Focusing on the central character, the “Little Idiot,” how did you come up with this character, and what is the origin of the “Little Idiot” moniker? I noticed that you have used this name regularly on the published end, with BMI, who licenses your music.
Well, my manager is German, and about twenty years ago I had an offer to do this really tacky TV show in England, and he didn't want me to do it, but I wanted to do it because I was sort of a media whore, and I would do anything. So he sort of half-jokingly, in this thick German accent said, "Well, if you're going to go off and be a little idiot and do everything that's offered to you…" And I just thought that was the funniest expression, so ever since then that's sort of been my alter ego, the Little Idiot. Because I'm small and I do a lot of stupid things.
You also created an alternate world – online – for the characters, and I saw some of the cartoons online. With time, how did your drawing skills evolve?
You know that old expression, "necessity is the mother of invention"? Well, I don't really know how to draw anything else, so they're the only things I can draw. Looking back, I can trace it to when I was nineteen years old, sitting in this record store waiting for customers to come in, drawing on bags. I mean, it all just sort of evolved that way.
As I listened to this album, I immediately fell in love with “Walk with Me,” which features the vocals of Leela James. Take a brief moment and walk me through the recording process.
Well, it's an old spiritual song that is a couple of hundred years old. And I went to a performance, where a friend of mine sang it. Originally, I wanted him to sing it, because he's, I guess, 75 years old at this point and he has like a really rich, sort of, broken voice. But his pitch wasn't quite what I wanted. And so, I was looking for someone who had a good voice, but had a very sort of old-sounding voice. And the funny thing about Leela – she’s basically this young singer who grew up in South Central, but when she sings, she takes you back to 1935. When she came over to record, she wore big gold trunk jewelry and a purple Fila warm-up suit. I’m telling you, she has a very hip and urban style, but when she opens her mouth, it’s 1935! [laughing]