Today, we’re grilling alt-country legend Todd Snider (who was apparently naked during this phone interview). One of the greatest – and certainly funniest – performers out there, Snider’s starting a tour next week in Denver, CO, which seemed like a good excuse to ask him a bunch of really dumb questions.
What was the last thing you had to apologize for?
Oh shit, damn. Can I call a friend...? I had to apologize for walking out on a show recently. I just wasn’t into it. But everybody got their money back! You never have to wonder if I’m having fun, ‘cause if I ain’t, I leave. It’s just so rare - it’s almost impossible not to have a good time at a gig.
What’s your favorite curse word?
My instinct was to say motherfucker, but really it’s “ass wrist.” I made it up myself. It’s been in our band for years: “Sprained my ass wrist!” or “He’s being an ass wrist.” “That guy’s an ass wrist!”
What’s the worst hangover you’ve ever had?
So many… You know, when you’re hardcore, you don’t get ‘em. It’s been years, ’cause I don’t really ease up. The worst hangover I ever got was in 1984. I drank a bottle of vodka - I was 18, and I went to go see a band at a Holiday Inn bar. Then I came home and threw up all over the place and then threw up the next day. Then my parents said I had alcohol poisoning. That was the worst. Then I got in a real band and learned how to do it, but that was about three or four years later.
Photo Courtesy of Shore Fire Media
What was your first car?
The first car I bought was a Rocket 88 from the Ike Turner song. I never had a car ‘til I was an older guy. I never cared about ‘em, y’know? I like rock ‘n’ roll, and I was just looking through shit in the paper and I saw a Rocket 88 for sale and I knew that was the first rock ‘n’ roll song. But we call it our liquor store car ‘cause that’s all I do with it, and then my wife drives everywhere else. I hardly can drive. I’ll only drive my car, and it’s huge, so if I hit somebody, I’m going to win!
Do you have a scar that tells a story?
When I was a first grader, we were being told to clean up, and I was just shoving everything wherever I could to get it out of our parents’ sight. I took some little scissors for kids and stuck ‘em in the cushions of a sofa. But they were straight up and then ten minutes later when that was over, I ran and jumped on the sofa. I looked up and the scissors were sticking in my stomach - they were all the way in, they were in my liver. My family took me to the hospital, it was really bad. It was a big, long thing – there’s a big long scar across the front of my stomach from it still.
Do you have a party trick?
It switches a lot. I just got off vodka cranberry. It’s just vodka now.
Not a drink, a trick.
Oh, a party trick! I’m trying to think. I guess I ain’t got nothing. Fuck, I gotta get me something together! I mean, I can do a card trick a bit here and there. I had a missing tooth for a while, but that’s not a big deal.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever put in your mouth?
Damn… Let’s see, how many people say “my foot”? Most?
You know, not that many.
Well, I do have a big foot! I’m trying to think, let’s see…
Can we guess a really huge joint?
Yeah, that’d probably be it. Like, a joint the size of a hog’s leg!
What’s the one thing to remember in a fistfight?
If you twist your hand as you’re making impact with the person’s teeth, it’ll push their lips up against their teeth and cut their mouth up and they’ll bleed and freak out. Fuck, they’ll be bleeding. It’ll look like the Tate LaBianca murders in there. And they’ll run crying ‘cause they’ll think they’re injured.
Who was the last person to see you naked?
My wife. After that it would have to be my tour manager. I’m naked right now!
Nice! Finish this sentence: If I ruled the world for a day I would...
Oh, that’s awesome. I would make the original Guns ‘N’ Roses line-up go on tour. And Axl, just – he needs to let the hair go. Doesn’t matter, brother. Just rock out. Look at Michael Stipe, he’s tearing it up. You know what, actually? If I was in charge of the world, I’d make Guns ‘N’ Roses tour, but then I’d say, do it however you want to. You’re Guns ‘N’ Roses. If you wanna go on late, go on late. That’ll be my main thing. I would also make - could I make the Stones open? Am I ruler of the world?
Yeah, you’re ruler of the world!
Rolling Stones are going back out with Wyman, Mick Taylor, Ron Wood, and Bobby Keys. I’m in charge of sitting by the soundboard and testing weed. And then Guns ‘N’ Roses' original lineup is going to open for them. And if they don’t do it, I get to cut their heads off, right?
I’ll cut their heads off! I’ll punch their faces and twist my hand! I’m trying to think of who we could put on the top of that bill. Then I’d let the world go to shit, y’know. You know what, I’d make the Gallagher brothers put that shit together and be in the front of that.
Seriously? You want to get Oasis back together?
Yeah, I’d put that back together! I like what they’re doing by themselves, so they can even throw in their solo shit if they want. I don’t know if it’s my age or whatever, but I wanna say they’re the last batch of great. I think it was me that lost it, ‘cause everyone says Radiohead is so great and I just can’t do it. My last band that I was like, “Holy shit! They’re fucking incredible!” was Oasis. I love the Gallagher Brothers! I love their music too. If they just did interviews they’d be fine. Shit, if they fucking ran for something I’d root for them. I like the cut of their jibs, I like that they’re always raising hell and being proper. I mean, they’ve kind of outgrown that, but I always just thought that shit was hilarious.