Interview: JR of Less Than Jake

Interview: JR of Less Than Jake
July 27, 2006 10:52 AM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

Ska-inspired rockers Less Than Jake, who are currently taking their ninth spin on the annual Warped Tour, are now considered the old guys on the summer punk tour---or as saxophonist JR says, they're the "veterans."

"It's our fifth entire Warped Tour and our ninth time being a part of Warped Tour," JR said during an interview in a dressing room when the Warped Tour made a recent stop in Phoenix. "We used to be the young band on tour and at some point we got old. Thank God for NOFX and Joan Jett and The Germs. They're older than us. We're the 'veterans.' That's a big word for 'old.'"

Less Than Jake--which also includes vocalist/guitarist Chris, vocalist/bassist Roger, trombonist Buddy and drummer Vinnie--is on the road pushing its latest release, "In With the Out Crowd."

Kevin Lyman, the Warped Tour's founder, said he purposely picked landmark groups such as Less Than Jake, The Germs, Joan Jett, NOFX and Helmet for this year's tour.

"I kind of went back a little bit more to the punk roots for the tour. I think it kind of dawned on me when Joan Jett came over to hang out in October. It was kind of like, 'Wow, Joan Jett,' and I kind of looked at the other festivals and tours going out this summer," he said.

"You look at Ozzfest. You look at Sounds of the Underground. The Slayer package. They're all metal oriented. We still have some of that influence. A lot of screamo out here, but this could be the year [for punk]. There's still a lot of punk kids out there. With the Bouncing Souls, NOFX, The Germs playing today, The Buzzcocks out earlier this summer--it's really interesting to see how many kids are really interested in the roots of punk right now."

Less Than Jake's JR talked with LiveDaily about playing Warped multiple times, his band's new album, 'In With the Out Crowd,' and his group's staying power.

What do you feel you get out of the Warped Tour?

When we first started doing it, it wasn't as big. There weren't as many bands. There weren't as many dates. Now it's just it's become it's own entity, a summer festival tour. For us, it's great, because we get to play in front of thousands of fans every day. Some are new fans, some are old fans. Some are people who never heard of your band before. We've been a band for 15 years. It's kind of cool in that aspect. It's a good vibe. It's unlike any tour you could ever do. Just go on tour with some of your favorite bands. And some bands you don't even know who the hell they are but then they become your favorite band.

I guess you know what you're doing next summer.

Not the Warped Tour. We don't do it every year. We do it every other year. It's been three years since we've been on the Warped Tour. We did the 10-year reunion show in 2004. We didn't do any of it last year. I went to one show last year. It was weird because there wasn't a lot of old punk-rock bands. It was like Dropkick Murphys, No Use for a Name, and a bunch of new radio acts. It just seemed really weird. But the kids came anyway. I don't think it matters who's on the bill. They just come because it's Warped Tour.

What was it like to work with producer Howard Benson on 'In With the Out Crowd'?

Howard's a mad genius. He knows what he wants. He knows what he's looking for. He's really amazing at arranging vocals. He pushed us, which is something you kind of need as you get older. When you're young, you think you know everything. And you really don't. Then as you get older you're sure you know everything. But in reality sometimes you still don't. So sometimes you need somebody to smack you in the face and push you a bit. That's kind of what Howard did for us for this record. He pushed us to try different things and branch off from what we've been doing, and how we write a song. Some people say [the album is] really good. Some people say it's really bad. To be honest with you, I don't really f---ing care what anybody thinks about it, because I think the record's great. I don't read any reviews. I'm 30 years old. You'd think once you get a little older, you'd get a little tougher skin. You think when people say your record sucks it's not going to hurt, but it still hurts. It's like saying everything that you're feeling, everything you've been through in your life, or that time period when you wrote that record is s---. Well, f--- you. That's how I feel, because that's my life. If somebody asks me what I've done for the last two years of my life, I say, 'Hey, you want to know? Here's the new record. Just listen to it.'

Judging from the record, it's been a tumultuous couple years.

Divorces and deaths, a lot of growing, still, as we get older. Like I said, as you get older, you think you know everything or you summed it all up and figured it all out. No, you're still trying to figure it all out. At least I am, and the guys in my band are. It doesn't matter how old you get, what you know or what you don't. You just gotta survive. Keep going. I see a lot of young bands that are out there. It's funny to hear them talking to each other. They'll ramble back and forth about how this band sucks, "I can't believe people are buying their CD." "I can't believe they're getting airplay." Just do your thing. Don't care what other bands are doing. I care about one band on this tour: mine. I know that totally makes me sound like an a--hole, but in reality, I don't care what the other bands are doing. I'll watch the shows. I have my friends. I make friends. That's what this whole thing is about. But I care about what my band is doing. You're supposed to focus on your band. That's why people come on this tour--to promote their band. That's what we're trying to do out here, and have fun doing it.

Do you think that it goes against the spirit of the Warped Tour to talk about how many records you're selling?

Maybe. It got that way a couple years back. Everybody cares. Ten years ago, when I listened to a record, I couldn't tell you who produced a record. Now kids are talking about producers more than they're talking about bands. It is so f---ing weird. The record sounds good, the record sounds bad. I don't buy a record because Howard Benson produced it, or Rob Cavallo produced it, or because douche-bag X produced it. I'll buy a record because I think the band writes good songs. I like the music. It's like a Gucci tag. It's like, "I'm going to buy this pair of pants because it says 'Gucci' on it. Even though the same pair of pants are right here for $30, I'll buy these Gucci pants for $500." It's the tag, that's it. It's style over substance. We're not good-looking dudes. We're all cross-eyed and we drink a lot. It was never about how we dress or do our hair. It's always been about the music. It wasn't about videos. A lot of bands that I see right now, in five years I'm not sure where they'll be. Pick a band like Good Charlotte--a band we toured with, a band we supported three years ago. Where are they now? They're not on Warped Tour. That sucks because they're good kids and they're not a bad band. But people don't have long attention spans.

Why would you say you lasted so long?

I honestly don't know. Maybe it's because we never got huge success. Maybe because we learned a lot. Maybe because we didn't keep writing the same record. Maybe because we put on a good live show. Maybe it's because we do a bunch of different kinds of merchandise. I don't know. I don't know what makes a band sustain and what makes a band fall. I just know internally--within the five of us--we're still each other's best friends. We still hang out with each other. We still talk to each other. We still laugh. It's f---ed up because you see some of these bands, and they don't like each other. They're doing it for a paycheck. F--- that. I'd rather go home and work in an office, because at least I can go home every night. So, I wish I could tell you. There's no formula. Good question. I wish I had a better answer.

Perhaps it's your passion?

I think so. You can tell the difference between a band that's really doing it and a band that's going through the motions. I can. Some people just do it for a job. This is my hobby that became my profession. It seems to me there's no passion to work anymore. With younger bands--and some older bands too--the passion goes away. That's unfortunate because I'm still here 15 years later. I get frustrated sometimes. [Laughs] I just keep going. I've done this for half of my life. I've done some bad things, but here I am. I'm still here, I'm still alive. I'm playing saxophone on the Warped Tour. I call it as I see it. Ska died 10 years ago. Somehow it's still going. I don't question it, and I thank my lucky stars.

My next question is about ska and how it's supposedly dead. People still pick up your record, and ska tours do well in clubs.

It's still doing well underground. It just went away from the mainstream. It goes in a cycle, just like everything else goes in a cycle. There's a lot of bands that are screamy. I don't know how long that will last. But pretty soon it will be like everything else. Corporate America comes and rapes it and takes it for what it's worth. Ska didn't go anywhere. It's just not in the mainstream. There's still kids that go to ska shows. I go to ska shows. It's awesome. It's just that nobody sees it. When I say it's 'dead,' there are no contemporaries that we came up with that are still signed to a major label. I'm pretty sure Reel Big Fish got dropped. I don't even know if Goldfinger is recording anymore. The Bosstones don't exist anymore. Fishbone really doesn't exist anymore. Angelo from Fishbone is around here [at the Phoenix Warped Tour show]. The Specials, they kind of tour. Anyway, I don't know what happened. I think people started thinking that ska was a circus. The reality is the first wave of ska was not. Not at all. It was traditional island reggae; a blend of calypso and jazz basically down in Jamaica. The Skatelites weren't f---ing around. They weren't a joke. They were real. They were pioneers. Toots & the Maytals--that's real ska music. There were only a couple bands from England that I was into, like The Specials and Madness, a little bit of The Selecter, maybe a Bad Manners song here and there. In the third wave, it was over here--Fishbone, the Bosstones, the Toasters, The Pietasters, Hepcat. All these great bands. And they all stopped. Maybe it was because they weren't making money. I don't know how it happened. I like to think we put on a good show and our songs are OK.

You have scaled down your show over the years. You used to have costumes and there used to be 12 members. It used to be a big thing. Did you scale it down to make it more serious--so people wouldn't think it was a circus?

Like I said, if you keep doing the same thing over and over again, it just becomes old. When you are performing and stuff is expected, people expect you to do it and you do it because you're expected to do it. "Here we go again. They're going to come out in costumes. The skull guy is going to come. The fire eater." We had to switch it up and change it. People ask us if we changed our music to change with the times. No, we're changing our music because this is who we are now. Who we were five years ago is a different thing. Ten years ago, we were way different. Writing a record like [1996's] "Losing Streak," people are like, "How come you don't write songs like that anymore?" That record was written when we were 19, 20 years old. We're like 30, 31, 32. It's a different time in our life. I don't have the same feelings that I had when I was 19. Sometimes I do. But if we write that again, people are going to say, "Oh, this is boring." I like to say that we give fans something good. And that's something to bitch about. At least they're still talking about it. But did we scale it down to become more serious? Yeah, a little bit. We're still not. We may not have the costumes, but watch the show. Listen to what those two idiots talk about on stage.

Punk-pop stalwarts Less Than Jake return with the adored band's first original album in three years, In With the Out Crowd, produced by Howard Benson. The punk 'n' horns group has sold more than 1 million records over the past decade, thanks to incessant touring, including on the Warped Tour, where it has been the #1 merchandise seller. Less Than Jake gets out the crowds once more with In With the Out Crowd.

Interview: Justin On Britney: 'I Was Infatuated'

Justin On Britney: 'I Was Infatuated'
NEW YORK, July 19, 2006

(CBS) Justin Timberlake opens up about his messy break-up with pop star Britney Spears in the new issue of GQ magazine, which hits stands July 25.

He tells the magazine that back in 2002 when the couple initially parted ways, "I felt like she had a couple of opportunities to just sort of stick up for me, and she didn't. Which is fine. But at that time, you know, I fought back, and that's the way I fought back. I used my mind. I came up with a song."

That song was Timberlake's solo hit, "Cry Me A River." Timberlake adds that he dealt with the split by seeking "the affections of many young females."

The singer, who is gearing up for the release of his new album "FutureSex/LoveSounds" on Sept. 12, says that fell head over heels for Spears back when they met as Mouseketeers on the Mickey Mouse Club when he was 11.

"I was in love with her from the start," the singer tells writer Lisa DePaulo. "I was infatuated with her from the moment I saw her."

Though he admits that he doesn't talk to the domesticated singer now (he calls the relationship "a distant thing") he wishes her well. "I want to see her win," he says. "I don't think you can ever count somebody like her out. Because she may appear one way, but she's very clever."

Spears, 24, who is pregnant with her second child with husband Kevin Federline, recently appeared naked on the cover of Bazaar magazine.

In the interview, Timberlake was more guarded about his latest relationship with actress Cameron Diaz, 33, who he's been dating for three years. He labels this relationship as more "adult."

"For me, this time around, it's been important to stay, at least as much as I can, out of the limelight," he tells GQ. "And I think that's made it more enriching. I've received so much more from it by keeping it just between the two people it's supposed to be between. Some people, especially here, are happy to offer themselves up in that way. But I come from a small town where, like, to give someone privacy means to give them respect."

He thinks their relationship is still going strong because: "There's no pretense about anything. It's just a sort of coming together of two people."

Timberlake, who lives alone in Los Angeles with his two dogs, Buckley and Brennan, doesn't seem to be planning on shacking up with her anytime soon. "I have my own house. It's very important. Healthy. Don't you ever need your own space?"

"SexyBack," the first single off Timberlake's new album was released July 7. The song is available at Timberlake's MySpace page. He describes the new album's sound as "so progressive" and so far the buzz surrounding it has been good.

Timberlake's solo debut "Justified" went multi-platinum.

"It's very different from the last album. Like, the last album, so much of what was happening in my life was fed into the album. And people would psychoanalyze the songs," he says. "But I didn't care, because it meant they were actually listening to the songs. It sent everybody into this guessing game, which — I can't lie — was sort of fun for me."

The former boy band heartthrob also has several films due for release, including "Alpha Dog," directed by Nick Cassevetes, "Black Snake Moan" co-starring Christina Ricci and Richard Kelly's "Southland Tales," and a voice role in next year's "Shrek The Third."

Timberlake tells GQ that the biggest mistake of his career thus far was his 2004 Super Bowl performance in which he scandalously ripped off Janet Jackson's top and her breast was exposed on national television. As for the reported hook up between the two, he says, "I'm not gonna go too far into that."

But Timberlake did say that his break-up with Spears topped the Super Bowl debacle. "Especially when you loved that person half your life," he says.

Lisa DePaulo's interview with Justin Timberlake will appear in the August issue of GQ magazine.

Come Along with JT through his own groovin' universe of FutureSex/LoveSounds, co-written by Justin Timberlake and produced by Justin Timberlake, JAWBreakers, Timbaland,, and Rick Rubin, among others. Guest artists include TI, Three Six Mafia, and Hezekiah Walker. Obviously, there is no shortage of talent.

Interview: Puffy AmiYumi

July 19, 2006 10:37 AM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

Thanks to its Cartoon Network series and candy-sweet pop music, Japan's Puffy AmiYumi has been able to do what few bands have done: reach a diverse audience.

Children love the duo for the show "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi," which has been renewed through the end of 2006. Adults dig Puffy AmiYumi for its undeniable hooks that are especially evident on its forthcoming album, "Splurge," due in stores July 25.

But Puffy AmiYumi, which includes Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura, is hesitant about one aspect of their popularity--being role models.

"They both said they can't be role models," the duo's translator said with a laugh. "That would be too much task for us." Their popularity is so strong in their native country, however, that they were selected as ambassadors of the Japanese government for the "Visit Japan Campaign" in 2006.

The adorable twosome talked to LiveDaily through a translator about the tour, working with stellar producers on "Splurge" and "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi."

LiveDaily: How's the tour going so far?

Yumi: It's the best tour ever.

Why is that?

Ami: This is our fifth US tour and there are new band members and new staff members. We're also playing in new cities such as Cincinnati and Cleveland. Everybody's motivation is really high and that leads to a really great tour. We are just having a blast.

Your biggest fan is my 11-year-old niece. Have you received a lot of response from children?

Ami: This album, "Splurge," hasn't even been released in America, but, when we perform songs from the new album, people reacted to the album greatly. They seem to know the songs already. We have great confidence in this new album. We can't wait until the release date to come.

For "Splurge," you worked with Jon Spencer (of Blues Explosion), Dexter Holland (of the Offspring) and Butch Walker. What was it like to work with them?

Ami: They're just great people. It was a great experience to work with them.

Yumi: They just have the best [talent]. We're convinced that's why they're loved by so many people.

Producer Andy Sturmer (formerly of Jellyfish) seems like an additional member of the band for all the work he has reportedly done for Puffy AmiYumi. Would you agree? What does he bring to the band?

Ami: Andy Sturmer is the godfather of Puffy. He gave the name Puffy to us. He's young but we feel like he's our US dad.

How did you meet him?

Ami: There's this Japanese rock singer/producer named Tamio Okuda. He produced a lot of Puffy music. Andy worked with him on the Jellyfish and the girls have always loved the music of Andy. So they asked Tamio to hook them up with Andy.

It was that simple?

Ami and Yumi: Yeah [Laughs]

How important is the Cartoon Network show? I read a story that said it takes a backseat to the music.

Yumi: The Cartoon Network show has given us a great opportunity to introduce the music to a new audience. When we toured, after the Cartoon Network show started, so many little kids came to our show. We always wanted as many people as possible to listen to the music. In that sense, the Cartoon Network show is really important to us.

For those who are already fans of Puffy Ami Yumi Splurge will fast become one of your favorites. To anyone new to Japanese pop (jpop) music this CD is an excellent gateway to a whole new world of head bobbing enjoyment.

Splurge runs the gambit from Ami and Yumi's trademark fun fare of pop rock tunes like "Tokyo I'm On Way," "Call Me What You Like" and "Beginnings" to the absolutely haunting solo song by Yumi with the unlikely title of "Cameland." Ami gets double billing for voice and words on her nicely upward driving rock ballad "Security Blanket." It's a little of everything sprinkled with that magical Japanese pixie dust that Ami and Yumi bring to their music.

Interview: Matt Rubano of Taking Back Sunday

July 12, 2006 03:26 PM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

Having found increasing success with 2002's "Tell All Your Friends" and 2004's "Where You Want to Be," Taking Back Sunday wanted to turn it up a notch for its third release.

"We really wanted to make a big, over-the-top, rock record," bassist Matt Rubano said via telephone from Georgia.

"I feel like our writing, our lyrics, our melodies and the sound of the album--with the help of [producer] Eric Valentine--really came together. We really accomplished what we wanted to. Even the title of the record, 'Louder Now,' is meant to evoke the fact that we were taking all the aspects and elements of our band and amplifying them to the fullest extent."

The formula worked. The gold-certified "Louder Now" peaked at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 album chart and, after 10 weeks in stores, sits at No. 51.

Rubano--who is joined in the band by vocalist Adam Lazzara, guitarist/vocalist Fred Mascherino, guitarist Eddie Reyes and drummer Mark O'Connell--recently talked to LiveDaily about the band's current tour, working with Valentine and more.

LiveDaily: How's the tour going so far?

Matt Rubano: The tour's been awesome. We're having a great time. This is the biggest tour we've ever headlined. We have such great bands with us that I think the bill is really awesome, between The Subways, Head Automatica, and Angels and Airwaves. We've also got to bring quite a bit of production on this tour, [which] we haven't done before. We have lights and things like that. Overall, the whole show is fun for us to do every night.

Is it hard to adjust to doing big shows like that?

Not really. It's different than playing small clubs or theaters. I think, over the course of our band's career, every type of different show that we played was a gradual or natural progression. We've been weaned onto these types of shows. I think we've learned to be comfortable in front of any type of audience.

There's been quite a buzz with "Louder Now." To what do you attribute that?

Hopefully that it's good, I guess. [laughs]. ... We wanted to take everything up a notch. That was our main focus with this album. I guess people are responding to that. I also think this album captures the energy of our live show better than any of the records we've done in the past.

What was it like working with Eric Valentine?

Eric's great. I can't say enough good things about him. He's super, super talented, and equally as cool. Hanging out with him was great. He's really laid back, so he makes you super comfortable in the studio. With us as a band, he provided a sixth person's objectivity about songs we had been working on for so long. For me, it was a challenge and learning experience to work with him. He made each of us feel really good about what we were doing. He was just the perfect producer for this album. We all wanted to work with him for a long time. Finally having the chance to have done it is great. I think we would do another record with him in a heartbeat.

You said it was a learning experience. What was the most important thing you learned from him?

For me, personally, he had a really good understanding of my ability. Then he would push it really far, and take it even further and challenge me. We would be recording something and there would be times when I thought I nailed it. You'd just hear him come over the mic and say "And one more time," "And one more time," "And one more time," he would just keep doing it over and over. [I'd think] "Man, that sounds good." When he finally gets you to do it [he says], "Yeah, now we're talkin'." So I learned to really always think for the song. Nothing that you play on any song is worth playing unless it compliments something else in the band or in the music. It's really important to play as part of the band. I learned a lot of things from him. I can't say enough about him. He's a great person and a great producer.

It sounds like he was really encouraging.

Very much. You always sort of hear these stories of producers being taskmasters or really difficult or stubborn--not really working with the band, but on the band. That wasn't the case. Eric was, like, in our band for awhile. He was assertive, but he was also, like you said, encouraging. You don't have to be a jerk to make a good record. You just have to have your mind open and know what you're doing, and Eric's certainly down with that.

What is the songwriting process like with Taking Back Sunday?

It varies. There's a lot of different songwriting processes, ranging from someone will bring in something completely done, to a group-writing thing, where it starts with one small seed. Or one or two people writing together. It's a bunch of different ways. This record represents a few of them. The single "MakeDamnSure" was something that was pieced together bit by bit. Actually, Adam found a chord progression that I brought in. Then Fred came up with the chorus. All the lyrics were something that Adam had had for a very long time. For a song like "Up Against," it was something that Fred wrote completely by himself. The song "Divine Intervention" was a guitar part that Eddie had, and Adam churned it out and wrote the lyrics and melodies to it. There's a bunch of different ways we get it done, which lends to the band's sound.

I think it really shows, because each album is so diverse.

Yes, that's something that we think is important. We'll always be trying to push forward and not get stuck doing the same record twice. There's some very different things on this record that we wouldn't have necessarily tried in the past. Hopefully, each time we go in to record, we'll be trying to push some new boundaries for us. I think that's what keeps it exciting for us and for the listeners.

The bands Warner Bros. debut, Louder Now, takes the group's classic ethos of intertwining vocals and hardcore meets-rock-meets pop to an even more enticing level. Taking Back Sunday is taking back rock.

Interview: Owen Wilson "You, Me and Dupree"

Interview: Owen Wilson
"You, Me and Dupree"
Posted: Friday, July 7th 2006 1:57pm
Author: Paul Fischer
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Owen Wilson can not stop himself - one comic hit after another, and as he confessed, he has no doubt that this comic niche is his permanent comfort zone which he'll never change reports Paul Fischer.

Question: What jokes are stashed in your Blackberry?

Owen: You know, I get criticized for being on my Blackberry especially from my girlfriends... you're more interested in that than having a good conversation'. But, I will say, in my defense, that I feel like I do sometimes write down good ideas or funny stuff, ideas for scenes and stuff. But, sometimes I'm just on there just bullshiting.

Question: What do you think of your nickname of 'The Butterscotch Stallion' and do you have a 75-year-plan like the character in 'Bottle Rocket'?

Owen: Yeah, well, the 75... well, that was actually a reshoot that we added and I remember that Wes and I had a five year plan and Jim Brooks was like 'why don't you make it like a 75 year plan? What do you get out of being subtle?' And I've always remembered Jim Brooks saying that because you do get more mileage and definitely more people quote that. It's also my handwriting because I'm left-handed, I have kind of a chicken-scrawl. Wes always thinks it's funny to see my handwriting. And I know in 'You, Me and Dupree' when they see me writing the thank you notes, people start laughing. They think 'oh, he's doing that for the character, making it look so bad' but that's my penmanship.

Question: Dupree is a very lovable kind of character. How do you see him? Was he inspired by something? Did you know someone like that? Can you see this guy going on for more movies?

Owen: Well, part of Dupree definitely was kind of a little bit like... we had this Dalmatian that we had when we were kids that my parents got us named Nutmeg and this dog, at least was just insane and tore up everything and my parents wanted to send it to go [using quote marks in the air] live on a farm. That's what they were telling us, where it would have more space and we were crying 'noooo' and finally my parents began to fall in love with the dog and Dupree has a little bit of that quality. That was the inspiration, after some of our family dogs growing up.

Question: Do you see Dupree going on as a motivational speaker like he is at the end of the film?

Owen: Somebody was saying the Tony Robbins used to live in his car and so, if Tony Robbins can do it, I don't see why Dupree couldn't become sort of a force out there because I think his message is kind of a good one, 'stay loose, stay liquid, laugh a lot'. What else is there?

Question: I'm curious about chemistry carrying a film. You and Matt Dillon have different approaches and personalities as actors.

Owen: I think with chemistry, seems like very movie I'm in they talk about, if you're in it with another person they're always talking about the chemistry and it just seems to be based on if the movie does well, 'you and Vince have great chemistry but you and Eddie Murphy, your chemistry wasn't so good ['I Spy']'. All I know is that when Eddie and I were working, we had a great time together. We were really laughing a lot but, for whatever reason, it just didn't quite play or connect. But, I think it's just enjoying the people that you are around and kind of play off them. I know, with Kate, I think why Matt and I liked her and the crew loved her and the directors, is that Kate is very easy to get laughing and she's always kind of smiling so you feel like 'wow, I'm really on fire today!' Then you realize she's like that with the prop master and the caterer. She kind of makes everybody feel like they're great. And, it doesn't hurt that she's super pretty.

Question: What about chemistry with your brothers?

Owen: I think, with your brothers, it's feeling very comfortable, not just comfortable but to say 'you're my brother and I love you' which we would never say. But it's feeling very comfortable to say, 'you're driving me crazy' and to sometimes say sort of mean stuff. Because they're your brother, you sort of have to take it.

Question: David Spade just did a joke about Ashley Simpson getting asked for your autograph. Did that ever happen to you?

Owen: You know, that has never happened to me but people will call me Luke sometimes. But, I don't think we really look alike or maybe just being from Texas they'll sometimes confuse you with another Texas person. But, I would say that would be the main thing I would hear is people calling me Luke.

Question: We see a lot of you in this movie. Are you particularly proud? Are you an exhibitionist?

Owen: [laughs] I was thinking, that scene where I run out of the house practically naked. I'm just covered by those pillows. Yeah, this might me one that maybe I should give my mother a little heads up on. She might want to go see 'Cars' for the second time.

Question: Is there any embarrassment involved?

Owen: Yeah. There's a lot of embarrassment. Believe me, there were other shots that they had in there that I was like 'no, we're not puttin' that in'. People would say, was it hard...

Question: Hard?

Owen: Touché.. uh, was it hard not cracking up doing the scene where I have the sock and there is an adult-themed movie playing and I was like 'no. It was really embarrassing' so it worked for the character. You've got all the crew standing around and teamsters and stuff and there you are kin of simulating something that is probably not meant to be simulated in front of fifty people.

Question: There's a line that love can conquer all the challenges you might have. What's you take on that?

Owen: That's what I think is kind of nice about Dupree, is that he definitely wears out his welcome and he doesn't have a job and he rides around on a bike but he's not like a cynical, jaded slacker. He's got this sort of Labrador-like enthusiasm and he really does want their marriage to work out.

Question: And, do you think love can conquer everything?

Owen: Yeah, that's a nice idea, the idea that love conquers all. That's a nice idea.

Question: Audrey Hepburn was Dupree's idea of a perfect girl. What's your idea of the perfect girl?

Owen: I like that Dupree's ideal is Audrey Hepburn and when Kate is saying that she is having a hard time imagining Audrey Hepburn listening to Funky Cold Medina, Dupree says he doesn't have a hard time. He can picture it very clearly. My ideal girl, obviously you have to be attracted to them and be on the same page sense of humor-wise, I think is the biggest thing. Just enjoying the other person's company, liking stuff they have to say.

Question: Favorite romantic film.

Owen: Favorite romantic film would be... I like that movie 'The End of the Affair', I thought it was really, really good. Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore. Was it Neil Jordan? I thought that was great. I read the Graham Greene book after that.

Question: Have you been over in Europe recently?

Owen: Well, I just went over to Europe a couple of times. I went to Barcelona for the Grand Prix to do 'Cars' stuff then I just went over to Italy to just hang out and visited Woody Harrelson and his family and I got some soccer games in Rome, all the world cup stuff. People are really fired up about that.

Question: In another world, would you like to try a more straight-laced character?

Owen: Yeah. I definitely could identify with a lot of Carl's feelings and the lines that he says. When I originally started working on the script with the writer, he pitched me the idea, I did think of myself as maybe playing Carl and, there was a possibility, at one point, that I was going to play Carl and I think I could have definitely related to some of the stuff that he goes through but I think everybody can. You've either experienced a Dupree or you've been a Dupree and, in my case, I've had both.

Question: What is your favorite book?

Owen: I would say that probably my favorite book is 'Huckleberry Finn' or 'The Great Gatsby'. I love those books. I just feel like I get a lot of ideas from those books. I know that there's stuff in 'Bottle Rocket' that's lifted from 'Huckleberry Finn' like the whole ending where Jim is already free but Tom and Huck go through this whole sort of charade of freeing him. That's kind of put into 'Bottle Rocket' in the beginning where I'm trying to get Luke out of the mental hospital even though it's a volunteer hospital. 'The Great Gatsby' I just like some of the themes in that, being a little bit of a dreamer.

Question: How do you find your 'ness?

Owen: I think I try to find my 'ness the way that Dupree does with 'stay loose, stay liquid, laugh a lot'.

Question: Could you see playing a villain?

Owen: Yeah. I think it would be fun to play... I saw Robin Williams in this movie 'Insomnia'. He's like a killer. I was like 'what is Mork doing? This isn't right'. I would like to do that also but I wonder if people would have a problem with it. 'Behind Enemy Lines' isn't, obviously, a comedy. And, I think, hopefully, comedic actors can... I think that I could probably pull something off like that if given the chance.

Question: Are you going to pursue it actively?

Owen: Yeah. I would definitely like to do a movie where the burden wasn't on that you had to get big laughs in set pieces. I think it would be nice to do a movie that had funny stuff but it was more sort of from the characters. I loved that movie 'Sideways'. That has really funny stuff but it has a lot of emotional stuff. I think Wes and I tried to do that in some of the scripts that we worked on. I can't imagine ever doing a straight, serious movie that didn't have anything funny in it because I don't think that life is ever really like that. Even in 'Raging Bull' the scenes between DiNiro and Joe Pesci, some of those are hilarious.

Question: Didn't you play a serial killer?

Owen: Yeah, I did play a serial killer, he says excitedly and laughing. 'The Minus Man', Hampton Fancher and I had a great time working with Hampton. He wrote 'Bladerunner'. That's actually the only part that I've ever gotten from auditioning so, I don't know, maybe I was able to tap into my inner psycho I guess to play that part.

Question: Dupree tries to get his girl back. Have you ever had the experience of trying to get a girl back?

Owen: Oh yeah. I've definitely had to try and win a girl back. All of a sudden you're sending flowers and you're pretending that there's nothing you'd rather do on a Sunday than go antique shopping, drive to Pasadena and hit the flea market and usually that relationship doesn't last because there's only so long you can fake that.

Question: Do you write any poems?

Owen: I've probably pawned off some poems as my own that I got from like a song lyric, yeah.

Question: Are you and Vince in a competition this summer to see which one will do the best after 'Wedding Crashers'?

Owen: It's funny. We have the same agent and she was saying that Vince gets so into stuff and Vince has this natural exuberance and I feel like he's now getting ready to do press for 'You, Me and Dupree' to help this movie like this is one of his projects also.

Question: Do you and your brother have a kind of competition?

Owen: I don't think so. We'll stand out on the beach and throw rocks at a post for four hours and get in screaming matches but I don't think we've ever been competitive about this stuff because I think it's the feeling like 'Gee, if Luke does really well, I know I can always get him to be in a movie with me'. It's kind of hoping that a rising tide lifts all boats.

Question: How many different swimsuits did you guys make Kate try on?

Owen: Probably about seventy-three. And they were all good. That was a fun day!

Question: Would you say you are a messy or a neat person?

Owen: I'm probably ...well, slob would be too strong a word but edging in that direction.

There's an extra coat of hot wax on Pixar's vibrant, NASCAR-influenced comedy about a world populated entirely by cars. Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is the slick rookie taking the Piston Cup series by storm when the last race of the season (the film's high-octane opening) ends in a three-way tie. On the way to the tie-breaker race in California, Lightning loses his way off Route 66 in the Southwest desert and is taught to stop and smell the roses by the forgotten citizens of Radiator Springs. It's odd to have such a slim story from the whizzes of Pixar, and the film pales a bit from their other films (though can that be a fair comparison?). Nonetheless, Cars is another gleaming ride with Pixar founder John Lasseter, who's directing for the first time since Toy Story 2. There's the usual spectrum of excellent characters teamed with appropriate voice talent, loads of smooth humor for kids and parents alike, knockout visuals, and a colorful array of sidekicks, including a scene-stealing baby blue forklift named Guido. Lightning's plight is changed with the help of former big-city lawyer Sally Carrera (Pixar veteran Bonnie Hunt), the town's patriarch Doc Hudson (Paul Newman), and kooky tow truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy). The Incredibles was the first Pixar film to break the 100-minute barrier, but had enough story not to suffer; Cars, at 116 minutes (including some must-see end credit footage), is not as fortunate, plus it never pierces the heart. Trivia fans should have bonanza with the frame-by-frame DVD function; the movie is stuffed with in-jokes, some appearing only for an instant.