The Last Word 1996
By Liz Evans
The Ultimate Questions on life, sex and V-neck sweaters.
This week, Smashing Pumpkins' James Iha talks to Liz Evans.
J=James Iha, Q=Liz Evans
Q: Last time you cried?
J: It was actually the last time we were in Britain. There was this photographer who made a racial joke towards me and I just wanted to fucking kill the guy. It was a combination of the remark and jet lag, and it made me cry. I hope I never see the asshole again. It was kinda funny what he said, but it was still a total put-down. He was positioning us in this doorway, and he goes, 'Hey DJ Towa Towa, move over there!'. Towa Towa is like the guy from Deee-Lite. I just thought 'you fucking asshole, I'm not posing for pictures with you!'. So I cried. Just for a second. Then I thought, 'I must rock'.
Q: Last person you fantasized about?
J: Miki Berenyi from Lush. No I don't know. I have flying dreams. And I fantasized about having a country house the other day. It would be a really nice thing to live out of the city.
Q: Last time alcohol made you sick?
J: I was drinking red wine on the plane over to England and I took this Melatonin, which is a natural drug. It's not really been approved exactly, but it's a natural hormone which you body produces to make you sleep. It's also been touted as having anti-aging properties. It's totally untested but they're selling shitloads of it in America. So I got the spins and I felt fucking terrible. I couldn't tell whether it was the wine or this thing.
Q: Last band that blew you away?
J: Shudder To Think opening for the Foo Fighters in Los Angeles. They haven't got much attention yet, but they're great. And I've been really down on Britpop so I bought the Oasis album, '(What's the Story) Morning Glory?', and I kept listening to it, and one day I was sitting there looking at the CD booklet and I thought, 'I get it, they're rockin'!."
Q: Last thing that inspired you?
J: I watched the 'Beatles Anthology' documentary on television and that was very inspiring. I really liked the last episodes, when they were doing 'Let It Be', 'The White Album' and 'Abbey Road'. They showed some live stuff from then, and it was amazing. They were so super-talented.
Q: Last person you were jealous of?
J: I wouldn't say jealous. Maybe envious. It's less vindictive. When I was watching that Ed Wood movie, I was thinking how great it would be to act as well as Johnny Depp. It's a totally different medium, but I really like the power of acting in a film. It just seems so effortless when you watch it. It's like listening to a rock album that's really good. I used to act in college and I'd like to do something that well. But I certainly wouldn't want to fall into that category of 'alternative rock guy tries to act and is horrible!'. But if the right thing came up, who knows?.
Q: Last piece of clothing you bought?
J: I went to Paul Smith in Paris and I bought a V-neck sweater, a V-neck T-shirt and some socks. I'm not saying how much they cost. It was definitely an extravagance, but they're really good clothes.
Q: Last time you regretted something?
J: Buying all those Paul Smith clothes. But they're so nice.
Q: Last time you felt really safe and secure?
J: Well I tend to write songs and get my head together in the bathroom. When I'm neurotic, I run the bathwater and I sort of sit with my feet dangling over the edge in the bathtub, with my notebook, writing about shit I have to do - like walk the dog, make a demo of a song, or do the laundry. There's something very comforting about the temperature, the sound of the water and the reverb that makes your voice sound good. I'm also slightly neurotic about the bathroom being clean. I'm a regular nutter about who might have been in there before me.
Q: How long can you last?
J: Financially speaking, another ten years. Or until we're no longer satisfied. There's no real reason to stop.