It's the moment we know you've all been waiting for: There's a brand new Brother JT video for the track "Muffintop" off his latest album The Svelteness of Boogietude. It only took two years! Brother JT has an explanation for the delay, though, and it involves Scientology and kettle chips. He spoke with Rej T. Broth about why it took so long to make the "Muffintop" video - read all about it below.
Rej T. Broth: You’re usually such a handsome, together guy, Brother JT. Why did it take you so long (two years) to finish the video for your great song “Muffintop”?
BJT: Well, Rej, I knew it was important. I mean, those poor folks at Thrill Jockey, they were depending on me — I’m pretty much their only hope. So I wanted to get it just right. I had a good concept: Working a black magic love spell — the kids are really into witchcraft these days — into a birthday cake theme. Everybody likes cake! So that’s set, I start principal photography on easy stuff like voodoo candles, lava lamp, insects, etc. all the while thinking who I’m going to get to play the er, uh, titular role.
RTB: The “muffintop” girl.
BJT: Exactly. Not easy because the subject of the tune is a gal who’s kinda lettin’ it all hang out. Loaded for bear. Think Christina Ricci in “Buffalo 66”. Just gloomy and bouncing all over the place. It’s a good, good thing and I like it till the cows come home, but it’s not an attribute some women necessarily wish to emphasize.
RTB: Who did you approach?
BJT: The one I basically wrote it for, she only communicates to me through yelling now, so that was out. Then I asked someone else and she said no. That sent me into a very deep depression for several months right there.
RTB: Rejection’s no fun.
BJT: Plus, as part of my research into the “dark arts” I had somehow gotten involved with Scientology. I’m always about improving myself, so I thought, why not, these people seem reasonable. Well, turns out, they’re not. I worked in their laundry for 16 months at 7 cents an hour and I’m still up to my big brown eyeballs in engrams!
RTB: So that took up some time…
BJT: Hell yeah, it did. But all the while I was still thinking about “Muffintop”. I remembered something Tom Cruise told me at the laundry —
RTB: You met Tom Cruise?
BJT: Well, I think so. He was pretty short at least. Anyway, he said, “JT, man, don’t keep puttin’ yourself out there, give the public a chance to savor your tasty output, dude. Make ‘em wait until they forget what they’re waitin’ for and then 'POW’! right in the kisser.“
RTB: So you waited.
BJT: Yes, I did absolutely nothing. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that I can’t “make stuff happen.” Never works out. Just wait and wait and then someday kettle chips are on sale and you know Fortune has chosen to smile on you. Then you go for the jugular right there and then, before they put you back on the snide again.
RTB: And your luck changed…
BTJ: Yeah, met this 6'1” bipolar kindergarten teacher right out of jail. She lost her license, so I’d drive her around. You know, I’d give her rides, she’d give me rides [bitter laughter]. She says “Yay!” a lot. Good kid.
RTB: And she agreed to do the video?
BTJ: Oh yes, she’s very agreeable. But more to the point, I took her willingness as a direct order from Providence to get off my fanny and finish that gosh darned video. So I did. And yeah, it’s a little late. But did you know that the great rock group Train had an album out for three years before it really took off? And look at where they are now! It’s called “milkin’ it,” Rej, and all the smart bands are doin’ it. Stealth Marketing 101 — BOOM! You’re welcome.
RTB: Any plans for the immediate future, Brother JT?
BJT: Waitin’ for the next sale on kettle chips, baby.