Legendary music producer Quincy Jones is best known for his cool demeanor and ability to spot raw talent, but the 79-time Grammy Award nominee was also instrumental in the punk movement.
Jones recently granted The Hard Times an interview about his punk days that had the whole internet talking. Here is the complete transcript for your enjoyment.
What’s something people don’t understand about Greg Graffin of Bad Religion?
He stole a lot of songs. Donna Summer’s “State of Independence” and Bad Religion’s “American Jesus” are essentially the same. The notes don’t lie. Also, he prays the rosary every night. It’s no big secret.
Speaking of secrets, what’s something you wish you didn’t know?
Who killed punk.
Who did it?
Tom [Delonge] was getting too close to the truth, so they pulled the plug on the whole shit.
I’ve heard people suggest this before. So, does that mean aliens are responsible for Avril Lavigne?
We really can’t talk about this publicly.
What’d you think when you first heard Weezer?
Weezer ain’t nothing but a whiter version of Ozma, motherfucker. And Ozma is just Nerf Herder if Nerf Herder lost their virginity. What’s your sign?
[Jones made a disapproving face.]
What was your first impression of Youth of Today?
They were the shittiest band I ever heard in my life. Graham Phillips was the worst bass player. And Drew… Don’t even get me going. He just couldn’t nail the drums on Break Down the Walls, so we sent him out for veggie burgers. Mike Judge came in and nailed the whole record in 15 minutes. Done.
Are there any punk musicians that you thought were good?
GG’s band. What were they called?
The Murder Junkies, or The Jabbers?
Yeah. The Murder Junkies, they could play. You know who gets down like GG Allin?
Are you serious? The “Tool Time” guy?
Motherfucker is nuts. You should see his yacht — blood and shit everywhere. Iggy always could perform, too. Everyone’s always talking about how he never wears a shirt, but you don’t even wanna know what his real chest looks like.
You mean that’s not his skin? What is it then?
I really shouldn’t be talking about this either.
Do you hear the spirit of punk in music today?
No, not since Kathleen [Hanna] was really doing her thing. People gave it up to chase memes. When you go after Millions of Dead Posers and Wipe Ya Docs Off and all that shit, God walks out of the room. With the state of the country and everything right now — sexual assault, racism alive and well, Trump and shit — would’ve looked a lot different in the ’80s. That’s what Rollins is always texting me, anyway.
Speaking of Rollins, can you tell us about your time as Henry’s roommate?
That dude loves him some shrimp-flavored Top Ramen. Like, inhales the stuff on the regular. I tell him, “You know that ain’t really shrimp. Just some powder, right?” Also, he couldn’t deadlift for shit until I showed him some technique.
What do you think of Trump?
Who cares? I’m sick of him. Known him a long time. I dated Ivanka during her punk phase, you know.
What the fuck? Seriously?
Oh, yeah. Years ago. Looking back on it though, I think it may have just been a terrible haircut.
Sexual assault allegations have come out recently against friends of yours like Jesse Lacey. What do you think of what’s happened in the punk scene since so many women have come forward?
It’s all those pop-punk guys. Luke Rockets, about ¾ of any Warped Tour lineup. Think about it: love songs for high school kids written by grown-ass men in their 30s. A bunch of bullies.
What about Lacey?
What about him? [Jones pauses for a moment and shifts in his seat] He’s not a Pisces man, that’s all I can say.
OK. Well, is there anyone you like in punk right now?
Fuck, no. Punk died when I stopped going to shows.