Interview w/Chuck Klosterman – Editor, SPIN Magazine

SM: This morning i dreamt that time was made the same way as gravity, by the planets spinning against nothingness. what do you think makes time?

CK: Well, that’ s a really, really interesting dream, but it has a flaw: Time isn’t like gravity. Gravity is a force; time is just a measurement. Asking “What makes time” is like asking, “What makes inches” or “What makes decibels.” I suppose the best answer to your query is “mankind,” because man creates all abstraction. If we all
universally assumed a moment lasted 1000 years, we’d simply be in mankind’s 10th moment on earth and nothing about life would be any different.

SM: You know that thing where you see an acquaintance out in public, and you chat for a while, and then you say goodbye to them, because you think you are both leaving in separate directions, but then it turns out you’re both going the same way, so you have to choose between reinitiating a dialogue or walking silently?
How do you usually handle that?

CK: I usually comment on the fact that we’re (suddenly) both forced to make uncomfortable conversation.

SM: Do you miss the days when SPIN was bigger and less glossy and had Michael O’Donoghue rants in the back?

CK: Yes, but probably just because that would mean I’d still be in college.

SM: If you were hooked up to a breathing machine powered entirely by the music of one album, and you knew beforehand that you’d have to pick an album that your brain would come to associate with breathing, what album would you hitch up to that most unusual apparatus?

CK: My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless”

SM: Let’s say I like to drink alone and read SPIN. What’s a fun SPIN Magazine drinking game for the lonely alcoholic?

CK: One drink for every mention of the word “emo.” Two drinks for every inexplicable reference to either Axl Rose or Morrissey. Three drinks for any attempt to convince white kids to listen to rap music. Six drinks for any picture of a band whose popularity is defined by their presence in “the blogosphere.” Ten drinks any time the design department makes a number or a letter far larger than logic would
dictate. And ant time you see a Stroke, finish your entire beverage.

SM: What does the office of a Senior SPIN editor look like?

CK: Like backstage at a Styx concert.

SM: Assuming that everyone is in it for something, and your hypothetical “it” is editing a popular music magazine, what’s the something you’re in it for?

CK: I don’t know. To meet girls?

SM: Ever been profoundly disturbed by an encounter with a seemingly innocuous celebrity?

CK: You know what? Not really. Celebrities aren’t very interesting people, usually.

SM: Best. Concert. Ever. ?

CK: The best 11 concerts I’ve ever seen were all KISS shows. However, Prince was almost as good.

SM: Regale us, please, with an anecdote.

CK: It has been said that, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” I love this phrase, because — when I lived in Akron, Ohio — I had this fat hedgehog living in my backyard. He was huge. And he would sit under an apple tree and do nothing all afternoon, simply waiting for apples to fall from the branches (which he would then eat). So what does this mean? I think it means that “the one big thing” the hedgehog “knows” is that fruit is not immune to gravity. Very wise.