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Huey Lewis sips White Claw, talks Sports and American Psycho in sprawling Ezra Koenig interview

Photo: Andrew Chin / Contributor (Getty Images)

Today, it’s hip to be a person who listens to Time Crisis With Ezra Koenig, the Vampire Weekend frontman’s internet radio show (available on Apple Music). That’s because this weekend’s episode of the show included an hour-long chat with Huey Lewis, th-th-th-th-th-th-the heart of Huey Lewis And The News. A lot of it is surprising, making for an interview that’s a lot of fun—almost as fun as “I Want A New Drug”—but Lewis also talks about his hearing loss, which fluctuates but prevents him from being able to sing.

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It’s not all weighty, though! Lewis tries White Claw for the first time (he’s into it!) and talks shit about Budweiser. He talks about growing up with a mom who would experiment with psychedelics and hang out with Charles Mingus. He reminisces about playing soccer with Ozzy Osbourne; getting insanely high and playing harmonica around the world after high school; why Luther Vandross loved “Hip To Be Square”; having a member of the Grateful Dead as his landlord; and the list goes on.

He also talks about American Psycho.

This chunk of the interview kicks off at the 72-minute mark. Lewis, essentially fact-checking the fictional Patrick Bateman, clarifies that he wasn’t really compared to Elvis Costello all that often—a friend who he describes as “sweet as pie”—then digs into the writing process for “Hip To Be Square,” which was originally penned in the third person. “Unfortunately, some people took it as an anthem for square people... It was not meant that way at all. It was actually a poorly told joke, is the truth.”

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Lewis goes on to metaphorically shake his fist, saying that edibles and vape pens have spoiled the youths of today: “Kids can’t even roll a joint.”

In short, it’s great interview. The band’s first album of new originals in 20 years will be released next year; a single, “Her Love Is Killin’ Me,” is out now.

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About the author

Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.