Six interviews with musicians gone terribly wrong

Six interviews with musicians gone terribly wrong

You’d think that being a celebrity journalist has many perks: Your content is very sought after which means the media will pay you big bucks for it, you get to mix and mingle with the rich & famous and possibly even get backstage passes and concert tickets. But it must also be really nerve racking, especially if you’re dealing with famous musicians, because you never know in which mood you will catch them. Chances are they are ecstatic after playing a good concert or after winning an award. But other times they are exhausted and highly irritable from extensive touring, just coming off an intense buzz of drugs and/or alcohol or just simply not in the mood for answering questions. When interviews go wrong, as unfortunate as they are for the interviewer, they can be either uncomfortable to watch or hilarious. Here are our favourites…

6. Billy Corgan vs. Nick Cave

At the Lollapalooza festival in 1994 Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins somehow got a hold of the MTV microphone and list of questions and started interviewing Mr. Cave who seemed really annoyed right from the beginning. It got worse when Corgan assumed that Cave and his band were British (he is Australian) and by the end of it Cave indirectly told Corgan that he has the mentality of a teenager. Fortunately, Corgan takes it relatively lightly, see for yourselves…


5. Members of Blur bully Nardwar

When Canadian music nerd Nardwar the Human Serviette tried to interview Blur things didn’t go exactly as planned. Dave Rowntree, the bands drummer, seemed to be missing his drum kit because he started attacking the interviewer, knocking off his hat, pulling off his glasses and just being an unreasonable bully. Nardwar kept his cool as best as he could but one can sense that he was not impressed…


4. Vanilla Ice destroys MTV set

When Rob Van Winkle, also known as Vanilla Ice appeared on this MTV special, in which they make fun of terrible music videos, Rob went further than just destroying the cassette of his video for Ice Ice Baby. With a baseball bat he destroyed the tape and the majority of the props on set. He smashed two small tables, a telephone, a bowl of popcorn, and two mannequins in the background. If it was staged or not is debatable, but judging by the fear on the hosts’ faces it doesn’t seem like it was. The singer of Ice Ice Baby really needs to chill, don’t you agree?

3. Lou Reed loves Australian journalists

This is a two-for-one ✌️! When Lou Reed was interviewed by journalists at the Sydney airport press conference in 1974 he did all he could to not give them what they wanted. Whether he was on drugs, just coming off drugs or just simply annoyed is hard to tell. He mostly gives one-word answers and often answers bluntly and sometimes paradoxically to the questions. When asked if he takes drugs he answers “I don’t take any” then later when asked “where do you spend your money?” he answers simply, “on drugs”. The following year he appeared at the same location for a similar press conference and was even more cold. When asked “Are you happier as a brunette?” he replies with “Are you happier as a schmuck?”


2. Bob Dylan vs Time Magazine

Time Magazine correspondent Horace Judson interviewed a young and hyper Bob Dylan and was left speechless. Dylan goes off on a rant about the media, especially Time Magazine, about how anything they print about him won’t affect him in any way. He says that the media doesn’t print ideas or truth but only facts, which mean nothing. The interviewer is stunned, maybe offended and probably impressed. Dylan’s speech is so speedy and coherent, it leads one to believe he was high on amphetamines, but how can one really tell? Dylan ends off the interview ironically by stating that he sings just as well as Enrico Caruso. Check it out


1. Billy Bob Thornton gets upset

This interview aired live on Canadian radio and YouTube in 2009 and shocked the audience (and the host) because Billy Bob, the musician, refused to cooperate with the interview after the host mentioned his acting career. Apparently they had agreed beforehand not to mention his acting career so Billy Bob decided to make everyone feel uncomfortable. He answered very simple questions with “I don’t know what you’re talking about” and at one point went off on a tangent about monster action figures when asked about his music. Later he decided to disrespect Canadians by mocking their smoking laws and calling their audiences “mashed potatoes but without the gravy”… 

Do you know of any others? Please let us know in the comments! 

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Joe has been singing since he can remember and started playing guitar when he was 10. He's been using it as a songwriting tool ever since. He is passionate about melody and harmony and admires musicians who create these in unique ways. Check out his alternative / indie projects Best of Feelings and Zef Raček.


    Dave Fanning had a terrible one with Billy c
    Corgan. Sonic youth did a similar thing to nardwar. Jason pierce had a really awkward one with miles hunt on MTV in the 90s.
    Syd Barrett did one where he just stared blankly and didn’t answer questions, can’t find it on YouTube tho.

    HAHA, thanks a lot Plonker, I will check these out!

    How about Bob Harris with a monosyllabic Van Morrison on Whistle Test?

    I will definitely check that out. Sounds hilarious.

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