Interview: Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory

Interview: Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory
September 27, 2006 01:59 PM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

New Found Glory fans who track down the band's members in Las Vegas to join them in some gambling should take one thing into consideration: their cash.

"Las Vegas is a crazy town," said Jordan Pundik, the Florida-bred band's singer. "Our fans know that when we're in Vegas, we gamble and stuff like that. They always know to look for us in casinos. It's pretty funny. There are times when I'll be hanging out playing blackjack or something and, like, fans will come up and play with me and I'll take their money."

(Fans might get the chance to play a few hands with Pundik and bandmates guitarists Chad Gilbert and Steve Klein, bassist Ian Grushka and drummer Cyrus Bolooki when New Found Glory plays the House of Blues Oct. 27, in the midst of an upcoming tour.)

"Coming Home," New Found Glory's second album for Geffen Records and fifth overall, takes fans on a journey that is musically simpler than the group's previous efforts. The album, which the group began writing in December in a house in Malibu, is a reflection of New Found Glory's work with producer Thom Panunzio, as well as engineers Paul Minor of Death by Stereo and Warren Fitzgerald of The Vandals.

Pundik--speaking by telephone while driving from Fuse to MTV in New York to promote his band's latest album "Coming Home"--recently talked to LiveDaily about working Panunzio, New Found Glory's songwriting process and growing up with the band's fans.

LiveDaily: You recorded with legendary rock producer Thom Panunzio. Tell me about working with him.

Jordan Pundik: He's amazing. He's just a legend in himself. He's worked with so many classic bands, like, staples in rock music--Tom Petty and Bob Dylan and everything. It was really cool. Not that our record sounds classic, but he brought his classic [recording] ways and vibes ... to a modern band. It was cool to work with him.

The band has a markedly different sound on "Coming Home." Was it due to Panunzio?

I think because every time we recorded [before], we would [want] a bunch of guitars and stuff. Tom's theory is "less is more," which is true with all the sounds we have. Everything sounded so big and full without having to use tons of guitars and machine-gun vocals the whole time, like, singing really high over everything. A lot of our older stuff was a lot faster. [Panuzio's production] actually let the vocals kind of shine through.

So it was a conscious decision to make a simpler album?

I don't know. It's never like, "now's the time we have to do it this way." When we write songs, everything's real and everything's from the heart.

So it's more of an organic approach. Is that what's reflected in the album title?

Yeah, and it kind of reflects being away from the people you love and the people you care about and taking responsibility to those relationships. That's where we kind of got the name from. Plus, there's a song on the album called "Coming Home" and that song is actually speaking of those kinds of things. I think a lot of it came from that, being away, writing a record and being on tour

When did you start writing the album?

I would say--with ideas spreading around in our band--last December. I just remember we had a couple skeletons of songs that we would practice during soundcheck on the last tour we did. We had a little while off, then we met back up in August in a house in Malibu. We wrote the whole record there, pretty much. It was different for us because it was the first time we were able to really focus on the record, instead of writing songs on the bus or in the dressing room. We were able to live together and write songs any hour of the day. That's when a lot of the best things came. If someone had an idea at 10 o'clock at night--we were just hanging out eating dinner and somebody came up with a riff--we were able to work on it, as opposed to being in a dressing room or having to play a show.

That's cool to have that kind of vibe in which you can work whenever you want.

Yeah, we could stay really focused. Everything in Malibu closes so early. It's a small town on the edge of this huge crazy city.

How did you write the songs before?

It's never really a one-person thing. Every idea sparks from somewhere. Everything is written together. Chad will have some ideas for songs, some riffs and stuff, and he'll bring it to the band, and we'll all kind of throw in our two cents. Everything is collaborative. There's not one particular songwriter. Everything we do, we do together.

So it's a democratic songwriting process.

That will keep us together. That's what will keep us going for [a long time]. Not many bands last for that long. Everyone's open to everyone's ideas. Plus we've been friends for so long. That's what keeps it going.

What do you think about the buzz surrounding "Coming Home"?

I think it's pretty amazing. For example, we were playing a few of the new songs live [before the album was issued in September]. We played a couple college shows. Kids are already singing along to the words and the songs have only been out for a minute. I think it's amazing.

Why do you think your fans have stuck with you?

I think because they know we're a real band and we've been doing it for a long time. Even though we're still young, we started young. And I think our fans really connect to us because everything we've seen and done they can relate to--not just our fans, people in general. Everything we write is real, it's something that happened to every one of us.

In the early days, when success was still a pipe dream, guitarist Chad Gilbert had to drop out of high school to focus on the band. Drummer Cyrus Bolooki, turned down a scholarship and a chance to follow in the footsteps of his father, who performed the first heart transplant in Florida. All the New Found Glory band members had to make sacrifices along the way to make their dream a reality. All this comes to mind on a recent sunny summer afternoon in San Diego when singer Jordan Pundik confidently calls their fifth album "the one that will stand the test of time." And then again a few days later when Gilbert declares, "We've never been happier with any other record."

"Coming Home" was even written differently. Rather than the usual tour bus and dressing room pow-wows, the band moved into a house together in Malibu called Morning View (where Incubus famously recorded their album of that name), where they sat around the living room and wrote the best songs of their lives. With Paul Miner of Death By Stereo and Warren Fitzgerald of the Vandals and Gwen Stefani's band overseeing the demos, it was like music camp, with a mission.

It only takes one listen to figure out the album opener "Oxygen" is about not being able to breathe without that special person. And the first single, "It's Not Your Fault," capturing the essence of young love and heartbreak with lyrics like, "There were rapid statements about life commitments, A Sense Of Heat, That I Couldn't Bare To Touch…"

Even the album's most poignant moment, and the one song not all about the girls, has a simple message. On the guitar-driven epic "When I Die," Gilbert addresses the 2004 death of his father. "There are always songs about death that are really sad, and this is an uplifting song that gives me strength."

When it came time to record, the band met with all the usual suspects, but decided on producer Thom Panunzio, an A&R veteran at Geffen who has recorded some of the biggest names in music history. "Because he's worked with Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, he brought this classic vibe to it, especially with the tones he got," Pundik says. "We learned we don't have to double-up 15 Mesa cabinets and make it all distorted to make it sound big."

Willie's Weed Worries

Willie's weed worries
20/09/2006 12:00:00 AM

LOUISIANA (KP International) Country crooner Willie Nelson and four others were allegedly cited for possession of narcotics after police searched his tour bus in Louisiana on Monday (Sept 18).

Apparently, police seized one-and-a-half pounds of marijuana as well as an estimated two-tenths of a pound of psychedelic mushrooms. Nelson, 73, and his compadres could face up to six months in jail, however, probation and/or fines are more probable sentences.

"No one aboard the bus gave any of our troopers any problems," Louisiana Highway Patrolman Willie Williams said to E! Online. "When the search was conducted, they were very cordial and... subsequently admitted to being the owners of the narcotics."

Nelson has not hid his fondness for marijuana and even had a cameo in Dave Chappelle's movie Half Baked playing... well, pretty much himself. ("I remember when a dime bag actually cost a dime").

Bloom falls for the Caribbean

Bloom falls for the Caribbean
18/09/2006 12:00:00 AM

(KP International) - After spending much of the past couple of years filming the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, as well as the new indie flick Haven, in the Caribbean, British babe Orlando Bloom has fallen in love with the region.

"I'd love to have a place there," confessed the 29-year-old actor. "The temperature is beautiful and the people are delightful."

Though a potential pad down there could be the perfect place to lament his recent split from Kate Bosworth, Bloom said he'd like to be active and even try his hand at fishing. "I went down to the local docks," he said. "The writer/director's dad organized a session with some local fisherman so that I could scale fish and spray down some boats. It was great fun. I didn't know anything about the Cayman Islands and now I know I love life there. Making Haven there was like a working holiday."

Dixie Chicks Still Defiant

14/09/2006 12:00:00 AM

(KP International) Three years after having their career derailed, Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines remains defiant.

"What a dumbf---," says Maines of US President George W Bush during a scene from Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing.

The documentary, which debuted this week at the Toronto International Film Festival, follows the virulent fallout after Maines told an English audience that she was ashamed that Bush was from Texas.

Maines told Fox News that she never considered asking the filmmakers to edit her latest statement from the piece. "Nope, we never would have done that," she said. Pegged for an October release, it is already receiving Oscar buzz.

Interview: Platinum Weird's Dave Stewart and Kara DioGuardi

September 13, 2006 12:42 PM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

Musician Dave Stewart is best known for his work with Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics. But if he has his way, his "resurrected" mid-'70s band Platinum Weird and its new "powerhouse" singer, Kara DioGuardi, will be equally notable.

"For me, Platinum Weird is amazing because I'm mad about guitars," Stewart said.

"And in the Eurythmics, I never used to play hardly that much guitar. This has been a great opportunity. I was always into loads of American bands when I was younger and growing up in England. I never got to play or write with an American partner. Having Kara--who's so melodic and such a great singer and a great person to write with--it's like fulfilling a dream for me. I get to play guitars and work with somebody that's got an American sort of melodic sensibility."

Stewart is quick to note, however, that the Eurythmics have not broken up.

"Annie and I have never really announced that we did break up. We did a reunion tour ... where we gave all the profits to Greenpeace and Amnesty. We made a whole collection of all of our tracks and all of our CDs. The thing is that [Platinum Weird] is something that never got finished, and now it's getting finished," Stewart said.

DioGuardi, a judge on ABC-TV's "The One: Making a Music Star," is well versed in her own right. For the last 10 to 15 years, she has penned songs for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Enrique Iglesias ("Escape"), Gwen Stefani ("Rich Girl"), Kelly Clarkson ("Walk Away," with the help of Canadian chanteuse Chantal Kreviazuk), Pussycat Dolls ("Beep"), Ashlee Simpson ("Pieces of Me") and Christina Aguilera ("Ain't No Other Man").

"Meeting Dave was a big turning point for me...," DioGuardi said. "It was quite a journey to get here."

The band's publicity materials say that Stewart and DioGuardi are bringing Platinum Weird full circle with the Sept. 19 release of its self-titled album. But there's a catch: even though Stewart talks fondly about Platinum Weird's origins, the band never existed until now. A "documentary" about the band on VH1 is actually a "mockumentary" meant to stir interest in the band that is only now making its debut.

Stewart outlined the back-story: "This girl that I met in Holland [Erin Grace], we started writing songs and it was really great. We were starting to get, like, a buzz. When we were signed to Elton John's Rocket Records, she disappeared. So if you see the documentary, it tells you the whole story with archived footage and Elton John talking, me meeting Kara and it kind of explains it."

Before the ruse was exposed, Stewart and DioGuardi talked to about "Platinum Weird," the group's reformation and working with the Pussycat Dolls.

You must be looking forward to the release of "Platinum Weird." It's a project a long time coming.

Dave Stewart: I am. I started two years ago. It's been a long process making the record, making the documentary and doing all the various bits. It's been a year and eight months between starting it and its release. It's a little bit of a wait and a build up at the same time. Kara and I, we just seem to musically and lyrically hit it off. We tend to write songs in about an hour, and record it quickly. It's the classic "Hurry up and wait." We wrote all the songs on the album and recorded them in about four weeks. But then all the other stuff--the video, black-and-white and live video, we made a half-hour-long film/documentary. Our album, when you get the real thing, it has massive collages under the photos and information. Then we had the fan site coming on board, then we had our own site. We looked at ourselves like we were completely unknown, which we are. It's kind of starting from scratch.

Why did you decide to reform the band now?

DS: I didn't really decide it. It just kind of fell out of the sky on my head. I didn't know I was going to meet Kara. I didn't know that when we started to write together [for the Pussycat Dolls], it would sound instantly like this melancholy sort of memory. It triggered all this other stuff that I had always wanted to do, had started to do and never completed.

How did your proposed collaboration with the Pussycat Dolls come about?

DS: I don't usually do writing commissions for people. [Interscope Records exec] Jimmy Iovine described the Pussycat Dolls as, at the time, an interesting cabaret act, almost like the movie "Cabaret." And I thought, "This is interesting." I thought it was actually going to be a theater thing. I was writing things like "Love is My Favorite Word." Kind of ...

More dramatic songs?

DS: Yeah. In an esoteric, sort of cabaret way. [Iovine] said, "I'm going to send you this spitfire," and this Kara DioGuardi arrived from L.A. via New York on a plane, arrived in England, walked in the studio, and within five minutes the two of us were getting on. We started writing this music that had nothing to do with the Pussycat Dolls, cabaret or hip-hop or anything. It just sounded like Platinum Weird. It just couldn't be stopped. The more we started playing with it, every song sounded like the same band. The band didn't exist. Then it was like, "Hang on a second, maybe we are a band." Luckily, when Jimmy Iovine had come to hear what we had done--Kara was freaking out going "Oh my God, they paid for my ticket and everything. We're supposed to be writing for the Pussycat Dolls and this doesn't sound anything like it." Jimmy Iovine listened to it and said, "Wow, you're an amazing band." Then we were a band and he signed us on the spot.

What is the state of the Eurythmics?

DS: Funny enough I see Annie every day at the moment because I'm partners in my studio with [producer/songwriter] Glen Ballard. I introduced Annie to Glen and suggested that Glen [help] Annie make her new solo album. So she's actually recording in the studio I share with Glen, which I work in every day, too.

Do you plan to make a new Eurythmics album?

DS: No. Last summer, we got together and wrote two to three new songs and put together a great package, which never appeared in America, but in England and in Europe. It was a black box set ["Boxed"] that has all our albums, but with loads of extra tracks. We made a video and everything. That all came out, sold a couple million. But in America it didn't get marketed or promoted.

That has to be frustrating.

DS: You could say that. [Laughs]

Do you plan to tour with Platinum Weird?

DS: We're really interested in playing live. Kara has yet to perform in front of many people. She's amazing. She's like a powerhouse. She's a real sort of girl rock singer. There's not many of them. That's great. And I love playing guitar. I have loads of guitars I've been dying to play for years--all my old Rickenbacker 12 strings, my Fender Telecasters and all that stuff. I'm really looking forward to it.

* * *

LiveDaily: Are you looking forward to touring?

Kara DioGuardi: We are always looking to tour. The first thing is we want to put the record out. After the record comes out, we'll have many opportunities to go out and perform. Right now it's a little premature, even though we've done Yahoo and a few gigs here and there.

How did the gigs go so far?

KD: Great. One was an acoustic gig for the Grammy foundation, so it was really packed with industry people. That's a little scary because they're used to seeing Dave with Annie.

So that was intimidating?

A bit. But [after] the first few seconds, then I was into it.

How did you find working with Dave during the Pussycat Dolls process?

Every time we would sit down to write, we would write a better song. That's the thing with true creative people. What was so great about Jim [Iovine] is that when we didn't start going down the road we were supposed to go down, we just went with it. Sometimes you sit down to do something and something else comes up. I don't want someone to mandate, dictate my creative output. It just may be the vibe that I can't write that kind of song. Or that the relationship between us isn't going to be about urban songs. What Dave and I have in common is sort of the love of the melancholy of music, the bittersweet, beautiful chorus against a harrowing melody--things that are not so saccharine. That's what was so interesting. I have a real pop sensibility based on what I have been doing. He came with a different musical landscape than I've ever written.

That must be really fun

It's so fun. There's no drama. It's just all about music. We like each other so much. We don't fight. It's really people that have been put together for the sake of music. We love music, we love to express, there's a certain artistry in what we do because it's real for both of us. I think that's the most important thing you can be as an artist: real.

Platinum Weird is the name of Dave Stewart's new rock band. This is no ordinary band, but what it does have is an extraordinary past. Stewart (best known for being half of the Eurythmics) has returned to Platinum Weird 32 years after the band originally split. Don't let Platinum Weird's rich history take away from the band's incredibly moving rock 'n' roll songs. The feature single, "Will You Be Around," could easily be an outtake from Fleetwood Mac's Rumours sessions. The previously unreleased 1974 album, Make Believe, is being released by Interscope Records in North America on October 10, 2006.

In addition to writing hundreds of songs with Annie Lennox via Eurythmics, Stewart has also written songs with Mick Jagger, Bono, Sinead O'Connor, Bryan Ferry, Bob Geldof, Anastacia, Jon Bon Jovi, and has produced everyone from Aretha Franklin to the Ramones. Kara DioGuardi is currently America's most celebrated female songwriter, and has penned songs for Santana, Christina Aguilera, Ashlee Simpson, Hilary Duff, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, and Kylie Minogue.

The history surrounding the original incarnation of Platinum Weird continues to intrigue rock 'n' roll enthusiasts. In 1974 Dave Stewart formed PW in London with female songwriting partner, muse, and soul mate, Erin Grace. Their debut gig was at Mick Jagger's birthday party and they quickly enjoyed a cult-like status and following in London’s rock club scene. Elton John's Rocket label signed the band, putting down an advance to send them into the studio and lay down tracks.

Erin's behavior during the making of the album was unpredictable. Prone to mood swings and emotional insecurity, sometimes she would disappear for several days, reappearing as if nothing was unusual with a smile and ideas for new songs. "She was wispy and elusive," recollects Stevie Nicks. "I wasn't quite sure what she was about, but I kind of copied her look."

With artwork on the album finalised and a confirmed release date, Erin vanished again, leaving Dave nothing but a demo of a song called "Will You Be Around" and a closet of metal hangers where she used to hang her clothes. The intended debut album Make Believe was never released and its name disappeared from public consciousness as quickly as the elusive songstress herself. Dave went into a deep depression, a period he later referred to as his "lost years." Two years later Stewart formed Eurythmics with Annie Lennox and the rest would become part of musical history.

During Stewart's success with Eurythmics, Kara DioGuardi was a young schoolgirl living in the upscale neighborhood of Scarsdale, an hour north of New York City. Her early interest in music was encouraged by an older woman who lived nearby and became her mentor in those formative years. By 2004, having become, as an adult, a successful songwriter, with scores of hit songs to her credit, Kara teamed up with Stewart under the guidance of legendary record producer Jimmy Iovine.

Waiting to rehearse with Kara in his Hollywood home studio, Dave found the old Erin demo of "Will You Be Around." As he was strumming the guitar and singing the song, Kara arrived and immediately chimed in with the chorus. Dave was amazed; he and Erin were the only people who knew that song. Kara explained that she was taught it by her mentor all those years ago in Scarsdale. It could only mean one thing--that woman and Erin were the same person.

Somehow the gods of rock 'n' roll had decreed that Kara and Dave, inhabiting their separate universes and separated by time and place, were destined to meet. The magical synchronicity enabled Platinum Weird to restore its musical legacy and reach out to a new generation.

Sparked on by his current collaboration with Kara, Stewart rediscovered his early recordings of Platinum Weird featuring Erin Grace. It's a miracle those vintage '74 recordings are finally being compiled and mastered for a release 32 years after it was originally intended to be released. The October 2006 release of Make Believe will be followed by the release of Stewart and DioGuardi's forthcoming self-titled album, Platinum Weird, in early 2007.

Drew conquers fears

12/09/2006 12:00:00 AM

(KP International) Drew Barrymore is scared to sing, so that's exactly what she did in her new movie, Lucky You. "I want to be terrified. I really want to do what I think I'm going to f--king fail at miserably," she told Elle magazine. Her singing phobia developed after her voice had to be dubbed over in Woody Allen's musical Everyone Says I Love You, an experience she describes as being "really an unfortunate incident in my life." To overcome her fear she reportedly worked with a vocal coach for five months to be able to play a Las Vegas lounge singer, opposite Hulk star Eric Bana.

Cross is preggers

Cross is preggers
08/09/2006 12:00:00 AM

(KP International) It seems Marcia Cross will be going maternal. It's been confirmed this Desperate Housewife has a bun in the oven.

A rep for the 44-year-old actress originally told People magazine of the exciting news. The baby is due in April. Cross wed stockbroker Tom Mahoney this past June.

No word yet as to whether or not the pregnancy will be worked into the show for Cross' character Bree Van De Kamp. However, it is known that the formerly prudish housewife could get down and dirty under the sheets after a clip of an upcoming sex scene was somehow leaked to YouTube. The man playing Bree's lover is none other than Sex and the City hunk Kyle MacLachlan.

There's also the question of whether Cross's pregnancy will affect her rumoured casting as Pamela Ewing in the movie remake of Dallas.

Double Diddy

Double Diddy
07/09/2006 12:00:00 AM

(KP International) Sean Diddy Combs will be seeing double soon enough. It's not because some shiny new bling blinded him, but 'cause his girlfriend Kim Porter is pregnant with twins.

"After Tom and Kate, and Brad and Angelina, I had to find a way to top them all," Combs said to People magazine. "This is truly a blessing and we're really happy about the news."

Combs and Porter posted a video announcement on his MySpace site explaining the circumstances of how they found out. "I said, 'Baby, I think you'd better go to the doctor, 'cause you're kinda big,'" said the Can't Nobody Hold Me Down rapper. "'You look like you're ready to give birth right now.' So we went to the doctor and guess what? Your boy Diddy is a champion... I'm having twins. It is official. Two more Combs. Two! World, you're in trouble now."

Interview: Chi Cheng of Deftones

September 06, 2006 11:56 AM
by Christina Fuoco
LiveDaily Contributor

Deftones bassist Chi Cheng is frank about the brutal and tumultuous nature of the recording process for his band's forthcoming album, "Saturday Night Wrist," due out Halloween. It lived up to nearly every rock cliché: the singer "disappeared," producer and singer clashed, songs were written at the last minute.

But, as the clock wound down, the Sacramento, CA-bred band managed to pull it together, Cheng said.

"We're in a better place than we have been in a long time," Cheng said.

There is even a dose of humor on "Saturday Night Wrist." The album title refers to an "affliction" people get when they drink too much, then they fall asleep with their hand pinned funny. When they wake up, their hand is semi-paralyzed.

Currently the Deftones--which also includes vocalist/guitarist Chino Moreno, guitarist Stephen Carpenter, drummer Abe Cunningham and turntablist/keyboardist Frank Delgado--are touring with Korn, Flyleaf, 10 Years, Dir En Grey and others on the Family Values Tour. After a European jaunt, the Deftones will return to the United States to begin a headlining run.

Cheng spoke to LiveDaily about the rough recording period, working with Bob Ezrin of Pink Floyd fame, and the joy of alt-country.

LiveDaily: How's the Family Values Tour going?

Chi Cheng: It's going really, really good. It's cool to be playing with Korn again.

When was the last time you two played together?

S---, it must have been at least 10 years ago. It was a really long time ago. But it's just like old times. It's really, really, really cool.

Is this the first time you played Family Values? How does this tour compare to other package/festival tours you have done?

This is our first time with Family Values. This is similar to other festivals we've done. But it's also really cool because I think a lot of people have been waiting to see Deftones and Korn play together, so the excitement of the crowd is very cool.

"Saturday Night Wrist" is heading to stores Oct. 31. Tell me about the production of it. I understand it was a little tumultuous.

I think everybody and their brother produced a little bit of it. Bob Ezrin produced it musically, which was a great honor. I wouldn't say he and Chino got along so hot. So Chino finished his vocals with Shawn Lopez, who used to play guitar for Far. We recorded all over. Every Deftones album seems to be long and onerous.

Why is that?

I have no clue. We always go in with the right intentions, "All right we're going to get it done really quick." Never happens.

Where is the hold up? During the songwriting process? The performances? Or are you perfectionists?

We're pretty meticulous. This time, a lot of things got in the way. I don't know. Chino disappeared with his side project [Team Sleep] for awhile. I think he was unsure whether or not his heart was into it. He got into it, so everything's OK.

At the Family Values Tour's Phoenix show, I could tell there was some new-found energy up there on the stage.

Yeah, yeah, this is the best we've been in a long time.

Has this new-found attitude brought forth any new musical collaborations for the next album?

Oh, hell no. No. No we're still the Deftones. We all kind of write individually so I don't know--we'll see. It's amazing. I think ["Saturday Night Wrist"] some of the best stuff we've ever done.

How does it sit within your catalog?

It's definitely a progression, as all the Deftones albums are. I would say it's more, more like a "White Pony" because it's got a lot of ups and downs. The last album was kind of dark and heavy and straight forward. This album's a lot more melodic.

How long ago did you start writing "Saturday Night Wrist"?

Oh, I don't know. It feels like 10 years ago. It was about two years ago. It took a really long time. We are definitely going to learn from our mistakes and not even enter the studio until an album has been written.

It seems awfully stressful to do work on deadline when there's money involved--for example, studio costs, producer costs.

It is. It's terrible. It's not so hot when there's money involved.

Your band did a cover of "Fly on the Windscreen" for a Depeche Mode tribute album. Are you guys big fans of the band?

Definitely. We're all Depeche Mode fans. That's one of the bands we all agree on.

What do you listen to?

[Hesitates] I don't listen to anything anyone considers is cool. I listen to a lot of alternative country, like the Old 97's. All I listen to is Ryan Adams, Whiskeytown, Uncle Tupelo and classical music.

The Old 97's are a great band, especially live.

I've never had the chance to see them. I'm hoping I get the chance. I have a live album of theirs that I listen to a lot.

Rupert Everett's tell-all bio

Rupert Everett's tell-all bio
06/09/2006 12:00:00 AM

(KP International) Rupert Everett is the latest celebrity to reveal shocking secrets in a new autobiography.

In addition to admitting to an affair with Oscar winner Susan Sarandon and an obsession with Madonna, the openly gay actor confesses to a string of affairs with women.

The real shocker, however, is the fact that one of these women, Paula Yates, was married to Sir Bob Geldof at the time.

In his book, Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins, Everett reportedly writes, "I am mystified by my heterosexual affairs but then I am mystified by most of my relationships." About Yates being a married woman, he said, "That side of our relationship was tenuous to say the least, and our lives went in different directions."

An element of drama has always attended Rupert Everett, even before he swept to fame with his outstanding performances in such popular films as My Best Friend's Wedding and Shakespeare in Love. He was in Moscow during the fall of communism; in Berlin the night the wall came down; and in downtown Manhattan on September 11th. By the age of 17 he was friends with Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger, and since then he has been up close and personal with some of the most famous women in the world: Julia Roberts, Madonna, Sharon Stone, and Donatella Versace. From the eccentricities of the British upper classes to the madness of Hollywood, from the Russian steppes to an Easter egg hunt in Elizabeth Taylor's garden, Everett reveals himself as a consummate storyteller and a charming guide to life in the fast lane.

More drama on The View?

More drama on The View?
06/09/2006 12:00:00 AM

(KP International) Even before Rosie O'Donnell began her stint as cohost on The View, rumours of feathers being ruffled began circulating.

Barbara Walters told Newsweek that she was irked by O'Donnell's blog in which she allegedly bashed The View's promo, stating: "I saw the new View promos. Found myself/in the position/I loathe the most/powerless." Walters told Newsweek, "I didn't like the blog. I'm counting on Rosie's intelligence and sensitivity and humour. This is, after all, an entertainment show. It is based on people who like each other and are having a good time, not on people who are arguing and unhappy."

O'Donnell reportedly sent an olive branch to Walters in the form of flowers and a card that read: "Barbara, I only want the promos and the show to be great. And I love you. Love, Ro."

Bird lovers mad at Madonna

Bird lovers mad at Madonna
05/09/2006 12:00:00 AM

(KP International) - Madonna has purportedly infuriated fans of feathers when she allegedly imported 1,000 pheasants from France for hunters to shoot.

The queen of pop claims she has abstained from hunting herself after an incident when a bird she shot landed bloody and still breathing in front of her. "The bird really suffered," Madonna said. "Blood gushed out of its mouth. I haven't shot since." However, she doesn't seem to have a problem with others shooting the birds during the hunting season, and it seems she's making sure they have many to aim at. In addition to the 1,000 imports, she reportedly has 31,000 chicks maturing on her property.

When hunting season begins on October 1st, Madonna will rent out her 1,200 acre Ashcombe Home to hunters who pay approximately C$21,000 a day to hunt game.

"Madonna should be campaigning against shooting, not promoting it," Animal Aid director Andrew Tyler told the UK's Sun.