“America is so weird”
Mike Holsworth [the Secretly Canadian and former Matador UK bigwig] got involved and helped us out when we signed to Merge – did all the contract stuff and got us a lawyer and stuff like that. He got involved because I was being uncontrollable and I was trying to do it while also being off my nut. Then, yeah, we toured shit loads in America – it was fucking horrible. Fun but also fucking weird. You know how everybody in England does American accents, like in every conversation, everyone does an American accent at one point, it’s just a given thing. And nobody ever says, when you’re at a party, ‘Can you do an Irish accent?’. But at American parties they’re always, like, ‘Can you do an American accent? Can you do my accent? Because I’ve never even bothered trying your accent, because you’re tiny and who gives a shit?’ But: ‘Wow, you can do an American accent?! You should just speak like this all the time!’ Like, what the fuck? It’s mental. America is so weird.
We went to SXSW and met up with the people from Merge, just after we signed with them. The first day I got sunstroke, instantly, as soon as I walked out of the fucking plane. I spent the rest of the week in the hotel. Texas at ten in the morning, they were showing Anchorman and, not like it’s my favourite film ever, but when you could go out and get more sunstroke or you could sit in bed… That’s where that song ‘I’m So Lazy’ came about. They were all going out and I had to stay in the hotel the whole time. They’d come back and there would be piles and piles of shit around me, while I was just watching TV, doing fuck all.
“I got up and tried to push him off a roof”
Fucked Up had their own stage at SXSW and we’d been on tour with them, so we went and saw this covers band that Thurston Moore did with J Mascis, Jonah from Fucked Up and a few other, like, punk celebrities. There was this concrete floor. Mike was getting a drink by the side or something and me and Louis were really going for it, and somebody knocked me and broke my glasses. I smacked my head against the floor and Mike, on his way back from the bar, had gotten into a conversation with Bill Murray – taking photos with him, drinking margaritas, trying to get Bill Murray to phone his Dad.
I was really fucking out of it, really drunk but also concussed, and I went up and was like, ‘Can I have a photo with you, Bill Murray?’ and he’s like, ‘NO. You can have the rest of my Tequila, Bye!’ like that, and fucked off.
I think me and Mike, by this point, were on a knife edge; could go either way, be the best friends or fucking hate each other. We were driving through somewhere in Oregon where the tour manager’s parents lived. I was vegetarian at the time, and they cooked this big beef stew and I was like, ‘can’t eat it’, and it was instantly awkward, and they were talking to Mike. They wouldn’t stop saying he sounded like Alan Rickman, and Mike was going, ‘Oh, you can’t understand how much this means to me, you saying I sound like Alan Rickman, this is amazing,’ to which I was like, ‘Oh fuck off, you cunt.’
We played the Bowery Ballroom in New York and he got off with this girl, and then insisted that we all go back to a party at her house and we went onto the roof. Me and Mike were having such a bad time and I heard him talking about someone I knew to somebody and it pissed me off, and I got up and tried to push him off a roof. The tour manager grabbed me and put me in a cab and took me to this apartment we were staying in and I was so full of adrenaline I read three books in one night, avidly trying to get my mind off of what had just happened, that I’d just nearly pushed one of my best friends off a roof. Obviously, Mike ended up leaving around that sort of same time, like just after we finished the record.