An interveiw with Tim Heidecker
Adam Ramos | Thursday, June 16, 2016
“I’m not interested in necessarily staying in the lane that everybody expects me to,” Tim Heidecker, of “Tim and Eric” fame, disclosed in a phone interview May 26. And while unpredictability seems to be a cornerstone in Heidecker’s repertoire of uncomfortably hilarious oddball alt-humor, it seems he had even more in mind.
The recent release of Heidecker’s first truly sincere music album, “In Glendale,” while not completely void of jokes, portrays the comic in a new light — or lane. And it’s a good lane; “In Glendale” seamlessly winds smooth, Newman-esque harmonies around Heidecker’s signature quirky humor, the outcome is a brief but amusing exploration into a vulnerable microcosm so far from the typical Heidecker world.
But it’s a world I love, and the latest installment of Heidecker’s surreal humor programming brings the return of CIA Agent Jack Decker, in “Decker: Unclassified.” The fourth season promises to shock and enamor as Decker muscles his way through his most heroic feats, taken from the past, present and, amazingly enough, the future.
Check out an excerpt from my interview with the man of many talents below. Additionally, listen to “In Glendale” – out now, and don’t miss the premier of Decker Season 4, “Decker: Unclassified,” on Adult Swim June 17.
Adam Ramos: First I wanted to start off by saying congratulations on the new album, I’ve really been enjoying it.
Tim Heidecker: Thank you!
AR: I will say though that it seems some people are having a tough time labeling the album, confused about whether it is a comedy album, completely serious or in the middle somewhere. I tend to think of it more on a spectrum, but I’m curious as to what you think about the labeling dilemma.
TH: I’m not too concerned about it, I think we did a pretty good job presenting it in the way we have done press to show that it is a very sincere effort. But there is going to be humor in it because humor is my life. It’s not a straight comedy record, it’s not a parody of anything; some of it is going to be funny, some of it is going to be serious. I’m not interested in necessarily staying in the lane that everybody expects me to, I just make the stuff and you guys can debate about what it is
AR: You have been critical in the past about the system of critique we have, generally in terms of how quickly and insincerely critique is generated, mostly in dealing with past television and movie projects you have made. I’m curious, did you find the same complaints with the music critiques?
TH: I’ve seen some good reviews, I’ve seen some thoughtful reviews, I think I’m pretty pleased by the way it’s been received; maybe I was expecting worse, I guess. I saw one review from some Canadian culture magazine, looked very hipster-y, very cool, that though it [the album] was very boring, like didn’t understand who would want to listen to that kind of music. You know, there are always going to be reviews written by 20-year-old interns who are making 25 dollars an article —
AR: It’s less than that
TH: [laughs] Yeah, exactly. Just people who are not going to become great journalists or anything, so it’s a little silly to care about what they think. But you know, I thought the Pitchfork review was pretty good. I just want it [the album] to be taken seriously in terms of the music. I want the music to be appreciated and I think that’s been what’s happening, so I’ve been pretty happy
AR: On top of the recent album, you are also in the midst of promoting some acting and producing projects including “Decker” and “Check it Out,” do you ever find yourself having to separate the musician from the comedian or does it all just blend?
TH: Well, it’s case by case. Like today I’m doing a bunch of press for “Decker,” so generally I’m trying to stay in character, which is a terrible person to be. But for the music, I guess I sort of take things as they come.
AR: I read somewhere that you enjoyed doing dramas because it allowed you to be yourself. Now you mention having to stay in this comedic, almost absurd Decker character all day — does it get exhausting transitioning from the multiple comedy projects you’re involved in, whether it’s “Decker: Unclassified,” “Check It Out!” or whatever else have under wraps?
TH: No; you know, it’s less tiring then picking up the garbage in my backyard or something. I don’t know, it’s work but it’s not hard
AR: Finishing up, you recently kicked off a music/comedy national tour, what are you more excited to perform?
TH: I like it all man, I don’t really have a preference. The music thing is a little more challenging because it involves a lot of people and getting that coordinated is harder, and for the standup you can just show up with your costume or whatever and come on stage and go home, so it’s nice and easy — but I love doing both equally.