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What Inspires Weird Al Parodies?

06/20/2011
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"Weird Al" Yankovic will release his brand new album Alpocalypse tomorrow. Gibson caught up with Al for a little Q&A, here are some excerpts:

How do you know a song or artist is going to be good to parody? It's all gut feeling, really. Sometimes it's obvious, like when you're talking about a Michael Jackson or Madonna or Lady Gaga. If you're dealing with someone who's really at the forefront of the zeitgeist, someone who's really part of a big culture shift and is omnipresent on the airwaves, you know you're dealing with somebody who's a good target for a parody. There are no real set parameters when I do a parody, but I look for things that are really distinctive, and hopefully they will be really popular, as well.

Do people suggest songs to you all the time? Yeah. That's sort of the bane of my existence. [Laughs] Every time I go outside, somebody has some idea for a parody they've been holding onto since the third grade, and they feel compelled to share it with me. I point out that it's my job to think of these things, and chances are, if they've thought about an idea for a parody, I've already thought of it.

Alpocalypse is your 13th studio album. What keeps you going? It's what I enjoy doing. I've slowed down a bit. Back in the '80s, I was putting out an album almost every single year. Now, I have other stuff going on in my life. I'm touring more. I have a family life to consider, obviously. And I'm feeling a lot of internal pressure, meaning whenever I put out an album now, I want it to be more of an event. I really, honestly feel every album I've put out is the best album I've ever made. I always want to be topping the last one. So that's a lot of pressure. But that also means I can't be cranking out albums nonstop. I have to wait until I feel I have a really great collection of songs. Read the full interview

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