|Title: Cutting Edge Interview
Source: Television interview at the Travelers Caf� for "The Cutting Edge" (MTV). Transcription from tape by "Pieter from Holland" as published ion the Tom Waits Library
Date: Travelers Caf�. Los Angeles/ USA. Aired February, 1986
Key words: voice, creative process
Cutting Edge Interview
Presenter: "Like everybody to meet Pauline and Leon. They operate the Travelers Caf�, a Fillipino-Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles. This place used to be a hangout for Tom Waits when he used to live right down the block."
Tom Waits: "My voice went out in Germany, went out completely. I couldn't.. I couldn't even speak. And then uh nobody even noticed. I said: 'Ghees I have no voice I really can't go on. I can't go on I sound awful!' And people came back and say like: 'Well hey you were wonderful this evening! Never heard you sound any better!'
Tom Waits: "To get the sound that you want, you have to really use an engineer that you have, who understands what you're trying to do. It's like getting a haircut you know? Take a little of the top and leave the sideburns and, you know? Block it in the back, you know? Uh... it's actually how you talk to your barber, so... Musicians they like uh to be told what you're looking for."
Tom Waits: "I usually like music when it's... I don't like sitting down in front of a radio and sit and listen. But uh I usually like it when it's part of the atmosphere. I like it: down the hall, or across the street, you know? Uh, when it's mixed up and part of everything. You know?"
Tom Waits: "Well I am slow. Everything that you go through uh in terms of growth happens slowly. You know, it SHOULD happen slowly I think, for it to be uh... permanent."
Tom Waits: "I like what time does to your memories. I like... what kind of lands you're using (?). I like the way things are distorted by time. You know? I like listening to music far away and you hear it wrong. You hear it mixed in with everything else. And uh... so I usually try and step back, so things are a little blurred for me you know? Uh, it's like uhm like waterstains on the wallpaper, you know? You thought it was part of the design, you know? But it's not, you know? I like that. So you kinda...'looks like South-America' you know? And you go into the... I mean that's... part of it... I guess."