“I don‘t know what the ‘big time’ is.”—Tom Waits
In September 1988, shortly after releasing his first conventional live album Big Time, Tom Waits sat down for a rare interview to discuss everything and nothing.
The discussion, which was conducted by Chris Roberts, found Waits in a pensive mood as he discussed the creative contradictions of New York, the regimented tunnel drive of moles, and his desire to one day visit Stonehenge.
Recorded on cassette tape at a recording studio, background noise of differing songs in the making as Waits attempted to offer his opinion on what the ‘big time’ really meant and, on reflection, if it was really a place he wanted to be.
“If you can nudge the jokes along, so much the better,” Roberts said about interviewing Tom Waits. “Waits is a dream interviewee. If only more artists gave a one man show via the medium of interview.”
Roberts added: “He’s a natural raconteur. A great one. You just get out of the way and let him do his thing, perform. If you can nudge the jokes along, so much the better.”
In an attempt to bring the interview to life, Roberts teamed up with executive producer David Gerlach, animator Patrick Smith, audio producer Amy Drozdowska and colourist Jennifer Yoo to create a short film.
Watch the clip, below.