Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Adrian Stout Of The Tiger Lillies: Page 2 of 2

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6. What do your parents/children (delete as applicable) think of your job?
 
My parents are happy I have a job. The point at which it was finally accepted as a legitimate career by my mother was when when we performed with Alan Rickman at the Lyric Hammersmith. 
 
 
7. What’s the worst thing about being a comedian?
 
You will have to ask a comedian that one. Probably the worst thing for comedians was when we played the Edinburgh Fringe in 1995 in a show with two comedians, and we made their lives a living hell for three weeks by sitting behind them and looking pissed off while they did their ‘jokes’. We would then play different songs from the ones we agreed to do every night. I also put a whoopee cushion on the seat of one of them towards the end of the run and when he sat on it, it got the biggest laugh off the show. He was literarily about to murder me after that. 
 
 
8. I think you are very good at what you do (that’s why I’m asking these questions). What do you think of you?
 
I think we are the best Gipsy punk, death Oompah, street opera, dark cabaret band out there. By settling out to be original, provocative, funny, twisted and controversial we have more than exceeded at every challenge that path throws up, we have won awards and played to huge audiences all over the world and created a huge body of work. We could have has a few more hits but it was never going to work out that way. The band has forged a unique path, making albums, concerts, theatre shows, dance, puppets, multimedia…I can’t think of a single other act that has managed to do that for 30 years. 
 
 
9. How much do you earn and how much would you like to earn?
 
We used to earn decent money by touring relentlessly all over the world and by releasing over 40 albums. We will have to see if that is possible in a post Covid-19 world. Im not sure that people will feel happy about packing themselves into sweaty clubs for quite a while, and flying seems like a relic of a forgotten time, like stage coaches and paddle steamers. Most of my friends in showbiz are working for Tesco now and I probably wouldn’t even have the skills to do that. Is busking still illegal?
 
 
10. How important is luck in terms of career success – have you had lucky breaks?
 
I think our biggest lucky break was to be playing in the King’s Head, Islington in the 90’s and being seen by the future producer of Shockheaded Peter. Without that meeting, and the successful show that came out of it, we would have had a much harder time getting people to hear and see us. Shockheaded Peter’s unexpected success gave everyone who worked on it a huge opportunity to bring their work to much a bigger audience.  
 
 
11. Alan Davies has said that comedians fall into two categories - golfers and self-harmers. The former just get on with life, the latter are tortured artists. Which are you – or do you think you fit into a third category?
 
I think we are more like Undertakers, making a living from human misery and despair and whistling while at work. 
 
 
12. Who is your favourite person ever and why – not including family or friends or other comedians?
 
A man called Curtis Jones, who was a 66 year old queer, black, hustler, model, singer and performer, originally from New York, who lived for many years in Prague while I was living there. He was hilarious, crude and intelligent. I miss him dearly, he was a great person to go drinking with ( as long as you were paying) and we collaborated on a few songs together. I wish we had made more music and I could hear his stories of living in the Chelsea Hotel in the 60s or his years living in Cairo or Paris. 
 
 
13. Do you keep your drawers tidy and if not why not? (please think long and hard about this question, it's to settle an argument with my girlfriend. The future of our relationship could depend on your response).
 
I always keep my drawers organised, I have many tiny objects like jaw harps, kazoos, nose flutes and I'd never find them in messy drawers. 

Picture (c) Daniela Matejschek

 

 

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