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Father John Misty tells us what really happened in that awkward 6 Music interview

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Louise Donovan
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Father John Misty (aka Josh Tillman/ex-Fleet Foxer) isn’t one for mincing his words. Typically derisive, he doesn’t really care if your scheduled 20 minute chat goes painfully, agonisingly, excruciatingly south. Which is something BBC 6 Music’s Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie experienced first-hand, after they asked about Tillman’s 'lothario' alter-ego last week. The interview subsequently descended into a sh*tshow of interruptions, awkward silences and Maconie finally bowing to Tillman’s “superior knowledge.” (Listen to the whole thing below, if you missed it). 

So when ShortList spoke to the I Love You, Honeybear singer-songwriter this week, we naturally had to ask about “THE MOST AWKWARD + EXCRUCIATING INTERVIEW OF THE YEAR."

His verdict? “That was just a shit interview.”

So there you go. But it seemed RadMac’s Fleet Foxes questioning may have been the thing that riled the singer up. “I come in and they’re immediately like: ‘oh, Fleet Foxes. What’s going on with Fleet Foxes? Is Robin making new music?’" explains Tillman. "They’re just grilling me on Fleet Foxes. And I’m just staring at him, like, are you insane?”

He continues: “I thought it was going fine. I like on air stuff. But every fibre in my being tells me to derail an interview that is going that way, because I want it to be a moment of creativity. I’m making it sound loftier than it is, but I was just trying to play with them a little bit. After the first break Stuart Maconie turns to me and says: ‘if you don’t wanna be here then you should just leave’. I’ve never had an interviewer be combative in that way before. It really freaked me out. I was very hungover, I was jetlagged, it was just miserable. I asked him to stop calling me fella during one of the breaks and he stormed out of the room, you know, just like interview over.”

We also got him on that infamous taking-acid-at-a-Taylor-Swift incident, asking if there’s anyone else he’d like to see while tripping balls….

"TILLMAN: Well, I saw Rhianna a couple weeks ago on my birthday. I won’t divulge whether I was on acid or not because it will become a music blog headline."

 

"SHORTLIST: Oh, we’re not a music magazine."

 

"TILLMAN: Oh yeah, no? (Laughs) Well, have you heard of micro dosing? I do that so most of the time you see me I’m on acid."

Psychedelic trips aside, the singer also said his third album is "pretty much done" but that it will be a big jump from I Love You, Honeybear.

“It’s about as fundamental of a change as I think I could reasonable pull off at this stage in my career. But I definitely worked harder writing this one. There’s one song in particular that I’ve been writing for three years. If it’s not my masterpiece, then I’m fucked.”

The full interview with Father John Misty will be published in ShortList soon.