Actor Adam Goldberg discusses new musical career, possibility that Joaquin Phoenix is a genius
Actor Adam Goldberg releases his debut album, Eros and Omissions, on June 23 under the pseudonym of LANDy. No, EW’s “caps lock” button didn’t get stuck. That’s how LANDy is supposed to be written. “I don’t know how it happened,” says the Dazed and Confused, Saving Private Ryan and Entourage star. “I was just futzing around with fonts. But I like the way the little ‘y’ is hanging on for dear life.” Eros and Omissions is an ambitious and atmospheric collection that Goldberg made with the assistance of Steven Drozd from the Flaming Lips. EW called Goldberg on the set of his forthcoming ABC show, The Unusuals, to talk about the thespian’s new career as a singer-songwriter and the possibility that fellow actor-musician Joaquin is “a f—ing genius.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you?
ADAM GOLDBERG: I’m good, thank you. If you hear barking, it’s because I have some dogs in my dressing room.
Now, by “dogs,” do you mean hookers? I know what you Hollywood actor-types are like.
[Laughs] Yeah, that’s the common on-set vernacular. I’m glad you’re hip to it.
Given the Beach Boys-ish vibe of some of the album I’m assuming the name LANDy was inspired by Brian Wilson’s psychologist Eugene Landy?
Well, I’m not going to refute that. I’ll just say it’s subject to interpretation.
Landy’s not going to sue, he’s dead!
I know. I am a huge Brian Wilson fan. I’m obsessed with Smile and that era of his.
The CD is divided into Side A and Side B, which I approve of having grown up with vinyl. But aren’t you going to confuse the kids with their downloads and their iPods and whatnot?
I guess so, but I feel the real audiophile guys really do still hold their vinyl collections fairly sacredly. I haven’t gone so far as to produce a vinyl version of this, but it’s how I still conceive of records.
The album has a subtitle: Sycophantastic Confessions & Renditions of Contrition. Is that a joke?
It is. There were more cogent versions of that subtitle, and then I decided to just go for broke and make it ridiculous. I’m a pretty self-effacing person—although saying you’re self-effacing probably counts as a paradox—so I’m aware of the bombastic nature of this whole thing but I think there’s a lot of humor in there. I like to take the piss out of myself a bit.
Did you write all the tracks?
Yeah, though Drozd helped out with quite a bit of “I Believe In Jack,” which is the last proper song.
I know the Flaming Lips are big Pink Floyd fans, and that track does have quite a Floydian vibe.
That kind of shocked me when I heard the finished track. I’ve never been a big Floyd head but I would agree.
Will you be going on tour? It seems like you would need a lot of musicians to recreate the sound of the album.
Well, that’s the thing. I’m definitely going to play. The question is, in what configuration? I’m in the process of putting it together right now
You’re filming The Unusuals at the moment?
I call this album The Record That The TV Show Bought! But I’ve got to tell you, the show’s pretty good. It’s about a bunch of New York detectives that all have a particular bit of baggage that they bring to the procedural element of the show. Like, I play a guy with a brain tumor, but nobody knows I have this brain tumor, and I deal with it in a variety of different ways, from trying to get myself killed to having these weird hallucinatory, existential moments. Honestly, I feel like there’s this vaguely Raymond Carver-esque kind of feel to it. It’s much more poppy that that but there is something that reminds me a bit of Short Cuts.
Do you have an opinion on your fellow actor-musician Joaquin Phoenix’s bizarre hip-hop career?
If this is for real, and he’s really going through whatever he’s going through in this public a way, then that’s obviously cause for some concern. Presuming that it’s not, then it’s f—ing genius. I mean, it’s really some of the most brilliant, Warholian, public exhibitionism I can think of in modern times. It’s amazing. The thing that strikes me as artificial about it is, I don’t really think [the music he would choose to do] would be hip-hop. That to me is the red flag. It just doesn’t quite add up. I mean, he’s a talented f—ing guy. He sang in that movie. The guy’s got a real voice. It doesn’t make sense.