Sometimes Those Who Teach Can Also Do
So one evening a few weeks ago, I happened to be cruising through my forums when a thread popped up titled "A Message From Rob Thomas," who, in case you're not aware, is the creator and co-executive producer of Veronica Mars. I went into the thread with a raised eyebrow, but was easily and quickly able to confirm that the man behind the very nice post was exactly who he claimed to be. Because I am classy like that, I took the opportunity to ask for an interview. After a few emails back and forth, we set it up. Awesome, right? You don't know the half of it. Rob talked to me on three separate days for a total of three and a half hours, part of which was necessary to cover what could generously be called a "tape malfunction," and what could more accurately be referred to as my own "technotardation." And all this while in the middle of breaking, oh, only the next-to-last episode of the season. So the point is, as far as I'm concerned, Rob Thomas rocks -- in fact, he rocks so much that we're going to do this in two parts. Here's the first.
Couch Baron: Let's go chronologically through your career. Back in the '80s and '90s you had a band called Public Bulletin, later renamed Hey Zeus. What kind of music did you play?
Rob Thomas: We were derivative of all the college rock popular in the mid-eighties. Our original songs sounded either like Poor Man's U2 or Poor Man's R.E.M. Over the course of nine years, we got better, and we probably ended up sounding like some sort of guitar power-pop, like Matthew Sweet or something.
CB: I ask because the forum posters can't say enough about how good the music choices are on the show. To what extent are you involved in that?
RT: To this point, I've been heavily involved, mostly because it's something I really enjoy doing. I get a lot of music through Warner Brothers's music department. They have a person assigned to our show, and she feeds me discs of what bands are releasing albums and what the first few singles off those albums are. That gives me the chance to pick out a lot of new stuff that I wouldn't be able to get otherwise. For example, the song [The Way You Are, by 46bliss] that played in "Silence Of The Lamb" when Mac is looking through the car window at her mother worked so well that we extended it across the last three scenes. I never would have used that song otherwise. But one of the assistant editors on my team has very similar tastes in regard to the music choices, so I'm thinking of giving up some of that part of the show to him. It's not easy -- I always feel like I want to do everything.