Flying Lotus: “Music wasn’t a reality for me”
Mr. Ellison, as a musician, are you thinking more about the past or the future?
I always feel like the past informs my present, musically. With my last album, for example, I was really listening to Queen a lot — a lot, a lot, a lot of Queen. It was so influential to me. I had never really heard Queen before I worked on that album.
You know, I heard “We Will Rock You,” but I didn’t know, you know what I’m saying? So when I really dug in, it was like someone had held this back from me like a cruel joke! When I finally got it, that really shaped my last album. It’s funny, I was just thinking about that song, “Fat Bottomed Girls.” I think Freddie was like the first Sir Mix-a-Lot, low key! He was talking about big booty girls before anybody. Who else made a song about big butts first? (Laughs) He might’ve done it first! So yeah, Queen, that’s where I got all these harmonic ideas and that’s what made me want to sing more.
Richard Gere: “We are all in this together”
Mr. Gere, is talking about politics more important today than talking about movies?
That’s the world we are in now. We are in a very chaotic world. When the President of the US is no longer a stable, trusted person, it throws the whole world in chaos. Germany is now a focus of the world in terms of stability. Germany is looked to as the wise, stable, forward-thinking moral country on the planet. This is the first time since World War II. Europe obviously is under the sway of extreme right forces now, the same way the US are. Germany is not — they are challenged, sure, but they seem to be on the moral, correct, visionary side of issues like the refugee crisis, although it’s controversial. Having a stable, soft-spoken, careful leader, who is taking us through the minefield of this problem is incredible. There is a lot of weight and responsibility on Chancellor Merkel right now.
You met with her last year to discuss the human rights situation in Tibet, right?
I can say this: she is a very interested and good listener, very bright, clear-headed and clear-eyed person, who I admired from afar when I met her. And I admire her even more now that I met her. She is a really high quality person. President Donald Trump, on the other hand, is a complete befuddlement to all of us — even to his own party. Even his own party doesn’t know what to do with him. We are all befuddled in the situation. He is a national embarrassment. I think Trump will be over in two years time.