Being a travel magazine we couldn’t help but admire the name of your album, Traveling. Why that name? I chose it because I had just finished reading Breakfast At Tiffany’s. The main character is Holly Golightly and on the business cards she gives to gentlemen suitors it says “Holly Golightly – Travelling”. And I thought that was cool so decided that was the name of my next album.
This is your eighth time in Australia. You must like it over here? No. I hate it. I mean the Gold Coast- it is just ugly. Ha.
Australia has some really weird animals. What’s your favourite? I ate croc pie. I’m worried about karma and that crocodiles are going to eat me now. But it was a good pie. The keyboardist in Bob Evan’s band Steve said he’s going to invite me to Melbourne and we’ll barbecue some roo.
So you just like eating the animals then? Ha. There are some beautiful parrots here, I shot one the other day and roasted it on a spit and that was pretty good. I make dingo tacos too.
What do you never travel without? I like to travel with my own tea. I also like to travel with women’s panties.
That’s nice! What country do you want to visit most? I really want to go to India because I saw The Darjeeling Limited and want to go on trains and teach my curiosity. I’m fascinated with Gandhi and do bikram yoga as often as possible. I want to get involved in the sounds and smells and craziness that is India.
You write funny lyrics, which we like. Who is your favourite lyricist? My favourites are probably Randy Newman and John Prine and I really love Rickie Lee Jones. On her second album Pirates the lyrics are pure beautiful poetry. I like Randy because of his sardonic ironic wit and John because of his realism and humour.
What’s the strangest thing a fan has ever sent you? I don’t know about sending me stuff, but one guy got drunk and said “I’ll do anything for you.” I asked him, “What do you do for a living?” He said he was a helicopter pilot. Another fan said the same thing, so I asked her what she did for a living. She was a teacher, so I asked her if she could get 500 students to run out of a gym. She said “yes”. Then we shot my single “Hitchhiker Joe” from the helicopter and filmed these students running out of this school. That was cool.
You were in The Rugburns – what’s that name all about? Sounds kinky! I wish I had a good kinky story to tell you, but I don’t. There was this book called Fahrenheit 451 so one night on stage we just said our name was Rugburn 451. It wasn’t even a good joke or anything but I liked the sound of it. So it just became The Rugburns.
That’s a bit disappointing… I could make up a sexy story?
Go on then… There was this sweet girl and we went to an abandoned apartment and all there was this old rug on the floor and we both ended up with rug burns. I had to spank her.
Very good. Song writers are often types who think lots. How do you chill out and not think about anything? When I was eight I learnt I had ADD and was hyperactive. To calm myself down I sit all alone in my room in my bed, pick up my guitar and I stroke it. I start strumming it and I don’t even know what I am strumming.
It feels so good just to strum the guitar. [Cough] How many guitars do you have? 23 guitars. 23 is my favourite number. I had a friend that died who was obsessed with the number 23 so I inherited that after he died. I’ve this feeling that every time I see the number 23 he’s thinking of me.
Do you name your guitars? Yes, all of them. There’s Smokey Joe, Potato Chip, Shit Head, Walker, Texas Ranger, Martin the Martiniser. My favourite one of all is Joanna. That’s the one that I play in bed.
Right. We’ll swiftly carry on. But I want to ask my own questions now.
Fine. Go ahead… Have you ever made love in a car, Steve? Yes, the very first time. I was 17 and it was Wednesday night after school and she asked if I could give her a ride home. We went to check out the desert and we did it in the back seat of a Cadillac. She knew what she was doing. So that’s how my love of travelling began.
Steve Poltz is touring Australia in May and June. To find out where, visit www.poltz.com. He’s funny, so you should go see him. We did.