The JamBase Podcast: Tim Heidecker
The comedian/actor/singer-songwriter talks about his new album, 'High School,' and much more.
Episode 142 of The JamBase Podcast, a partner of the Osiris Media Network, features an interview with Tim Heidecker. JamBase’s Andy Kahn interviewed the comedian/actor/singer-songwriter about his recently released studio album, High School.
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Heidecker is perhaps best known for his comedy work with Eric Wareheim. They met while attending college at Temple University in Philadelphia and went on to create the widely popular comedy duo Tim & Eric. In addition to his Tim & Eric work, Heidecker has also appeared in several feature films, including Bridesmaids, The Comedy and Us. Heidecker is a co-host of the Office Hours podcast and recently completed a tour with Tim Heidecker & His Very Good Band. Each show began with a set of comedy performed by Heidecker’s self-described “No More Bullshit” stand-up character, followed by a set with his band.
The tour was largely in support of High School, which was released in July on the Spacebomb record label. One of Kahn’s favorite albums of the year, the two discussed the many relatable images and scenes Heidecker wrote about in the lyrics of the songs on the record. Both were 1990s high school graduates, Heidecker a few years older, and the interview touched on the shared experiences while attending high school.
Heidecker was asked to talk about his high school experience and he talked about the types of activities he was interested in, like theater and hosting a closed-circuit television show that was shown at his school. He talked about his musical mentors and what kind of music he listened to. Heidecker discussed his family’s musical background and its influence on his taste. Heidecker was also asked about his comedic influences and whether there was an overlap between them and the music he listened to.
Heidecker’s comedy, and at times his musical output comes from the viewpoint of a character or a persona, but that is not the case with the genuine and sincere High School. A portion of the interview explored Heidecker’s separation of his comedy from his music and overcoming assumptions about each.
The interview touched on the recording process that resulted in High School, starting from an early session with Heidecker’s longtime collaborator, Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado. Those early demos with Rado were fleshed out with the assistance of Drew Erickson, who worked with Heidecker on his 2020 album, Fear Of Death, that featured Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering. Heidecker explained that it was Erickson’s suggestion that they hit up Mac DeMarco, who appears extensively throughout High School. Mac invited them to his studio and those sessions unexpectedly became the basis for the album.
Two-time JamBase Podcast guest Eric D. Johnson – of Fruit Bats and Bonny Light Horseman – was then brought in to help Heidecker complete the tracks started with Drew and Mac. Johnson’s tasteful embellishments are among the most integral aspects of the album, and his high register vocals are typically sublime. Guitarist Kurt Vile also contributed to the track “Sirens of Titan,” one of several songs on High School dotted with relatable cultural references.
Other topics that came up during the chat included the similarities between Heidecker’s community of fans coming to his recent shows and the similarly connected fanbases of the Grateful Dead and Phish, the possibility of more live shows with his Very Good Band, writing new songs from a post-apocalyptic point of view and much more.
This episode is sponsored by Psychedelic Art Exchange. Psychedelic Art Exchange is the premier source to buy, sell, and learn about vintage concert posters. Explore decades’ worth of exciting collectible concert art from the 1960s to the modern day featuring the Grateful Dead, Phish, and many more of your favorite bands and artists. Be on the lookout for JamBase’s four-part series documenting the history of concert posters. Visit www.concertpostergallery.com to explore their expanding online store or to bid on vintage rarities in one of their twice-monthly auctions. Happy collecting!
This episode is also sponsored by Sofar Sounds. Sofar Sounds is a global community of music lovers creating space where music matters. Sofar invites guests to discover new artists, places, and people, whether at home or abroad, in 400 cities around the world. Now integrated with JamBase’s Concert listings, Sofar shows transform everyday spaces – from living rooms and rooftops, to boutiques and museums – into captivating venues for secret, live shows, creating inclusive experiences that bring people closer together. Sofar keeps the location secret until the day before the show. The Sofar community creates an inclusive space where music matters so that you can get lost in the performance. To learn more about Sofar Sounds, visit www.sofarsounds.com or follow the conversation on social media at @sofarsounds or using #sofarsounds.