By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
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Who else are you listening to these days?
What I listen to is what you're seeing. I don't think I need to elaborate on that. The whole idea is it's straight from me to you guys, to the world. There's nothing in between. There are no gatekeepers. So whatever you're seeing is what I'm onto.
Animal Collective is getting compared to you a lot. Are you familiar with that band?
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Nope, but there you go. You just gave me an idea, so I'll check 'em out!
You're from Philly. I know you released Live in Philadelphia in 2004, and didn't you sing the National Anthem in Game Five of the World Series last year?
No, what happened is I got the flu, so I sent in my pinch hitter John Oates to sing it for me.
I see, but you must get back there a lot. The reception must always be terrific, no?
If you're from Philadelphia, you never really leave Philadelphia. I was just talking to Kevin Bacon about that the other day. There's a regionality that you can't escape, even if you wanted to. Not that I would ever want to. Talk to Sly Stallone about it; talk to Kevin Bacon; talk to me. And the people from Philadelphia will always support people who come from there. There's a certain mindset. I don't know, maybe it's in the water or something.
I know it's a cliché question, but of all your many hits, do you have a favorite?
The answer to that is no. I have an emotional attachment to all my work, they're all personal, and they all mean something to me.
Do you have a favorite among the many who have sampled your work?
I'd have to say De La Soul [for "Say No Go"], because they were the first. They were the pioneers to begin with, and they really opened up the doors for all the others to come, so I do have a particular fondness for that song.
You've played all over the world, in some of the most famous venues. Do you have a favorite?
It's not like a wow factor with any of the many venues we've played. I don't say, 'I can't wait to get back to any particular place.' I'm not blowing smoke up your ass, but I will say that Mizner is among my favorites. I remember every show I've ever played there. Plus it's a great time of the year to come down to Florida.