Tim Harrington – Does Rock’n’Roll Kill Brain Cells?

Testing musicians’ memories after a lifetime of abuse. This Week: Les Savy Fav’s Tim Harrington


Name five animals on the front cover of your 2007 album ‘Let’s Stay Friends’
“I painted the cover. There’s… a bear, eagle, snake, elephant, rhinoceros, lion and wolf. I was thinking about the animals running into Adam and Eve when they left the Garden Of Eden.”

You’re playing ATP Presents at Butlins in Minehead later this year. Name any of the water slides there.
“Man! We played ATP Presents at Minehead last year when Modest Mouse were there and I did go on a slide called the… Extreme Face Force?”
Wrong. Master Blaster Raft Ride, Black Hole, Blue Comet, Space Bowl. The Black Hole is the scary one!

Les Savy Fav met at the Rhode Island School Of Design. Who is their most famous cartoon-making alumnus?
“If you look on YouTube there’s a video that Syd [Butler, bassist] made about three stand-up comedians. It’s me pretending to be a stand-up comedian, Syd pretending to be a stand-up comedian and [Family Guy creator] Seth McFarlane actually being a stand up comedian. So, it’s Seth.”

You often appear on stage in just underpants. In which Robbie Williams video does he do the same?
“The one where he peels off all his skin and throws his organs around? I don’t know the song but it’s a great video.”
Wrong. ‘Rock DJ’

What three claims are made on the front cover of the vinyl edition of debut album ‘3/5’ which came inside a shower-cap rather than a record sleeve?
“‘Best Fucking Record In The History Of The World’, ‘Sweetest Band Ever’ and ‘Non-Refundable!’
Wrong. ‘Luxurious Premium Vinyl’, ‘Keeps Your Hair Dry’, and ‘Waterproof’

‘Raging In The Plague Age’ features in the soundtrack to which videogame?
Grand Theft Auto 4. I think we got $200 for it. We said, ‘OK, that’s cool, can we have a free copy of the game?’ and they said, ‘No.’”

Tim Harrington

Name two places you visited on your 2008 YouTube guide to London
“I visited a Nero coffee shop that used to be a Starbucks and an ATM machine that used to be the smallest morgue in the world. Man, I need to do more city guides.”

You’re a self-confessed Harry Potter fan
“That’s true!”
What three items make up the Deathly Hallows?
“A stop watch. A sex toy, like a double-ended rubber dong or a treble-ended jelly dong. And one of Hermione’s baby teeth.”
Wrong. The Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak Of Invisibility
“Oh, yeah! He hid inside the cloak. My wife and I are going to see the movie tonight as our first big date since I’ve been on tour.”

You famously have a beard…
“Yes. A lot of men have beards. All the caveman had them. But mine is special.”
Name of the only member of famously bearded American rock band ZZ Top who doesn’t have a beard?
Wrong. The drummer, Frank Beard
“Frank Beard has no beard! Now I know.”


What annual ‘sports’ event does your record label Frenchkiss Records, hold?
“Once a year they all do Porky Pig Day where everyone comes to work with shirts but no pants, neither English pants nor American pants. They also have Ice Cream Week where you’re only allowed to eat ice cream in the office. But what have they just done?”
Wrong. They hold an annual limbo contest!
“Why wasn’t I invited?”

Total Score: 4/10

“I can’t believe I didn’t do better. I’m not sure you’re right about the Harry Potter question. I’m pretty sure there was a jelly dong in there”

This article originally appeared in the October 29th issue of NME

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