Malcolm Francis


Malcolm Francis

Music producer

Hometown: Victoria, B.C. Lives: Vermont. Obsessed with: Frank Black, disaster films and getting a bigger boat.

IWTBH: I never see you anymore so we are doing this interview via Skype. I can hear a lot of screaming. What’s going on there?

MF: We have a wasp nest in the trampoline.

IWTBH: Yikes. Is everyone ok?

MF: Everyone is perfect. Welcome to Vermont.

IWTBH: That’s what you get for marrying a hippie. What’s that like?

MF: Terrible, terrible. We eat dirt. My awesome hippie wife is also a club kid though. She is a club kid hippie. It’s a weird combination. Imagine being at a Grateful Dead show but they’re playing techno super loud. It’s kind of like that.

IWTBH: Ouch. Didn’t you once become an ordained minister so you could perform a friend’s wedding ceremony?

MF: I was deputized in the state of California, by the county of San Luis Obispo.

IWTBH: How’d that marriage work out?

MF: Not so good. Wedding was great.

IWTBH: I remember when we met. I tried to make you think I was cool by quoting the lyrics to “Summer of ’69”.

MF: Really.

IWTBH: Yeah. I told you that me and some guys from school had a band and that we’d tried real hard. That we’d had to quit because Jody got married. That I shoulda known that we’d never get far…

MF: Did I laugh ?

IWTBH: No, you thought I was an idiot.

MF: Well I’m laughing now. It only took about 14 years. That’s not bad.

IWTBH: You were a bouncer at the coolest bar in town, played in the sickest band and were always wasted. I remember you visiting my art school during an opening, walking up to the dean of my department, removing the lit cigarette from his mouth, taking a puff and then handing it back.

MF: What a dick. Ha haaah, I was such a dick. Youth, you know? Did I really do that?

IWTBH: You did. I think you quit drinking not too long after that.

MF: Yeah, in ’95. There was no way I could handle it and no one could handle me. I just found out that life is more interesting when you are not a dick.

IWTBH: Maybe I’ll find that out one day. Greatest life changing experience?

MF: There’s been a lot. Moving to New York, getting sober, having my first child, Sunny, overdosing – I walked out of the hospital in a tuxedo covered in vomit and found out that I had accidentally had sex with my guitar player’s girlfriend.

IWTBH: Was that the end of the band?

MF: No, he was happy. He had been trying to figure out how to break up with her.

IWTBH: We always talk cars. Dream ride?

MF: Aston Martin. DB9. It’s heavy, it’s sexy, it’s angry, it’s luxurious. Gas mileage is awesome — I think it’s one mile to the gallon. It’s all good.

IWTBH: I thought for sure you would pick a TVR.

MF: I haven’t seen a TVR since I lived in London. I dont think they even exist any more. I may have made them up. It’s a magic car made of chocolate.

IWTBH: What was it like living in London?

MF: Terrible. Worst city in the world. Makes Mogadishu look like  a holiday resort. Terrible food, terrible people, terrible island.

IWTBH: What about the girls?

MF: Bleah. Are you kidding? They are pasty and their national pant is the capri!

IWTBH: I can’t put that in there.

MF: Yes you can. We dont know any British chicks!

IWTBH: My whole family is British!

MF. Sorry. I’m not dating your family. Your mom is hot though. Your mom is still hot.

IWTBH: Not cool. How’s the quitting smoking going?

MF: (Inhales, exhales) Good. 3 1/2 months.

IWTBH: Good for you. Still using the fake smoke?

MF: Yeah.  Safe cig.  Makes me feel like a goofball but it totally works. You know me, I was like 11 packs a day.

IWTBH: I used the Alan Carr method. How’s work?

MF: Up and down. We just won a silver at Promax.

IWTBH: Sweet. How did you end up as a music producer?

MF: I’d always been in bands but never made any money from it. I was teaching a friend to play bass. I made a track out of his playing mixed with some loops that I had cut up, and sent it off to him.  A couple of weeks later he called and wanted to use it on air for MTV’s “True Life” and was willing to pay me $500. I was like $500, hell yeah and here I am. That guy turned out to be the V.P. of MTV.

IWTBH: What are you listening to right now?

MF: I love the new Danger Mouse record, Rome.

IWTBH: Favorite bands?

MF: Afghan Whigs, The Pixies, Led Zeppelin. And Ava Luna, a band I produced from Brooklyn. They’re great. They do electro rock-meets-bee b0p. It’s awesome.

IWTBH: I’ll check them out. Is your band Lucky (with wife Myndy) working on anything new?

MF: We’re finishing our second record now.

IWTBH: Wow. How long have you been working on that?

MF: Not that long. Five years.

IWTBH: Ha, I guess having kids and moving will do that.

MF: Yeah, we made babies and we moved to Vermont. But I’m really proud of this new album. I freed myself up stylistically and let it just come out. I didn’t say no to anything.

IWTBH: Last time I didn’t say no to anything was Fleet Week, 2004.


IWTBH: I always geek out over your stereo equipment. What’s your current set up?

MF: It’s been pared down because everything is on the ipod now. Or the iphone. I have a $3500 dvd player that’s turned into a toy for the children. I have a McIntosh Amp and B&W Nautilus 804s but the kids have trashed pretty much everything.

IWTBH: I really want a McIntosh amp one day. Dream set up?

MF: 802s are the goal. With a full Krell set up. Krell is the nouveau riche of stereo equipment.

IWTBH: We both love disaster movies. Favorites?

MF: Armageddon and Day After Tomorrow are both good, but 2012 is awesome. L.A. falls into the ocean. An aircraft carrier rolls over the White House. Amazing. Some of the best destruction I have seen.

IWTBH: Regular Movies?

Jaws is the best movie of all time.

Anything by the Coen brothers, anything by Wes Anderson. I love Spielberg as a director. Oh, and Stoked- The Rise and Fall of Gator. I skated with that guy and he turned out to be a full-on psycho.

IWTBH: He has a crazy story, when did you skate with him?

MF: 1987, he did a demo in Calgary.

IWTBH: Speaking of movies. Why do you talk to the screen? It’s super annoying.

MF: I do not.

IWTBH: You totally do. You talk through the whole movie.

MF: I’ve got a little black in me. My roots are British Antigua. When I go to a movie I want to get in the movie. I’m not like you white folks  — “lets watch the movie and be polite” — I’m like “YOU GET HIM SUCKA”. The black comes out of me in movies.

IWTBH: How would you describe your personal style?

MF: I don’t have any. I still dress the way I did when I was 16. It’s not changing. I haven’t bought a new pair of pants in 12 years

IWTBH: Favorite shoe?

MF: Still a big fan of the Chuck Taylor or the Gazelle. Since I moved to Vermont, I’ve been sporting Birkenstocks.

IWTBH: That’s tragic.

MF: Very, but they are comfortable.

IWTBH: Yeah, I’ve been wearing them myself lately. What’s it been like moving up there from NYC?

MF: I don’t feel stranded with the kids. New York is just so little-kid unfriendly. Nothing to do but Central Park and Riverside Park. After the 18th weekend in a row you want to blow your brains out.

IWTBH: First concert?

Kenny Rogers.

IWTBH: It was not

MF: It was. My mom was a Kenny fan. She thought he was sexy.

IWTBH: He is pretty sexy. My Mom tried to get me to go see Tina Turner but I was too embarrassed to be seen at a concert with her. She ended up giving the tickets to me and my friend because she had no one to go with. I am ashamed to this day.

MF: First concert by myself was Duran Duran. All the girls I got to make out with were all into them. Making out in junior high was awesome.

IWTBH: I wouldn’t know.

MF: They all made out  with me. None of them would publicly date me, but they all made out with me.

IWTBH: Do you have a hero?

MF: Yeah, I guess Joseph Smith. Who else could make up a whole, you know, dichotomy where in the end you get to be the god of your own universe. And then people join. That’s awesome.

IWTBH: Last question.

MF: Wait a minute. Every single person so far has said no to the question. I would say yes to anything. Anything. Any question. No arms no legs? I’m going to say yes.

IWTBH: You can have 50 million dollars but you have to have full-on gender reassignment surgery. Yes or no?

MF: Yes, of course. Easy. I haven’t used my penis in 12 years. The kids will get used to two mommies. They’ll love it when I pick them up from school in that DB9 and live in a retarded house . Who cares that I have a vagina? You can give me two vaginas, I don’t care.

IWTBH: It makes sense. A husky lesbian wearing Birks living in Vermont. Thanks Malcolm.






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