I am sorry for what I tweeted. I am sorry that you’re offended. I am sorry that the gods of context have abandoned me now, in my time of need. Maybe the tweets are old, but maybe they are young—I love the elderly and newborn puppies in equal measure, so does it really matter? Regardless, these screengrabs of me saying that “DIY, like the Jews and Pavement, is bad, very bad” are truly unfortunate, especially in light of my new album coming out.
You have to understand that I come from a difficult background. I was raised by inattentive parents, rich but detached. Love came trickling down through the help, so when I called my band “Black Nanny” it was out of genuine affection, and I had no idea that people might take offense.
Like a flowing river, birthed from mountaintops and ending in the majestic sea but forever changing, forever being reborn, I am not the man who punched out all the surviving members of the Von Bondies, then stole their precious CSI money and used it to hire Pinkerton agents to track down and put the gears to all other garage bands until there was no titan atop that greasy haired Mount Olympus but me, the bolt of lightning that precedes the blues explosion. That simply isn't me anymore, and I think this round of Reddit AMAs will prove it.
Also, my friend runs the Twitter account. I’m on record as being an ally and friend to the working class, feminists, and all oppressed peoples, so you could say that the working class, feminists, and all oppressed people run my Twitter account. And if The People want to tweet “the pussies are running the sarcophagus” and “you need literal male genitalia to ‘get’ River Raid,” then who am I to distance myself from that?
When I first caught wind of the hullabaloo regarding certain aspects of my tour rider that were maliciously leaked to the press, my first instinct was to call my lawyers, but lawyers cost money, and our label insists that money is to be strictly allocated for the post-festival bail fund and online promotion of our new digital cassingle. And even though our label is a tax write-off for a conglomeration of Eastern European fathers of ne’er-do-well psych-rock fans, apparently money is still some sort of issue. Such is Babylon. So, in retrospect, in the mists of time where we grow to become the men that we hope to be, I realize that contractually requiring small-market promoters to stock our green rooms with exact replicas of the black couches from those “fake audition” porn videos was tone-deaf at best, and probably no legal document should sign off with “#AllLivesMatter.” I apologize, sincerely, but also want to move forward.
And, look, when we were last living together and I stole your guitars, the ones your father gave you before he passed, I was suffering from addiction … an addiction to stealing your guitars. I sold them to buy a month of service from a leading PR company that is helping me draft this letter but would prefer to remain nameless. Please do check out their showcase with L Magazine at Mercury Lounge, though. It’s full of bands with a real Strokes-meets-Libertines-meets-Saves The Day vibe, but edgy and with real DIY energy, which I am, as of now, on the record as being in favor of.
I deeply regret that screengrabs of me saying that SantaCon is cool, Jawbreaker was overrated, and that the first Die Hard is actually the worst of the series have been brought to light. Through the support of friends and family, I have owned up to my mistakes and I rise, hoping to nestle into the armpit of your forgiveness, like a phoenix angling for an Impose premiere.
I’m sorry I hired that boxcar of Gainesville oogles to set up a panhandle camp under your window and serenade you with an endless rendition of “Wagon Wheel” played on washboard, banjo, and emaciated dog. Of all my transgressions, that might be the one thing that’s unforgivable. I was cruel, but I hope you know I’ve changed.
Sure, I regret my “Ayn Rand Was A Boss Bitch” tattoo, but you have to understand that that was the spirit of the times: neo-folk was ascendant, and purity and strength held an allure not seen since, well, 1932. If I maybe took it too far—forcing men and women alike into the bathroom at The Standard Hotel and plying them with Goldschlager until they consented to reenacting the restaurant scene from Dirty Dancing where the waiter gives Jennifer Grey a copy of The Fountainhead, but with me playing a role that can only be described as an amalgamation of said waiter and Douglas P.—that was just the misguided enthusiasm of youth. I’ve since gotten the tattoo covered up with a rainbow-flag raven flying high above the Stonewall riots, relieving itself on the cops. Is it elaborate for a lower-back piece? Sure. But I’m a transformed man who embraces the zeitgeist.
There’s been a lot of talk by Tumblr warriors about my EP of Burzum covers, and, yes, perhaps calling it Come 'ere Rouge was a mistake, but that’s because I was a mere twenty-seven at the time, and anyway, my affiliation with right-wing Ukrainian Nationalist groups is only because I hate the Russkies. Like Mussolini. And don’t you wish the L train would run on time? Sure you do. Please don’t get upset. I’m just being a provocateur.
What I’m saying is that this has been a time of growth for me—evolution, if you will. Like Obama on gay marriage. Are only Muslims allowed to evolve? Of course, being the singer in a Krishna hardcore band, I don’t actually believe in evolution, but the Illuminati lie of the dinosaurs is beside the point. The point is that even if forgiveness is no longer in vogue, time and selective outrage are their own forms of grace, and I pray that just this once, the hot magnifying glass glow of the fickle five-year-old that is god will move onto some other poor ant, leaving me to just sayin’ and devil’s advocating and living my truth with the reckless abandon of a newborn foal, once bad, now apolitical.
Look, like the mythological dinosaurs, the former me no longer exists. What’s the difference between a million years and a few months when we’re talking about personal growth? Especially personal growth that, purely by coincidence, happens to line up with the beginning of a new album cycle. I truly hope that we can, together, leave these old tweets, some as old as three years, practically dead in opossum years, these blips of misperception, these willful misunderstandings of the perpetually aggrieved, behind us, and that you can all focus on what really matters: the music. My new album, Jet Fuel, Like The Irish, Can’t Do Shit, is out next month. I hope you love it.