Music

Behold, The Most Cringe-Worthy Band Interviews In Australian Television History

Featuring Iggy Pop on 'Countdown', and Maggie Rogers getting asked what Pharrell Williams smells like.

awkward television interviews the chats maggie rogers photo

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Earlier this week, The Chats appeared on Today to play their acclaimed single, ‘Pub Feed’. It didn’t go so well.

The Chats shuffled in front of the camera like a bunch of naughty schoolboys, enduring with increasing annoyance the ‘cool dad’ routine of Karl ‘Not Very Cool’ Stefanovic. The high point? Probably when Stefanovic asked lead singer Eamon Sandwith who cut his hair, with Sandwith only-just-audibly mumbling “me“. Wild!

So, in honour of the kind of absolute catastrophe that only Australian morning television could produce, we assembled our favourite, most disastrous TV interviews. Read ’em and cringe.


Iggy Pop on Countdown

Perhaps the most twisted interview on this list, Iggy Pop’s infamous appearance on Countdown is a ‘don’t do drugs’ PSA all in itself.

The legendary ex-Stooge jumps up and down in his seat, giggles dementedly, and genuinely seems about ready to start going to town on his own body with a sharpened pencil (something of a habit of his at the time.) Poor old Molly Meldrum tries to keep the thing under control, but it’s a wonderful mess, one second away from descending into pure anarchy.


Lou Reed at Sydney Airport

In 1974, Lou Reed sat at Sydney Airport and fielded questions from Australian reporters. Or, I mean, that’s kinda what happened, as long as you accept, ‘uttered confusing and abrupt portents’ as a substitute for, ‘answered questions.’

The clip starts roughly, with Reed’s hands very clearly shaking as he clamps them to the side of his glasses, and then only gets rougher from there. When pushed, for instance, on why he writes songs about drugs, Reed responds, “Because I believe the government is plotting against me.” I mean, what else is there to say.


Lou Reed at Sydney Airport. Again.

A mere year after Reed’s first disastrous appearance on Australian television, he did it again, in exactly the same location. The interview doesn’t start much better, either — rudely dismissing an assistant’s offer of coffee, he covers his face from the cameras and calls Hitler a “good organiser.” Wild.


Maggie Rogers on The Project

Unlike most of the other interviews on this list, Rogers’ time on The Project wasn’t derailed by her obstinance, but by the obstinance of those interviewing her.

Deciding that the only interesting thing about the acclaimed and awarded artist is that she once spent some time in the company of Pharrell Williams, Peter Helliar et al. pressed her endlessly on the ‘Happy’ singer, going so far as to ask her what he smells like. Poor fucking form.


Weezer on Recovery

Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo has what you’d kindly call a ‘mercurial’ energy, and what you’d less kindly call a ‘dickhead’ energy. The man has a trail of unpleasant interviews lying in his wake, but few as hard to sit through as his stint on legendary Australian classic Recovery.

You’d think that eventually his handlers would just stop asking him to do press? Claiming that he’s “jet-lagged”, Cuomo shuts down host Dylan Lewis’ questions, snaps back, and generally looks as bored as it is possible to be. The Chats could never.


Charli XCX on Sunrise

Charli XCX is a big get for any morning television show. She’s collaborated with a shedload of massive artists, worked obstinately to make the mainstream more like her, and might be the hardest-working musician in the industry.

But none of that was of any interest to the folks over at Sunrise, who decided to put the superstar on a panel discussing how to make the best cup of tea. Good stuff.


Joseph Earp is a staff writer at Junkee. He tweets @Joseph_O_Earp.