Best 38 of John Flansburgh quotes - MyQuotes

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John Flansburgh
By Anonym 15 Sep

John Flansburgh

The main thing that we're doing is thinking we can control anything, which is the biggest false assumption we can make. I think we can figure out how to tread a lot more lightly on the environment, and we'll be a lot better off.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Flansburgh

Look, up in the sky! It's the sky!

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

In Germany there's something about rock music much more political than it really is - like everything you were doing was an indictment of the American culture. I read an interview with one of the members of Sebadoh. He was saying he had just got back from touring Germany for the first time in five years or whatever, and one of the interviewers asked him, "Why aren't you still relevant?

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Flansburgh

I think the biggest wrestling match-up I have is how to respond to the word "quirky." Or the alternate, "nerdy." Both are essentially benign to the reader, but if you're a writer just sort of involved in your creative process, they seem like very small motivations.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

Every declarative statement that comes out of an interview with somebody is actually in response to a question. It's like this very real interpersonal dance where one of the people involved is invisible.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

I read The Onion, and I've read a lot of interviews that are very direct, often with people who are never direct. Which is interesting. But somehow the A.V.Club part of The Onion, I don't think is telegraphed into the popular culture.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Flansburgh

It's always interesting to me when one platform of media crosses into another. We've been on the Terry Gross show Fresh Air a couple of times, and I suddenly felt like we could actually represent ourselves as exactly who we are, in this sort of ultra-vivid way. But the weird thing to me is that the questions she asks are in some ways no different than the questions the guy from the high-school paper asks. She might even ask us where we got our name. But something about it, it's like the pH balance of the trajectory of the questions. Maybe it's just her voice.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Flansburgh

Sometimes people will ask a real "Why are you beating your wife?" question where there's some assumption built into it, and all you're trying to do is kind of re-contextualize it with some element of truth, and it comes across as incredibly defensive, or just really weird.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

For instance, our music, They Might Be Giants, has this element of humor, which is probably the most uptight part of what we include in our music, because we're in part very self-conscious guys, and we want our music to stand up to the test of time, not just be visceral comedy records. We love humor and comedy, but there's this aspect to it that runs counter to what is included in most music.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Flansburgh

Sometimes you have to wonder if there isn't an ejector seat built into having a popular-music career. We were lucky when we started. We were already old when we started - you could have described our first album as "aging Brooklyn guys." We were in our late 20s. We weren't octogenarians, but a lot of bands were already younger than us. Fortunately, we've held on to our manly good looks.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Flansburgh

When we're on tour, probably we don't go 24 hours without someone asking us where we came up with the name They Might Be Giants. Which, on one level, seems like a completely legitimate question. If I think of other bands, like The Beatles, it would explain to me that John Lennon had a proclivity for slightly cheap puns. But I'm not sure how much insight that would give me into what's actually good about The Beatles' music.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Flansburgh

I wrote a thirty-second song that I couldn't finish for a year.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

Have you heard Alanis Morisette trying to play the harmonica? She doesn't know how to play the harmonica. Well guess what, Alanis, I INVENTED the 'don't-know-how-to-play-harmonica-harmonica-solo.'

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Flansburgh

The simplest app on your smartphone requires 40 peoples' purest imagination. The challenges with people on environment, we just have to open some of that creativity. But I don't think it's necessarily about heating clouds or enormous chemical changes in the atmosphere.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Flansburgh

There have been times I wanted to cry on interview, but it hasn't been because that's what they're trying to conjure. No. I think you have to graduate to some higher level of TV IQ for people to actually want to see you cry.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Flansburgh

So we've done science songs. We've done historical songs. A lot of people would like us to do more historical songs. Our history record would probably be like the people's history of the United States, set to music.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Flansburgh

It sucks to think about, honestly, but when you really consider the resources that it takes to press vinyl records, or the amount of gas that it takes to tour, it's really quite scary.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

I guess the revival of vinyl records is not helping the environmental problem. Although, in some ways, people don't throw records away - I mean, I still have records from when I was 5. So it doesn't seem quite so wasteful. But maybe I'm just lying to myself.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

All rock music is fake news.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Flansburgh

That's what I call 'Guiliani Time', my friends. 'We've got a problem. Let's kill it.'

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Flansburgh

We want to be original. To express our most interesting stuff. But you don't see the word "original" come up very often to describe big bands. Our job isn't to pigeonhole ourselves or describe where we fit in. Our goal isn't to fit in. Our goal is to be free of all that stuff.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

Between me and my wife, there's this joke where I'll be doing some fun interview, and I'll get off the phone and be like, "That guy was an idiot." A lot of times, interviews are like being asked a list of questions. Invariably, there will be this part where they think you're a writer for Letterman: "Just off the top of your head, tell me the 10 most influential bands on you." And you're actually asked to come up with a spontaneous list. It's like, "Dude, I'm not living in High Fidelity.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Flansburgh

I think that the most effective social protest that any artist can do would be things that come naturally and feel obvious. I think the Resist movement will continue among people who believe in science, who believe in rights for women, who believe in civil rights.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Flansburgh

There's so many simple things that can be done to change our carbon footprint, and to reduce our carbon footprint.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

I feel like the future is unwritten. So many of the things that we write now haven't been about educating people on the environment, they've been about disseminating facts. But I feel like it could be productive to write something that explored directly the idea of fragility.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Flansburgh

This happened years and years ago, right as our videos were first being played on MTV. The interviewer said, "You guys are getting famous now. Are you going to be riding around in limousines, doing drugs, and sleeping with beautiful women?" And I was a precocious young man, and my snappy comeback to that cheerful question was, "We're willing to sleep with beautiful women." But no part of the question was in the article.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

If you do believe in science, you really have to actually stand up and make a stand for it. You can't just say, the facts aren't in. Science is always looking for better explanations to everything, but that doesn't mean that when we get on a plane we don't know what's supposed to happen next. And if it doesn't go the way that it's planned, that's a big, big problem. The culture wars are very tricky and make me a little sad.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

Actually, on a slightly more serious but kind of parallel level, I remember being on Loveline before both hosts ascended into loftier places in the culture. But I remember being shocked by Dr. Drew. He went into this extended monologue about how anyone with a baby voice is probably the victim of child abuse or has some daddy issue. As an intellectually curious person, all I could think is that there isn't any clinical evidence about that. But to be the guy wearing the doctor's hat on the radio and teaching everybody about this? It just seemed like a parody of good advice.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Flansburgh

It's hard to tell a shallow person that they should care more about the feelings of the awkward and the alienated.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

Being in a band, a lot of times people think of what you're doing in terms of a competition. They talk about where you are professionally in your career, and all this other stuff. And if you're a lifer, you know it's going to be ups and downs. It's not like anybody is always just steady on.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

Any time having international interviews is a language barrier, you don't know how much you need to simplify what you're saying for it not to be damaged in translation. But culturally, there are some interesting phenomena. I get the feeling that the way rock music gets described in Germany, it is all like Rolling Stone circa 1975, taken to the 10th power. If you're a rock musician, you're part of the counterculture. Your music is like a critique of everything that is wrong with America.

By Anonym 14 Sep

John Flansburgh

That really sums up the strange bluntness that a really prime German interview can have. They're really interested in your cultural velocity in this way that I don't think people in the United States even necessarily think about alternative-rock bands. So it's not like we're against regular rock. We're not like a battling army shaking our weapons against The Rolling Stones.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Flansburgh

Worlds going to hell anyway, have a good time.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

I don't think bands should feel compelled to speak out unless they actually have something to say. I think that's a big mistake, where you're turning into a coyote running off the edge of a cliff. Too often, people just feel like something is happening and they want to be part of this thing, and it's just, there's sort of a "me too!" and that's about it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Flansburgh

There is a fact-based belief system available to you if you want to believe in facts. But this is the weirdest time. I mean, after Nixon I thought nothing could be weirder. Then there was Reagan, and after Reagan I thought nothing could be weirder. Then there was Bush and Bush's son, and it all just seemed like nothing could be a badder joke than George W. Bush. And now we're here. It seems to just yo-yo around, but hopefully we'll get to another level.

By Anonym 13 Sep

John Flansburgh

In an interview John [Linnell] said, 'At a certain point you just get tired of the way the other person breathes,' and I took that pretty hard because I, personally, am infatuated with the way John breathes.

By Anonym 15 Sep

John Flansburgh

We're affable guys in They Might Be Giants. We're not gonna do the periscope-down thing, but it's a little bit mind-bending. The biggest struggle is trying to figure out a way to back up far enough in your answer that it can be read without the context of the question. Every declarative statement you see that comes out of an interview with somebody is actually in response to a question. So it's sort of like this very real interpersonal dance where one of the people involved is invisible.