My Favorite Album: Fred Armisen on Paul and Linda McCartney’s “RAM” - “I like that Paul McCartney was just a couple years out of leaving The Beatles and he wasn’t trying to recreate that.” | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, September 19th, 2020  

My Favorite Album: Fred Armisen on Paul and Linda McCartney’s “RAM”

“I like that Paul McCartney was just a couple years out of leaving The Beatles and he wasn’t trying to recreate that.”

Jun 22, 2020 Issue #66 - My Favorite Album - Angel Olsen and Sleater-Kinney
Bookmark and Share


Former Saturday Night Live and Portlandia star Fred Armisen is a big fan of Paul McCartney’s career trajectory, especially the singer’s 1971 album RAM, which featured his wife Linda. 

“It’s a masterpiece,” says Armisen. “I think the songs are beautiful. It’s recorded like an indie record. It sounds like it was recorded at somebody’s house. I love the color of the artwork. And it’s just the perfect album.”

He finds inspiration in McCartney not taking the easy route after leaving The Beatles, something he’s striven to embody in his work as a comedian and musician.

“I like that Paul McCartney was just a couple years out of leaving The Beatles and he wasn’t trying to recreate that,” he says. “He was inventing this new persona. I think it takes a lot of courage to say, ‘I know I’ve been well rewarded for doing this one thing but now I’m going to do this completely different thing.’ I just love that album. I’ll never get enough of it.”

First Listen

“I was a little kid and I was too young to have experienced The Beatles. I would go to this record store in Brazil. Because I lived there for a couple years when I was a kid. My mom introduced me to buying records. So, to me, I didn’t understand that it was a solo album. I was like, ‘Oh, this comes from the same section as The Beatles.’ So, it was just there. I really got lost in these ukulele songs on the album and they were short. So, it was like I was chasing the songs into the speakers. ‘Where did that song go?’ It just appeared and disappeared. The ukulele fades out, I think. So, it’s like the song is not supposed to be on the album or something. I listen to it still and love it.”

Favorite Songs

“There’s a song called ‘Dear Boy’ that is a perfect song. And there’s a song called ‘Ram On.’ It’s romantic and beautiful. There’s whistling in it. It’s crazy because every song I think of from it is a perfect song. But ‘Dear Boy’ is the one that always gets me.”

Bold Career Advice

“I always wanted to do something different from what I’ve done before. And it should feel like an experiment. And it doesn’t always have to be slick. It’s credited to Paul and Linda McCartney and there’s a boldness to that. All the credits have to be ‘me, me, me, I’m the greatest’ but I like the idea of working with a group and the idea of working with somebody else. So, I like the mixed credit idea. Just to change it up even more.

“It also influenced the way that I bought records. I ended up liking bands that always reinvented themselves, like Devo and Talking Heads. Stewart Copeland from The Police reinvented himself. Bob Mould did it. He was in Hüsker Dü and then Sugar and solo stuff. I like restarting. It changes the way you write a song or write a sketch. So, it’s greatly influenced me and I hope to continue doing that.” 

(Fred Armisen is also the co-creator/co-star of IFC’s documentary spoof show Documentary Now!, the co-creator/co-star of the HBO show Los Espookys, and is the band leader and drummer for the Late Night with Seth Meyers house band, The 8G Band.)

[Note: This article originally appeared in Issue 66 of Under the Radar’s print magazine, which is out now. This is its debut online. For the issue we interviewed musicians and actors about their all-time favorite album.]

www.fredarmisen.com

www.instagram.com/sordociego

www.paulmccartney.com

Support Under the Radar on Patreon.



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.