started singing. It was again, it was like a little bit of a misfit, like a coming together of misfits. That's where I felt like I belonged.
Way more than anywhere else, here's where you start racking up the victories. You went to Spring Sing's at UCLA, right?
That's pretty awesome. You've done your homework. This is what I love about this podcast, young guy. Big.
Well, let's let's be honest. I go through Wikipedia, and by the way, I find out 30 percent of it's wrong in every interview. So the fact that your mom worked at a funeral parlor was like, you pass that hurdle.
We just interviewed Keith Urban. I was like, look, man, I just want to say I love people who paid their dues. And the fact that you performed every Sonora summer and autumn wave pool in Australia makes me like you. And he's like, I didn't do that. I've never performed that away. What are you talking about? Like there is a water slide. Park Modise perform every song. He's like, no, I don't know what you're talking about.
There's no water supply. And I'm like, oh, that was the thing I thought was awesome.
It's like, yeah, here it like what a specific dream to have for Keith Urban from whoever added that to Wikipedia. Yes.
And by the way, it wasn't even like there be an obvious incentive for the owner of the actual wave pool or the water slide prior to start that rumor.
But they would add their name, but they just said it was like an indiscriminate right because she looked it up in the fact check.
Yeah, OK, so you become friends with the Maroon five guys. They're all like guys, right?
Yeah, yeah. They were all like guys.
And a lot of them went to Brentwood together, high school or middle or which is like eighty five feet from UCLA. Yeah, that's right. It's I don't know, 18 blocks. Totally.
Yeah. I met all those guys to Springstein. So spring thing is like the talent show, the springtime talent show we had. Mr. Belding was the judge the first year.
I know why that Mr. Belding from Saved by the Bell and Paasschen. Yeah.
Oh wow. I was a big save was the judge.
So you kind of getting a sense of how cool it is, right? You're starting to pick up on what a high level folk scene this was. OK, OK.
Can I tell you my level? One of the Groundlings there was a guy that had been on hundreds of episodes is saved by the bell in a very small role. I think he worked at the restaurant they hung out with. I don't want to further embarrass myself for forgetting who we're talking about. He would know he was older than the guys.
Yes, probably, man. OK, and he was in the first level with the Groundlings and he had a convertible Jaguar.
And I was like, man, that's the shit right there driving a convertible Jaguar to like level one Groundlings to learn improv.
I was blown away.
I don't know if that's the first place I put my money, but that is I call it that now you're fine performing or do you have anxiety like I imagine Spring Sing because it's a competition like did you have nerves. I mean it is interesting to do an art form that's competitive totally.
And that's what we do. We just take these cool things that people do and we sit up against each other and we make it a contest. Yeah, I wasn't sleeping. I was eating. I was like really, really jacked up with murder. But the first year, my freshman year, I auditioned to perform and I was too nervous to audition as a solo act. So I auditioned as a duet with my friend and we didn't get in. So because I didn't get in, I joined the company, which is like their little sketch group through my friend Berry, who is still a very good friend of mine.
He was in my group and he was the connector to all the Maroon five guys and stuff. So that's that's how I ended up meeting so many of my really close friends from my UCLA days is I'm not getting into thing as a performer. But then the second year I dominated and I beat Maroon five. And so.
Did you have a boyfriend at this period? Did you de de Bruyn?
No, I did not date. Well, I made out with people because I was a drunk asshole, but I did not date at all in college.
Now what I almost I lost my breath ask you that I wasn't that I didn't want to date.
I just could not get anyone to pay attention to me. I can relate. I can relate. You didn't date in college. You I barely date now for the same reason, but yes. No, I did not. And everyone was dating around me. And you feel like there's something wrong with you. Yeah.
And then people ask you questions like why didn't you date people going?
Why haven't you asked? Saturday Night Live. And I'm like, oh well I don't want to.
I'm so glad you said that one, because I've been asked that a couple thousand times. And I'm like, well, not because I want to kill too. I know that part of it.
And I'm like, shut up, Mom. OK, so you get out of college. And at that time, are you certain you're staying in in Los Angeles or what are you thinking once you get out of college?
Yeah. So by the time I get out of college, I have started playing some little shows in and around town, a lot in Westwood, like I was with Butko and I was doing a lot of just like local small shows and had just started to build, you know, a really loving and loyal fan base that was kind of UCLA based. I had. Writing songs, and so Sprinzen was definitely like a big pivot point for me of getting a taste of what it felt like to sing in front of a big crowd was like so intoxicating.
Yeah, I knew I wanted more of that. And then it was just about writing more material and trying to get up the courage, I suppose, to really pursue it more seriously. But yeah, I knew I was sticking around L.A. I also like the like for five years. I didn't graduate in four, so I did my third my junior year in Italy. And because I'm so intimidated to talk to professors, I didn't get any of my credits to transfer.
So I basically took a year off, went to school for a year in Italy and Italian, and then went to like nervous to go into the offices to ask them to like, write the credits, like the normal thing you're supposed to do if you go away to school. So it's as if my junior year didn't count.
You had a gap year within your gap year in which I went to school.
Yeah, yeah. That's my first question is do you have an explanation for it or are you still wondering about it as far as like why you wouldn't have been able to muster up the confidence to do that?
I mean, it comes from the same place that makes me like a little nervous, like call to order pizza. It's like that same part of me that's like just anxious about having any kind of interaction with a stranger, which I've gotten over quite a bit. But yeah, it felt too complicated. It felt like doing my taxes or something like this is going to be too hard. There's too many forms to fill out. I'd rather just go to school for an entire other year.
It's like you're going, no, I don't want to use my second hand on the piano at a different rhythm. So I'm out. Yeah.
So I gave up. Stay tuned for more armchair expert, if you dare.
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Now, really quick about Italy, where were you? Did you speak Italian before you got there? I know you're Italian and you grew up.
Yeah, I was an Italian minor at UCLA, so I was a major Italian minor. So I had a language class every day. And I lived in Bologna, which is northern Italy, home of Ducati.
I've been. Yeah, and pasta. Bologna is the food is incredible. Incredible, incredible. And yeah, I lived there for a year or I guess it ends up being like the nine months of the school year or whatever. But it was amazing. And also I would say one of the pivot points in my life when I lived in Italy, I realized that songwriting was not just a passion or a side project, but it was actually like a really important part of my identity.
I had several nervous breakdowns. I was there. I feel like it's so important for everybody to feel foreign. It's so important to, like, build empathy and compassion for how hard it is to be in a country that you're not from. And I was extremely homesick, but I stuck it out and then I started really channeling my feelings through music. That was a big shift for me.
Batur Minoff Frequency Illusion. We literally were just talking about this two days ago. I was a friend of Monica's, went out on her own to visit somewhere and I was singing. I once went to Italy and my friends didn't arrive through a series of drinking accidents. They didn't show up when they were supposed to. So I was just by myself just for three days in Venice. And on day two, I was like, I am all alone on the planet.
No one would care if I die. I can't speak to anybody. I mean, the level of loneliness I felt. And then I just I had brought a book, thank fucking God, and I read an entire book in three days because the pain of that loneliness, I was not expecting. I'm outgoing, blah, blah, blah. So you do a year that I have to imagine in retrospect, an incredible character moment just in life. Totally.
I mean, it was amazing. And I look back and I did things that I'm like, what were you thinking? Like, Oh, my God. Like I had an American girl who was my roommate. And then we have to live with three other Italians. And you get two weeks of like you can live here and then you have to figure it out. You have to find an apartment, figure out where your classes are. I mean, the whole thing was just like, I cannot believe I got on that plane, like did as an eighteen year old.
What an idiot. But it was extraordinary. And living there. And by the end, I really miss home. America is certainly fucked up, but I love it here. Am I being here, you know.
OK, did you take an Italian lover at any point? Yes, I had a couple.
Oh yeah. Yeah, I was so scared you were going to say no, I know that would be real tragic because, you know, yeah, the Italian men are down to clown, so they.
Yeah. And they are not afraid to chat up a girl, huh.
However invisible you felt at UCLA, I have to imagine, was like a light switch where you're like, oh, every light is pointing at me.
I think the beginning, you're just like, oh my God, Bella Chow. Bella Oh my goodness. And then by the end of the year, I'm like, you motherfucker, won't you shut your mouth? You know, like, I did not ask you to comment on my appearance. Yeah. Culturally imbued in them that the men comment on the women on the quality incessantly to a point that I find to be really ugly and distracting and unhealthy. I don't know if that's changed.
This is a lot of years ago. But one of my professors in our final oral exam told me I gained weight while I was like, oh, thank God I sat down. But she told me I got fatter the way it was while.
It was while. Wow. Yeah. I don't know what sentence I want you to say in Italian, but I just really want you to say, like, can you describe my looks objectifying me and I won't know.
So be as harsh as you'd like to be. This will be great. And then for whatever Italian listeners, this will be really fun and I'll never find out.
No, because I'm mostly Italian. A battle bossidy to get a good say. Watmough sort of. I can't remember a lot of words, but that's some in a row.
I feel like one was tall.
Tall, right. It's not. That's nice. Oh that was what I put two and two together. Wow. Oh wow. You speak Italian. I guess I do belong to Belgium though.
I embarrassed Kristen so bad. We did a movie that shot for two weeks that we were both in and we were in Rome and I was infected with that place. And everywhere we went, I was theoretically, if that's a word like I have Tourette's, I do have OCD and impulse control issues everywhere we went, I couldn't stop nothing.
Well, but that doesn't it do. Hey, you know, I mean, just on fire to be in that city. We were just under my brother Mike and Chris, you got to fucking stop.
People are. And I'm like, what are you talking about?
If I saw a couple of Italian dudes in an elevator in Beverly Hills and they're like, Yeah, man, welcome to the country. We never agreed on that.
But yeah, everywhere I went, I didn't even need to do your job at all.
I mean, Italy is just the greatest. I took my boyfriend and I went to Venice together because he'd never been to Italy at all. And so I felt like you're going to see something quintessentially Italian. Venice is extraordinary and Rome is probably my favorite city besides New York City. It's probably my favorite city on the planet. I think it's unbelievable. I have this funny memory. When I was in college, I started singing with this little Italian jazz orchestra.
It was part of like, why I like reclaimed music. I met this guy who is like an expat American guy that was the conductor for this jazz orchestra. And then we started doing gigs together and we played a wedding and I was singing at the reception and they played that song from the band ABBA. The winner takes it all.
And as the couple is coming down the hill, I'm like a tractor and I'm like, I've never seen anything like this.
And do you understand the lyrics? Because that song is a really particular choice for a wedding. Oh, that's great.
You return, you start performing locally and then you put up your first album. Did you kind of self produce and self put out?
Actually, someone that my a cappella group had worked with. His name's Gabriel Man and he's a writer composer. He actually did all the music for Modern Family. That's what he's done for forever and ever. And now, yeah, a good friend known him forever and he produced my first record or we did like five songs. I kind of scraped together enough money to do a few songs together and then put that out. And my buddies in Maroon five invited me to go on my first tour.
And so we did the two weeks with them on the East Coast and it was a game changer in just every way, shape and form. I got a taste of what it felt like. They took really good care of us because we're buddies and I just had the time of my life. And then I ended up working with their manager and then, oh, OK. And so so then I got a manager and then we kind of went the road of doing showcases and I did tons and tons of showcases for labels and lawyers and nobody wanted to touch me.
Nobody knew what to do with me. They're like, oh, you have a nice voice, but what's up with all the head scarves? And like, I don't really get your thing on stage.
And I have never been able to get over this tremendous sense of awkwardness that I have. And it's very. Represent on stage, and now it's become more of like a real comfort zone for me, but I think people experiencing it for the first time, like you swear a lot. And I don't know what you're talking about your period so much.
Yeah. When you get nervous, you just start like just every thought just starts kind of coming out.
It's completely verbal diarrhea. Yeah. And I find that, like, my mind oddly just goes to like, really obscure, like strange like overshare, because I think it's going to like make people really I don't even know why people would relax knowing about my menstrual cycle. But it's a fastball.
Just hearing that you have one has put me at tremendous. I like it. It's relatable.
Well, half of us have half of us have it. A little more than half. Yeah.
Yeah, a little bit. We don't like to go to the doctor, so that's boys. So, yeah, you guys end up outnumbering us. I think what's seems a little bit interesting about your story, and I might have it wrong, but you did so much kind of I don't want to say high level, but like big tours before Persay, your own album warranted that. Is that an accurate assessment?
I think I did a couple of good times towards the Maroon five, definitely being one of them, especially after I signed with my manager, because I didn't get a deal until quite a ways after that. But it was always a good philosophy of his that he really believes in grass roots like tour, tour, tour, tour. And that's why Maroon five, that was how they built such a loyal, lifelong fan base. And they spent so much time still they spent so much time on the road and it was a good skill to it.
But I played a lot of local shows, I mean, hundreds and hundreds of shows before getting a deal.
It's a bit like your Italian experience in that. So they give this incredibly high connected feeling with thousands of people. And then you go back to your hotel room and you're kind of high from that. And then it's lovely. It's very light switch. How did you navigate that part? Were the parts you liked didn't like?
Yeah, and I still feel that way about it. I think that's why so many people get really unhealthy. Yeah. And drink too much or you can watch or use at all or whatever it is, because the roller coaster, it's a bipolar lifestyle.
That's what I wanted. Yeah. It's like even if you're not mentally have anything, the actual experience is incredibly bipolar.
Totally. And it's really confusing to feel like, oh, I'm so valuable in this one space. And then then everybody goes away. And the interesting thing that I've found is that as you grow in in the public sphere, in some I mean, and I don't walk down the street and have any I'm not famous like that. But in the times, like on tour, people do sort of treat you a little differently, too. And there's like this interesting sort of insulation that just builds around you.
And it is extremely lonely. It's very isolating and confusing. And you start feeling like I don't feel like normal here.
Well, it's almost like your insides are not matching your outsides. Yeah, right. For me.
And then there's these weird little potholes, too, that you don't anticipate. It's like you go on stage. It's this amazing experience between you and the crowd and then you leave and there's a ton of people that have now waited for you. And so now you're in a much different dynamic where you're like, well, I want to give myself to these people. And also we're going on now four hours of doing this. And now this could go on forever.
And then there's guilt, like eventually got to get in the car and drive away. And that's just it's like, oh, wait, I was on this high and now I feel kind of guilty again. It's just a lot of really heightened feelings all happening within four or five hours. And then you're back in a hotel and you don't even know what city you're in and can you order food and blah, blah, blah?
Yeah. And I do think that the relationship to fans has changed so much, especially with social media. And there's like this sort of perceived intimacy that happens. And there are people that I do know their names because I see interactions happening all the time. But, you know, back in the day, if you were giving a concert or doing a talk or doing something publicly, there wouldn't be an expectation of like the run off. What happens beyond nice, like you did your job by being on stage and showing up and giving a thousand percent.
But then beyond that, that isn't like required reading by anybody. No. Well, and now this.
I think we're very similar. And that is your songs are very emotional. But Kristen just loves love songs. She not only does she love love song, but she loves so much.
The story behind her storytelling is so unbelievable. I'm such a huge fan. Armer is one of my favorite songs ever.
I love it so much. And yeah, the way you weave language, it's just it's incredible.
Thank you so much. I really, really appreciate that.
So the things that you're singing about are connecting to people in this very emotional way. I have to imagine people are coming up to you and they're saying, after I heard your song, I left my husband or, you know what I'm saying, like something really, really important in their life. And you're like, oh, my God, this. Deserves all of my attention and my compassion in my presence. Yeah, and then you're just a human being as well, who's only got so much of that to give.
I think over the years you start to insulate a little bit from that. I wrote this book of essays a handful of years ago at this point, and I did one little book tour. And so I sat and I don't often do this. I got shows. There's not a scenario where every person who wants to say hello can say hello. But I did that on the book tour and it was quick and people moved through. But I was so struck by really what people wanted to share more than, like, I love your music or thank you for whatever they wanted to share their pain.
And I was so struck by that and I would just come home from these events and I would cry because they're just there isn't a way to hold it all. And I'm not even equipped. I think everybody should just have like four therapists at all times. I love that important people. But certainly being on the receiving end is just it is happy. It really is.
What tools have you employed to not go down the attic road or the self-destructive road?
Because again, too, I think for me. So I on some level feel fraudulent often like I don't deserve this. Yeah. That imposter syndrome, everyone I know has it, especially like shockingly every very successful person I know has it to some degree where they're just like, I don't know how I got here and I don't think I deserve it.
I've only met a couple where I'm like like and I don't know this about him. I met Matthew McConaughey and I'm like, man, this is the dude.
He like he's he was built for this. And it is great.
Like, I just could feel this motherfucker was built for this.
I'm like happy for him. Yeah.
Yeah. This is about right. Like, you know, I get in my car. Yeah. Let's go for a ride and I love it. I think it's spectacular. But yeah I think a lot of us feel like well I don't I know I'm darker than, you know, I'm dark or you know, you know, I know I'm not the thing that I've been in therapy for.
I still talk to my therapist once a week and I have for ten years. And meditation is a massive practice. I get that I haven't really gotten close to. I have some bad habits. I think that we're growing on tour. But also as a singer, I just physically couldn't abuse myself and then still sing. So I think there was like a limitation that just lived in my world in a way because I do love to drink and I'm forty.
That train kind of set me by, I think. But yeah, I think a lot of self reflection and meditation and it has been the life savers for me.
Have you watched the Whitney Houston documentary, either of the two?
I don't know which one I've watched, but I sat in the theaters.
Yeah, that was by the Miramax one. That Showtime one I like more. She was performing in these stadium tours. And as you know about Whitney Houston, she doesn't have one song that she can take off or recoup. Right.
Every song is like a hundred percent and she is coked to the max. She's not smart and she's super skinny and she's still going out there and doing it is.
I've never seen someone with a forceful willed juggling what she was juggling. And also putting on the level of performance is like unimaginable and heartbreaking.
I know, but that's what I remember about the one that I saw. I felt the same way when I watched the Amy Winehouse documentary where everything makes you so angry at the people around them to where you're like you're using this person, you're using them to not prioritize their health. Yeah. Just, you know, such a crime.
And, you know, we have this thing hanging up in the studio. We're normally in the attic and it's a cutout of me. It says, would you date DAX Shepard in like. Seventy eight percent say no in America. Right.
Like, this was a poll that US Weekly did.
And, you know, it's so embarrassing that I'm like I just cannot, like, embrace this. So it hangs in our studio. But the other day, my friend and I were in there was some downtime. In the other side of that is Amy Winehouse. And it's a similar poll. And the poll is do you like her style? And it's like eighty percent. No, I hate her style. And I'm like, you know, you're part of it.
You're part of what killed her. Why the fuck are you evaluate.
You know, why would you have a people and take out a full page ad and fucking burn some human being about. Yeah, really hit me like, oh, there are a lot of things coming her way that you just have to feel bad about.
Yeah, totally. I mean, yeah, this industry is so toxic on so many levels and you know, to the celebrity of people eclipses their humanity so quickly and then like we buy into it, we start caring about all the wrong shit. And you're like, oh, this matters. But you realize especially in a year like twenty, twenty, you know, getting out of that shit matters.
I got to say I'm sorry. Bring up Whitney. But real quick. Really quick because no go long. Go long, really long galab love song. There's a story behind that right. Like weren't you. You're right. I'm assuming everyone just knows the story behind that. We tell us you to tell us. I think it's so awesome. So I think that story that kind of lives is not a total truth, but it kind of got easier to stop fighting it.
So the quick and dirty story is that, like the record label told me to write a love song and this would be like, you know, middle finger at the label saying, I'm not going to write you a love song. What kind of really happened, which is sort of less interesting, is that I just wasn't getting the green light to go into the studio. I had signed my deal. I was working with a producer, co-writer. I thought I had all the songs ready to go.
And I was like, I don't know why they're not letting me start recording, but I understood they were waiting for a single. Like, there wasn't really a lead single yet. And I was on my way to my little studio, which was a storage unit. It was literally like the roll down metal box thing. And so I was we're going to a public storage in Marina Del Ray, and I was driving there and I was listening to the radio and I caught myself trying to like, copy what was on the radio.
And and just like I was like, oh, I could write something that kind of sounds like this. And then I was furious with myself. I was like, this is not fucking how I roll. And I got into the studio and I kind of just like said a prayer. And I was like, just please let me remember me, because I'm just I was the whole time I cried the day I signed my record deal, I was devastated.
I was like I sold out. I was always fearful that they were going to take something from me that I didn't want to give them the big capital T.. I don't even know what that means, but but I was like, oh, shit, I fell for it. I started doing it. And the song just poured out. I wrote it really quickly, which doesn't happen very often. And it felt like this very spiritual moment, actually.
I was like, I'm not going to write you the thing that I think you need. I have to do this for me. And I thought they'd hate it. I had no confidence in the song. I thought they were going to be mad at me. I thought that they were going to be like, how dare you get it? But motherfucker. Yeah, yeah. You got planned. Yeah.
The beauty is they didn't they didn't know it was about them. They were like, I like, yeah, cool. Look, Dennis, my kid is the opposite of you're so vain.
Yeah. I think this song is about you. They did not think the song was about that. And it was a moment. Yeah.
Now in retrospect, when you were telling yourself I didn't want to be a sellout, do you think now from this vantage point that what you really had a fear of is that you would get a big chance and you wouldn't deliver and that the story you told yourself in your head was, I don't want to sell out? Or do you do you still feel the same way?
Yeah. So my contemporaries were Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and Jessica Simpson and Katy Perry and and from a you know, even just from an aesthetic, I didn't see myself in those women. And they were very, very, very successful. And I think I was really fearful and honestly, like my body image issues and my relationship to my body and my health and feeling fat and feeling ugly and like all of these things that are still so alive.
For me, you're overwhelmingly beautiful, like this whole interview. I'm like, you are so overwhelmingly beautiful.
Thank you. No, no.
Truthfully, my favorite thing is when you turn to the left or right and I see the profile of your nose, it's my favorite I had.
So I had to learn to love my nose. I had to I had to like, choose to get on board with what God gave me. Like, I had to decide that I had people in interviews being like, don't ever get a nose job. And I'm like, don't fucking.
Do you think British should fit like I quit?
Well, by the way, Monica, I still hate ours.
So I'm five years ahead of you and I'm still I still fucking would blow mine up with a nuke if I decide at some point, like, am I going to be on my team or not?
And like, I want to be on my team.
We had this hepatis on. And as goofy as this sounds, this guy said the most brilliant thing to Monica, which is so true, is like we underestimate the value of uniqueness. We really do. We don't ever think we're the only person that looks like this. And just being the only person that looks like this is intriguing and attractive and interesting to anyone who likes you.
Yeah, totally. Totally. It's really hard because everyone looks pretty similar on television. So it appears that there's an accepted aesthetic.
But then if you really analyze your life, that's not how your circle works.
No, no. And the people that I find the most intriguing and the most beautiful, there's so often it's a quality that has absolutely nothing to do with their physical appearance. It's just, you know, full of confidence and curiosity and gentleness, authenticity.
There's so many attractive elements other than the Golden Rule proportion.
Yeah, but I think to your point, I think that was a big part of what I was afraid of is that there was going to be all this pressure to become something different. And the truth is, is there was all this pressure to become some. And you just have to keep saying, no, keep going like I'm going to just wear the sneakers and I'm not going to wear the high heels and I'm going to just, like, not wear the Spike Lee benchtop.
You also, like, had the experience at UCLA with the girls and the handbags. That's essentially the same thing. So you kind of had practice being like, oh, I tried that for a second and that really didn't feel good.
Yeah, it's why I'm so grateful I had such a painful experience in middle school and elementary school because I know what it feels like to feel left out. And I don't ever want to be someone who makes somebody feel left out. I don't I'm not here to, like, represent the American popular kids. Like, they're fine. They're there. They don't need me. Like, who might need me is the person who feels like they're not enough. And I want to just keep telling them that they are OK.
We're going to fast forward a little bit. But after little voice, you get nominated for two Grammys, it goes number four. It's very, very successful.
And then is this part right of Wikipedia that you did experience a little writer's block after the first album?
Yeah, totally. I immediately know that I personally would be like, oh, my God, I might have got lucky. I don't know if I can replicate this. That would be my fear.
What was your fear? Hey, nobody, myself included label included. No one thought that that first record would be successful like it was kind of an accident. In fact, there's like this very shitty sort of story that happened behind the scenes of the president of my label that my product manager. So I had to two of these guys at the label that were like my homies, like we were supertight. They took really good care of me. It was my product manager and the my and our guy, the guy I mean, so Pete and Scott, we were super close together.
And the president of the label at the time that my product manager fifty thousand dollars worth of advertising money that I wouldn't sell a certain number of records that was. And he was betting against me. And so what ended up happening is like for his own business.
I know that. And so then when the record became successful and we were all like going, I don't I did not see that coming. And so I didn't know what to do with that. Yeah, the whole thing happened. I mean, it hadn't happened so quickly. But I guess that sort of leap to the next level that did happen quickly where I went from being sort of like touring locally and feeling pretty much in charge of myself to flying all over the world and singing for strangers in different languages.
That was all very new and sort of like discombobulating writer's block. Definitely.
Stay tuned for more armchair expert, if you dare.
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Now, how did you decide you wanted to get involved with waitress, so I had done three records and I realized very quickly that the cycle of being a recording artist starts to feel really monotonous really quickly. And I started to feel, I think, a little claustrophobic about the idea that you you write a record, you record it, you go tour, you come home, you take a break, you write a record, you record it. My life just started to really look cyclical that way in a way that did not feel good to me at all.
And I wasn't unhappy or uncomfortable, really. A cute little house in Venice, like boyfriend friends. I was fine. I was like, just not alive. I'm Sagittarius and I always want to like, know, well, what else what else is out there? What else can I do? Like what other coffeeshop. Like, I love this one. I already know that. I love this one. I'll come back to this one. But I want to think, is there another coffee shop, you know?
So I took a month and I just did like a little Rumspringa in New York. And I came to New York for a month with my sister and I played and I hung out and I did nothing but just like have an adventure. And during that time, I took a couple of meetings and one was with Diane Paulus, who's the director of Waitress. And I had reached out to my theatrical agent saying, like, I'm kind of curious about, is there a theater project?
I grew up on theater. I love theater, thinking that I would audition for something to go see and a show for a while. And I had a meeting with Diane and she was lovely and really intelligent. But the opportunity was to be a composer for the show, which felt like beyond even I would have never even considered that as a as a place to go.
It sounds very scary, especially for someone like you, who I can tell is not going to force creativity like you're going to wait for it.
And I didn't know what I was really saying yes to, but we had such a nice lunch and I basically said, know, I hadn't seen the movie yet. I was like, let me watch the movie and let me see how it feels. And we can agree to like, let's see what this is like. And if I suck at it, you'll let me know and we'll like shake hands and move on. And I watched the movie and I liked the movie a lot.
I didn't I now fucking love the movie, but I, I it was a slow burn for me. So I watched the movie and I think that was actually helpful because I don't think I if I had felt really intimidated by the movie, I may have it may have hindered my ability to sort of feel like I had something to offer. Yeah.
You weren't worthy of it. Yeah. Now I feel like I'm not worthy of it, but I just I'm so grateful for, like, the role it's played in my life. But yeah. So I what I wrote and she used to be mine, was, was the first song that I wrote for the show. It was watching Keri, Russell and Jeremy. So in the kitchen in that scene. And she's just like so broken and so is he and I that was like the first one that came out.
And then it felt like that was, again, a very spiritual moment where it was like there's a connective tissue here that I have to go towards.
Boy, you guys are kind of similar, aren't Carey? Yeah. Keri Russell. She's so down to earth, right? She's so blue collar.
Yeah. I never met her. Oh, my God. She's very cool.
It's a little bit like looking at the sun. I don't know.
It's like, oh, could you have not met her throughout this week before she showed up to our attic with a six pack and she's like, You mind if I kill a couple of beers while we do this exact fuck?
Yeah, girl shockingly normal. That's great. So once you had success in that and it ran up until this year, right. Yeah. Did Korona have anything to do with it going away or just was going away anyways?
Thankfully our Broadway company, we had an official closing date. Like I look back on that it feels like such a gift to have been able to say goodbye to the show. I mean, it was heart wrenching, but we had almost four years on Broadway, which was an extraordinary run beyond any of our wildest dreams.
And you got nominated for a Tony Award for Tony nominations for the show and my score got nominated. A little show called Hamilton also came out that year so pretty fast.
But, you know, you're like Brian Wilson, cool album. What's it called? The White Album.
Yeah, rough year to compete.
But it was I mean, in a way, I feel like it was actually such a gift to the the whole theater community because it shined this massive spotlight. There was all of a sudden all this new interest in what was happening on stage. And I think it revitalized the community in such a cool way. But yeah, that I feel like my life falls into two categories before way and after afterwards. Everything about my life changed because of that show.
And I'm like, forever.
In what way? And that you have your foot in the door of a different avenue that isn't is taxing or repetitive? Is that what it is?
Or I think it has to do with at a time in my life where I needed to be reminded about sort of the vastness of creativity, and that's how rewarding it can. B, to work on something because you enjoy it versus there's so many Broadway shows that are in development and have been for like there's no guarantee that anything's going to see the light of day to be successful in any way, shape or form monetarily. I'm thinking, yeah, but like it's a giant gamble.
And the beauty of theater, which I cannot say enough good things about, is that it's so deeply collaborative and there's like this many people paying attention.
Let me just say really quick, Sarah just made her fingers like the tiniest like less than a quarter inch was her fingers for how many people are in trouble?
I just imagine someone at home is like she held her hands completely apart, like the whole world's attention, or we're going to go ahead and make that the screen shot for the show.
But the odds of coming into this medium and becoming rich and famous are just like, yeah, yeah.
Like the motive stays kind of pure. I watched Hamilton on Disney, plus they're not a sponsor yet. My first greedy thought was these people work so much harder than I worked on television. And they make, I think, an eighth as much as what you would make on TV.
And I immediately I text Josh Gad like, what is the star of something make? And the response is just you quickly realize, like, all these people are a lot poorer than me. They are just doing it because they love it.
And there's something great about it and it's so rewarding, but it's so fucking hard. They do eight shows a week. They do to two shows a day, twice a week. It's incredible the the perseverance and the dedication and the discipline. And then, you know, what I also love about it is that it's not as competitive as it feels like in the music industry, at least to me, because the odds of you sort of like crossing paths with other people in your community shows don't run forever.
So you've been in a show with somebody or you came up with somebody or that was your lighting designer and now they're working on this other thing. And it's a small community. And in that way, like the Tonys, are by far the most fun awards show I've ever been to. I think that they are the ones now. So, yeah, I see it.
And Kristen, you know, because she went to musical theatre school and yeah, these people have hung on to the feeling that they're the kids in your high school theater like they this where it's.
Misfits where is like the movie business in the television business is more star driven. Yeah. It's more popular driven. It's more alpha driven. There's all these components. But yeah it seems like even when these musical theater people get tons of recognition, they still just seem a lot more humble I think, than other actors.
I think so too. I mean, there's still assholes, of course, but, you know, for the most part, per capita, there's less AFLD per capita.
And I just think you're really relying on people real time in such a way that you have great appreciation for them because you're very aware of how everyone has to do it in that moment or, you know, yeah, on a TV show, someone can show up like either still drunk or not show up or four hours late. I can shoot my side and be like, yeah, I'm out of here, so I'm going to shoot my there's all these ways where you're not dependent so much on everyone else.
And there's something about like the imperfection of theater because you have to do it every day and it's live and shit goes wrong all the time. Yeah. There's just like it's got precious in the way that like maybe film or TV or music can feel because there's nothing to capture perfectly, you know, it's just you do the best you can with what's showing up on that day.
Yeah. OK, now the last thing I want to ask you about is well a you wrote a book and I just want people to buy it, so sounds like me my life so far in song. So everyone should stop pause right now and buy that book, pause and buy that book.
You'll be done with it in about a half an hour. OK, great.
Pause it, buy it, read it and then. OK, so everybody welcome back. I hope you enjoyed the book. It's a great one.
Now you did Jesus Christ Superstar with John Legend that seems having met you now like a huge swing for you.
Yeah. First of all, getting offered it at all was like, are you sure? Are you sure? But thankfully I was just I mean, I was in waitress at the time. So so I guess my my stage muscles were kind of primed at the moment. Yeah. And it could not have been a lovelier group from every person on the creative team to every person on stage. It was so much fun. It was so much fun. And John and Brandon, Victor Dixon, by the way, playing Judas, I mean, these are heavy, heavy roles and they just carried them so lightly.
So I felt like, well, Mary Mag's doesn't get to have a panic attack when you have one. Are you going to have like to thank you. Got to just relax and just sing it. Yeah.
Like you can draft on maybe John Legend's confidence, which I really did.
Yeah. I'm just going to step. Behind you, let you suck me through this bucket. Yeah, yeah, exactly. OK, so you have a new album coming out or a record or an LP or a piece of vinyl.
I have an album that just came out and it's called More Love and it's songs from littleboy season one. So I executive produced and created a television show with J.J. Abrams and Justin Nelson, my partner on Waitress, and it's about a young songwriter in New York City. And I wrote all the original music and it's sort of loosely inspired by my life, except her life is always cooler than mine was. And that's so bad that whole season. That first season is out on Apple TV plus and oh, OK.
I'm worried me at this point.
And so the album is the music from the first season of Little Voice.
Exactly. And we did a cast album kind of similar to how we did Waitress where there's a cast album. And then I did my version of the songs as well. So some of these songs were written when I was Bess's age and back to my first record was called Little Voice that we talked about that had a love song on it. And I had a dream when I was twenty four, twenty five about writing the song. I was like, This is the song that's going to capture me right now.
It's really important. And then I tried to put it on the record and they were like, it's not good enough. And so it didn't end up on the record. But I was so attached to the song I wanted to name the record littleboy. So we did. And then all these years, 15 years later or whatever it's now that same song, Unchanged is the theme song for the show. And sort of like the little seed of the.
Oh, it's like that's the thesis statement for the show, you know. So, yeah, it's it's a beautiful show. It's really hard forward and hopeful and strangely nostalgic about New York because we shot it pre coronaviruses. So it's uncynical and very heart forward. And so it felt really good to put that out this year in a time which is just a dumpster fire of hell.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Now, here's my question. I've thought early on now this is evolved for me, but early on I was like, I want coronavirus, I want to get it over with. And then I want to feel like I have a superpower and I want to like, go everywhere because no one's going anywhere. Like, I thought you had it, right?
Yeah, I had it super, super mild, thankfully. But I do I must say, I do feel a little bit like a super hero, even though I'm sure you can the evidence or reports of people getting it again. But yeah, I had it and I had the antibodies, so I feel fairly safe. So I'm just looking at subway bulls at the point yet.
So interesting. I do wonder when we get to a point where it's like, you know, there's so many people that have had it, I don't know what percentage that would be, but like, I don't know, would you be allowed to walk around without a mask?
I don't think yet. I don't think we're at that stage yet. I wouldn't just because I think the A.I.M., they're just out of their minds.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I just mean, like, there would be no reason for you to I don't think.
Well yeah, but you can get it again. You can get it again. And I think it's just at the off chance that I mean I know it seems like we know everything about the virus and we're really organized and like we have our shit together, but on the off chance that we've missed something, I like off the low percentage.
I'm just going to be safe on the safe side. All right.
So little voice you've just read. Sounds like me.
And now you're going to go listen to Little Voice and watch the show and watch the show. Welcome back. Is there a recording of you singing superhero?
I have a demo. Early demo. We'd like it. Yeah.
Oh, my gosh. I know. I need to speak to demonstrate that. I'm sorry, I have to say. But anyway, you better.
Oh, one more thing. Oh gosh. Oh my. That's the best song ever written.
It is. It's like oh my God. Gives me such fucking goosebumps. It's combining that amazing song with also every time I see my wife sing I start crying. It's like it's lights out every time that thing comes on right here. My little girls running around the house singing it. It is so great.
What a beautiful song. Thank you, Sarah. You're so wonderful. I know this. We've been trying to do this for a long time and I'm glad that you hung in there with us and that we got to do it. Thank you so much. We want to meet you in real life.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let's hang out. Let's hang out. Let's hang out in Canada. We'll hang you.
Thank you so much. This is so much fun and I'm such a fan. Go Bruins. Yeah.
Okay, bye. And now my favorite part of the show, the fact. Check with my soul mate, Monica Padman. My favorite. I cannot stop listening to that song. I know you're speaking honestly.
I was jogging yesterday listening to this on Repya and I was dancing on the treadmill. Oh, wow. Oh, my God. You should have seen it. And then Lincoln came down and she was just dancing in front of the mirror and we were both just dancing our asses. That's so nice.
I love it. The lyrics are so perfect.
You know, I have a really hard time hearing lyrics. Me to you, too. And I've been so selfishly delighted you have that problem, too, because I live with three ladies who can hear this, you know, two times they hear it.
So I bet I listen to it on the treadmill 14 times in a row and I'd already listen to it about 10 in the early part of the morning. And I just now heard the eve part of it.
Oh, yeah. How the hell did you get all the damn blame? And I was like, oh, God, it's so, so good.
I love that you love it because it's a female and.
Yeah, yeah, it's a real feminist anthem.
I absolutely think men are feminists.
You know, I posted the video of me shaving my head to it. And as I said in that post, like, I'm genuinely grateful that she gave my daughters an anthem.
Yeah. And that she gave you an anthem.
I mean, she gave Kristen an anthem.
And I just so also powerful. I mean, I told her that I was a fan. Yeah. But I kept it kind of cool. Sure.
Because I'm a huge fan. The biggest thing is, as I said to her, the her songwriting is impeccable and fun and like not conventional and not boring in any way, those different places.
And there's always like at least one line that's pretty profound.
But also just her voice is so unbelievable the way she hits like 40 notes in two seconds. Yeah. Well, you know, some people you can I can sing along too, and I can pretty much match.
But she is almost impossible because she's so like bouncing around someone's back and new and.
Oh, I love her. I love her too. When I got home I asked Kristen if she had the version of superhero from her and she did. Yeah.
And when I realized interestingly, because I think she wrote it for Kristen's voice and not her own the chorus, I like Kristen's chorus, but on the track she has a sing Titus's part to it.
When she sings Titus's part, I'm like, Oh, she got fucking nasty.
Like she can get nasty to know how much I like. Dirty.
Nasty. You like nasty. Yeah, like that.
Down South Georgia fucking just because somebody's fucking water up in here.
Oh I remember during the Hillary campaign nasty woman who was a big thing. Yeah. I had a lot of pins and said nasty woman. Yeah.
That's kind of funny cause both sides took their, their negative moniker and owned it. Yeah. Deplorable own deplorable. And then the left owned nasty woman.
Totally. So she got to do I guess that's a ding ding ding feminised. Oh yeah.
I do want to say I have one political message. I want to say, OK, wow. And it's to both people. It's to both sides.
OK then it's ok. Yeah.
Not, not really but it is ok. It is. It's getting dangerous. That's what I want to see the divisiveness.
Yeah. Yeah. It's getting really, really dangerous. A lot of smart people I really respect are concerned. Yeah.
And I'm not one to generally get fearful about this stuff but and then also watching the social dilemma, knowing that's ramping us up. And it's just I just really beg everyone to just breathe a bit. Detach your identity just a little bit. Vote. Yeah. Go vote. We're a democracy. Go vote and also just unplug a little bit and remember way more than left or right. Everyone's a human here. So that's all I want to say.
There was a cool sweater I saw that said humankind both. Oh, I like that.
Should I buy it? It's like four hundred dollars I'll buy for you.
Oh my gosh. Yeah. So the beats behind the scenes. It's early for us. Oh my God. It's so early.
Monika's been pretty drowsy in the morning so she's like, yeah, I'll leave the door open and you know just what I'm going to be hanging. Just kind of it's fading in and out until you get here. Yeah. So I got here and I went your bedroom and you are all fucking bundled up and your snuggles.
And then I, I basically Crowdie kidded you, right, Mr. Miyagi.
Yeah. Sorry. Grabbing your feet josseline your body around kind of radically is an interesting way to wake up.
Then I was moving your legs like you were a baby who had gas and the.
Luckily, I didn't really slow down and then you got pretty fired up, right? So we've decided that perhaps I'm going to start waking Monica up with some light calisthenics. I imagine it's how they wake up Kim Jong un. Do you think he's just that little baby sitting in bed?
He doesn't want to get up and be a dictator, and then they have to come in and, like, flap his arms and get the blood moving and stuff move has had left and right go blood flow.
It is so weird to think like he goes to bed at night in pajamas, like, I suspect he sleeps for like 14 hours a night.
He is. Well, he's. Yeah, he's got a rotund baby shape.
Yeah. Yeah. That's not to diminish any of the atrocities happening in the human rights.
Not at all. No. OK, Sarah. Yes, sir. Xabi OK, so Sarah's from you.
Reka, you said you stayed there, but you couldn't remember where that it was some sort of coastal place. You still don't know. Right.
You know, the more I was talking to her, the restaurant part is definitely accurate. We might have stayed like on the coast, then drove into Eureka in the morning to head up to Oregon. And I think we've driven through Eureka and eaten there a few times. I don't actually know that we've stayed in a hotel there.
Don't you guys sound like a specific hotel that, you know, like we spice it up every night, like sometimes we've taken the coast, we'll make like two days of it and we'll go up through, like Redwood City and then out onto the water and then up the Oregon like Goose Bay. And then we'll come back. Sometimes we go up towards Napa Valley and stay out that really nice hotel, Calistoga Ranch, and then continue up.
You know, I'm a novelty attic's so I just want some new experience on the same thousand mile drive that we do often.
What's centrist. It's a little counterintuitive for me because I want to get places so fast.
Well no I just mean you also like the Scriptura have.
Yeah. It's very conflicting. You're right. It's like what I do is I want to go to all these places and but then I want to eat at the same restaurant I ate there last time. Like, I want to go back to enchantments. So fucking bad. It's all I've been thinking about for two weeks.
Yeah. It's a hotel in Sedona that we went to when you were doing Top Gear.
And I want to eat that hamburger every single day. Were there too.
I want to sit by the pool and eat that hamburger every day. That place is fuck.
I cannot encourage people more than to go to enchantment in Sedona.
And that's where we recorded with Rob Corddry. Yes. Yes. Beautiful Bobby. You know, when he was back home in Boston, everyone calls him Bobby. They do.
Yeah. So we had one episode of Top Gear where we were using heavy machinery. So I suggested we all had different names for that episode.
Oh, and in Rob was Bobby and Jethro was Jet and what were you oh what was I park.
I know something tough sounding like Steve. Dan no I don't, I can't remember mine.
Well but I do remember show Jet and Bobby Bobby. OK, the Emerald Triangle. You thought that was connected somehow and she didn't know what that was. So Emerald Triangle is in California. Northern California. Yeah. Named as such due to its being the largest cannabis producing region in the United States, the region includes three counties in an upside down triangular configuration.
I guess them. Yeah. Humboldt County. Yep. Cascade. No, I'm really impressed. You got Humboldt. How do you know the county well? Humboldt County, Humboldt, Humboldt's.
A very famous weed thing. Oh, I guess this Humboldt Green is, you know.
OK, I'm just gonna try one more, so I don't know, OK, I thought I was going to get guess one of them. OK, well, OK. I'm going to give you a hint for one. OK, one is a restaurant we like.
Oh. Why not Stamp County, that's no, no, no. OK, think like salad sandwiches.
They're not stamped like Jones.
No, they have a OK. Oh, they have a salad. You really like that is of the Chinese variety. Joan Oh.
Oh, yes. That's the way I like the Chinese chicken salad. Yeah. OK, I messed up.
They have a curried couscous. Oh. Mendocino County. Yeah.
I could have come up with that Lieutenant. I know.
And then there's going to be the northern one that has something to do with some mountains maybe or something. All right. What's the last one Trinity would have never got. I was way off. OK, Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino. Should I look up. What county.
Eurekas in its in Humboldt. It is. OK, so you were right. I feel like I should still check. OK, you should.
Humboldt County. Humboldt County. It's a humble pie county. Humboldt County. Humboldt County. Wow. Good job.
I can't believe you know that stuff. It's not, it's not that impressive. A lot of people are gonna be listening.
I mean that's everyone knows that. No, OK, no one knows it anyways. That that documentary Murder Mountain is terrifying.
It's like ghost. I'm going to worldy. Yeah. It's creepy. People disappear there all the time.
OK, when talking about Maroon five guys were all from Brentwood, you said it was like eighteen blocks from UCLA. It's three point seven miles alone, roughly eighteen blocks.
OK, is that. No, no. OK, I don't know how many blocks is a mile. Oh wow.
Our blocks that standard because in New York the ones that run north and south are way shorter than the ones that run east. And why exactly.
You know man, I miss New York. Me too. Me too. I was just encouraging, though, Kristen, to take a play, which I've always been against.
Oh, wow. But after talking to Sarah, funny enough, I was like, she is right. That's such a cool community. Oh, yeah. And it's so special. Yeah. And then just last night I was like, you should try to find one in the summer and then in Monacan I will just go and we can record in New York. Oh my gosh.
Should we go live there one summer.
Yeah. For like probably like four months.
Oh I always wanted to live there. It's the only city I guess, except Enchantment Hotel in Sedona that I, I get a longing for.
Yeah. I get like yangs for it. Yeah. Like a lover. You Evans. Yeah. Yeah. I want to say one more thing about enchantment. They are not as far as what we clear about that.
It is it is not cheap. No. But compared to L.A. or California in general, it's about a third of what we would have to pay to have that hotel in California. Right. Like I just kept going. Like, this is the best bang for your buck I've spent in the last five years. Yeah. Yeah.
And they have just the tastiest burger, not as good as amylase.
I will say that it is not as good as Emily's. Nothing is as good as not always. But by God you're not expecting to get like I think it's about the fourth best hamburger I've ever had or maybe even the third.
Yeah, I'm not expecting that in the middle of Arizona. Food, poor food. Yeah, but they had what I had caramelized brisket. Is that what they were describing. That was I had some onion crisp onion crispy Daniel man.
What a what a meal. I'm starving. Let's go to Sedona for lunch.
OK, you went to Groundlings with someone who you said was saved by the bell and I'm guessing it was Max. And I was just wondering if I said the name, if you'd know. Hit me. Ed Alonzo.
Yep, absolutely. Absolutely. Ed Alonzo. In fact, I'm really sad. I didn't remember that, but that was twenty five years ago at this point.
But it was that Alonzo menu is a very awesome dude.
That's so cool. But I was just like I was totally starstruck. I was like, how could I be in a class with that guy who's been on TV forever? It was very exciting.
And again, he had that old like a 90s Jaguar, extremely convertible with the twelve cylinder. Yeah, black on black on black unreligious.
I hear Pacific speaking of black on black on black.
I have made a car purchase. Yeah. I got a Dodge Charger Hellcat widebody because I reviewed one on Top Gear and it was out of all the cars I reviewed, it was the one I thought was the most ridiculous.
I have a question. You make car purchases. Do you ever have buyer's remorse?
I've never had buyer's remorse. But in honesty, let's see. I bought my pickup truck new in 2010. That's the first new car I ever bought in my life.
And then in twenty fifteen, I got the new that Mercedes station wagon.
Yeah. Now I love that Mercedes station wagon so much that I don't want to rack up a bunch of miles on it, like that's a car.
I want to have the rest of my life as a collector's car. So I got to stop driving that basically.
Oh so this I was like I'm going to get this ongoing drive lease of. I released a car, so I'm in it for three years. Oh, and it's ideal. That's cool. So we didn't mention about getting covid twice. And just in the Science magazine. Scientists have found the first solid evidence that people can be infected with the virus that causes covid-19. A new study shows a thirty three year old man who was treated at the hospital for a mild case in March harbored the virus again when he was tested at the Hong Kong airport after returning from Europe on August 15th, less than five months later.
He had no symptoms this time. Researchers had sequenced the virus, SARS Kolby two from the first infection. They did so again after the patient's second diagnosis and found numerous differences between the two boys during the case that the patient had been infected a second time. This case proves that at least some patients do not have lifelong immunity.
Hmm. That's bad. That's a bummer. Yeah, that's a real bummer. I mean, we love Zera.
That's the last fact that we have to say, is that we're we love her. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. There's nothing else to say.
I can't believe someone said to her, don't get that nose fixed. I know people you people are trying to people have good intentions.
They just they bumbled the execution.
I wish people would think just a little longer before they talk.
Yeah. You know, myself included. Well, I love you. I love you.
And I want you to have a really good day. Are you going to hop back in that bed?
Probably fantastic. By Sea and enchantment.