Fabrizio Moretti, drummer for The Strokes, recently was interviewed by Carrie Pitzer of the Daily News. Fab talks about his relationship with Drew Barrymore, surfing the net and his religion. Here's a snippet of their conversation.
DN: You have back to back dates, so it might be a long couple of days.
FM: Yeah, but it'll be fun, though. Anything for the honor of opening for Tom Petty.
DN: While I was sitting here waiting for you, I was actually Googling you. I have to tell you, you are a fun guy to Google.
FM: Really? Why's that?
DN: It was fun reading this magazine says this and this magazine says that. It was kind of comical.
FM: I never do that. What do they say? Is it bad or is it good?
DN: It kind of depends.
FM: Depends on what? Whether I'm a private person?
DN: A little bit, yeah.
FM: What was the most extreme thing they said? What was the most insulting thing they said about me?
DN: Insulting? Well, I wouldn't say any of it was insulting. I'd say it was more private stuff. They're still talked about the sex in the bathroom with Drew.
FM: Oh, yeah. (laughing).
DN: They're still talking about that. A lot of relationship stuff. Are you engaged? Are you not engaged? Are you together? Just celebrity-type stuff. You don't Google yourself, but do you get tired of that?
FM: No, I don't pay attention to that stuff. In two different aspects of my life, that might be very harmful. One way, it's more like superficial and those things on the Internet are all about Drew and my relationship with her. I don't know, there's something kind of depressing about being pigeon-holed as somebody's boyfriend. On the other hand, it's like if that doesn't bother you one day, the next day it might make you feel bad that you don't have that kind of privacy.
DN: I have to tell you, I'm not the kind of person who spends a lot of time on the Internet seeing who's dating whom. That's why it was so funny for me because I don't waste my time doing it.
FM: Hey, I dig it. That's the kind of (expletive deleted) that sells, right? And I completely agree with you. It's not something to spend your time doing, but once is fine.
DN: If you're looking of a laugh, though, try Googling yourself.
FM: You know what? I actually have a funny story about that. There was one time, it was even Google. I was in a hotel room and you know how they have those conjoined rooms and if you knock on the door, someone on the other side might open? You know what I'm talking about?
FM: Well, I had a conjoined room with Ryan Gentles, my manager, and I was on Wikipedia. You know that site?
DN: Yeah, it kind of explains everything and people can type in their own definitions.
FM: Exactly. He was like, "You're on Wikipedia. You should check this out. It's crazy because they get so in detail." So I typed in Ryan Gentles and it was like, it even talked about his first band when he was 15. I was like, "This is amazing." So I was like, "God, I might as well Wikipedia myself." I was thinking it would say a drummer or something like that or Drew stuff or whatever. I got, "drummer" and "atheist." Those are the two words they used to describe me. I was like, "What the hell is this all about? Where they hell did they get this?" On top of that, they said I have a sister, which is just (expletive deleted). You can never trust too much what you read.
DN: I guess you're not an atheist?
FM: I'm not going to church everyday, but I do believe in God. You know what I mean? In some form or other, I'm not going to try to explain it in anyway.
DN: I don't think a lot of people can explain their own beliefs.
DN: It's been five years since your first album came out, how have you grown as a musician?
FM: I've learned not to take myself too damn seriously, you know? The literal answer to that question is just five years of living with the bandmembers, traveling about and playing so many shows, you really kind of start to develop this language with each other that is kind of telepathic, you know? I've learned to not take myself seriously in certain areas of life, like in interviews for example. I used to think everything I said had to be solid gold, but I realized I'm no capable of that. I'm not that smart. Let's see what else have I learned. I've learned to take certain responsibilities in life and not live like the end is right around the corner. Is it OK if I eat while we do this because I didn't have any breakfast and breakfast is what counts.
DN: So you're a breakfast guy.
FM: Whenever I wake up and if restaurants are still serving.
DN: So you're a typical musician and get up at 11:30 a.m.
FM: (Coughing) Excuse, me I almost choked. Typical musician at 11:30 a.m.? Try 2 p.m. But I stay up to like 6 a.m. every morning trying to work or getting nice and blitzed.
DN: How big of a part is that for you. Music and parties do seem to go together.
FM: I mean, I think it's just because musicians work such odd hours. If you think about it we don't go in and stamp our work tags from 9 to 5. In many ways, it's kind of hard to define when we work and stuff. Even actors, they have their 9 to 5s and are on call the month of January and the month of December. Musicians never really get a break. You have to be constantly thinking about music. Something that Albert mentioned and I agreed with pretty whole-heartedly, we find our chances to have some fun and it usually comes at night at bars and stuff, knowing in the morning we'll probably sleep in. But we'll probably work the rest of the day till like 6 in the morning that next day.
DN: Where are you when the different ideas come?
FM: Well, just working on music, just playing and setting around. I don't know how it is for other people, but I find that just discipline and making yourself rehearse and practice over and over again and not in the way where you beat anything to the ground or you're beating a dead horse. You're kind of tuning yourself to your instrument or whatever from constant rehearsal, discipline, devotion, dedication - and those are a lot of ds - you start to think less of how you are going to play the instrument mechanically. You start thinking more in a weird way. Ideas start coming to you that way.
DN: You've been playing the drums for so long, though. I wouldn't think there's really anything more you can learn.
FM: Oh, no. That's not true. It's not just the drums. To understand any instrument in a band setting you kind of have to discipline yourself to learn the other instruments, too. Because once you learn how to maybe play the guitar or maybe how to play the bass, you start to think in those terms when you're coming up with drum parts. It makes it easier for all of the puzzle pieces to come into place. Plus, I'm still an infant when it comes to music.
DN: So what other instruments do you play then?
FM: Um, I'm trying to learn how to play the piano better. I play the guitar. I play the ukulele.
DN: You're not going to blow me away and say you play the banjo, too, are you?
FM: No, unfortunately, I'm not that cool.
DN: But you don't do any songwriting, though, do you?
FM: Um, yeah I do.
DN: But you haven't really recorded much?
FM: I wrote part of a song called "Evening Sun" on the "First Impressions of Earth" record. But it helps in terms of arrangement, too, and we all arrange the songs together.
DN: Would you like to do some more songwriting?
FM: I would, but I have so much to learn about songwriting. I'd have to devote myself to songwriting. I'd have to take a long sabbatical from touring and recording and kind of go back to studying.
DN: You've been touring pretty steady.
FM: Yeah, we haven't had more than a month or so off.
DN: Isn't it tough to have a relationship, though, when you're only home for a month here and there?
FM: We figure out ways to schedule ourselves around each other. And it makes it fun. Absence. makes the heart grow fonder, and it's been working for the past four years.
DN: Four years is a long time. I suppose that's probably why I saw all the wedding stuff when I was on Google.
FM: They've had that (expletive deleted) out since we first got together. It's not going to happen.
DN: Someday in the future, maybe? Or do you see yourselves as just companions?
FM: Yeah, I don't know if I believe in marriage so much. I'll tell you what, I'm probably talking way too much, but if I did get married it would be to this woman.
DN: It's nice to hear you haven't wasted four years and that you've been building toward something.
FM: As far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing as wasting your time with a relationship, especially with one that's so beautiful, where your opposite, your better half is helping you mature and become a better person. Plus, we live our lives - now a days more than it used to be - when you fell in love you figured your finish line or your goal was marriage. It just seems like if you believe in marriage and you get married a year after you guys are together, then what's your finish line after that? The rest of your life? You're going to be experiencing the same things whether you're married or not as long as you allow yourselves to be as open as you possibly can with each other. I figure, I don't need a ring on my finger to experience the same thing, you know? Does that make sense?
DN: Yeah, but do you believe you have to be married to have children?
FM: I don't believe I have to get married to have children, no. And I was raised a Catholic.
DN: Uh, oh. You're breaking the rules.
FM: Yeah. Seriously, though. Why because the Bible says you shouldn't have kids before you're married? Why is that I wonder? What seems unholy about that if you love the person with all of your heart? I'm not saying go around and have sex and have kids with just any person you meet. You want to give the child the best possibilities that you possibly can and raise them right. Is it foolish to think that two people who are in love can't raise kids the same way?
DN: Do you think what's more important than marriage is just monogamy, you keeping the relationship between the two of you?
FM: AMEN! I think that's very important.
DN: Another thing I was wondering about was that you were going to college to be an art teacher. Do you still sculpt?
FM: It's more like I have still have ideas for sculpting. I need to go back and train a little bit more. But I do a lot of drawing. In fact, you can see some of my drawings if you go to thebrokenridge.com. This isn't a plug or anything, but if you care, I did the cover of both the first and second books. It's an old lady and the other one is a boy with a patch on his eye.
DN: Do you miss doing art as often as you were before?
FM: No, no. I don't do it as often at all. It used to be my life, you know? I went to school for that stuff.
DN: But do you miss it?
FM: Sure, I miss it. Actually, more than miss, I feel irresponsible. I feel like I dropped the ball, but like I said, I'm living life like it's not around the corner and so I figure I'll get back to it one day when I'm old and feeble.
DN: Old, feeble and sculpting. I can kind of picture that.
FM: Old, feeble and trying to sculpt and still having sex. And not be married and worship God at the same time. And have like 17 kids.
DN: You better sell a lot of records. Is there anything other than art that you miss or that has taken a backseat to your music career?
FM: Um, no not really. I always kind of wanted to study engineering, but I kind of put myself in a position where I wouldn't even be able to do that even if I wasn't a musician. So, not really.
DN: First of all, engineering is pretty boring compared to what you're doing now. Second of all, that's way above my intellect.
FM: What entices me about studying engineering is just the fact that it's so different and you have to put on such different pants to do that. I guess I just wonder if I could cut it, you know?
DN: So have you guys started working on the next album yet?
FM: No, not yet.
DN: Any idea what direction you're going to take with it?
FM: Hip hop. Pretty sure it's going to be hip hop. (Laughing) No we don't really have any ideas. Well, I'm sure everyone has their ideas alone behind closed doors, but we haven't really spoken about it yet, so we'll see.
DN: But this albums has only been out for about eight months or so.
FM: We still have a little bit of time.