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How did album Can’t Take A Hint start?

I’d done three albums before, all Grammy nominated of course, hence the name of the record.

But for the last couple of years I had been doing a very serious project, a documentary, The Big Uneasy, about why New Orleans flooded in 2005.

After going round the country with the film for half of last year, I wanted to get back to doing something fun and funny.

There are a lot of guests on the album, how did that come about?

It was people I knew in various ways: (Glee’s) Jane Lynch, who I’d worked with on A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration; Dr John I had known through my residence in New Orleans; and I’ve been a Fountains Of Wayne fan for a long time.

Why not have the same single topic approach as before?

I didn’t feel there was one particular topic that deserved writing a bunch of songs for. And I liked these ones and thought I am entitled to do this kind of record too.

Most of these songs can be understood as character sketches – the record’s alternate name was Landscape Mode And Portrait Mode.

How do you avoid celebrity culture pitfalls, as on Celebrity Booze Endorser?

You should be with me when I am on a red carpet because you’d see what a non-celebrity I am.

I have been in these situations since I was a kid so I have figured it out: fame’s only use is if you have just enough to do the projects that you want to do – everything else is bullshit.

I was at a Superbowl game a couple of years ago and Brad Pitt was there.

He’s a lovely guy but to get out at the end of the game we had to be surrounded by a four-layered security bubble.

But we got trapped at the bottom of the lift when we got entangled with another movie star’s multi-layered bubble.

Do you prefer music projects?

There is no better hang than musicians, it is an indisputable fact.

A few years ago, we did Glastonbury as Spinal Tap and a tour as ourselves, we had made another record and Tap had, too, and I looked back at the end of the year and thought I had done nothing but music and had never been happier.


Harry Shearer Interview: The Simpsons and Spinal Tap star on new album 'Can't Take A Hint'
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