Wooooo Tang

Besides, oh, I don't know, <i>Vice, Wooooo</i> is the coolest magazine out now.

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02 March 2008, 12:00am

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INTERVIEW BY AMY KELLNER




Besides, oh, I don’t know, Vice, Wooooo is the coolest magazine out now. Or maybe Wooooo is a zine so we don’t even have to worry about it being cooler than us until it gets bigger. Anyway, it’s free and the new issue has a photo of Jerry Hsu with a lightbulb in his mouth on the cover and the whole thing looks like a shiny little young-adult paperback novel. Inside are interviews with a rather familiar (to us, at least) cast of New York artsy types, and there are contributions from the likes of Chris Nieratko, Tim Barber, and Ryan McGinley. Hmm. Half of the people who’ve been in Wooooo have also been in Vice. This either means that there are only like 20 cool people in New York, or we all need to get out more, or we are getting ripped the fuck off by this fucking bastard.

But who cares? Everyone rips us off. And the thing that makes Wooooo awesome is the interviews, which are fuckin’ gutbusters. They come at you quick and beat you over the head with good-natured hilarity. And it’s all done by this snot-nosed little punk named Jason Crombie. He’s cute and Australian and modest. He said “I am stupid” about 50 times during our interview. Could he be the next Terry Gross or Mike Wallace? Or at least the next Nardwuar? Let’s find out.  
Vice: I’m scared to interview you.

Jason Crombie:
Why?!

Because I love the interviews you do. They’re so fast and funny.

Noooo. I just edit it to make myself look smart.

I thought I should do lots of preparation for my interview with you.

Did you come up with lots of tough questions?

Well, no. Since you’re the interview expert, I thought I would just ask you to help me interview you. So: Tell me what to ask you.

Oh God, I don’t know. Insult me. Ask me why I’m missing a tooth.

I can’t even tell that you’re missing a tooth.

It’s awful when I smile. My girlfriend had to have some teeth taken out too. When we have kids they’re gonna be some fucking gummy kids… See, I’m shit at this.

No, I am! You have to help me. Pretend that you’re me and you’re interviewing you.

That’s way too embarrassing. It’s like role-playing—I can’t do it. It’s weird. You want to interview me the way I interview people but it’s not gonna work. It’s gonna be like two mirrors facing each other. You’ll go crazy.

Crap. OK. How do you usually prepare for an interview? Tell me about “the art of the interview.”

I normally tell my friends who I’m going to interview and they tell me what to ask. They give me a ton of questions. Then I pretend that my friends are gonna be the only ones reading it and that usually works. I don’t like reading what I say. I sound stupid.

How would you describe your interview style?

Stupid.

You’re not giving up any of your secrets, are you?

Really, I’m just stupid. I make phone calls and then write down what people say.

Liar! Why did you start Wooooo? See, that’s the kind of boring question you would never ask.

Ahh, I’m disappointed in you, Amy. I started because you know how when you read interviews they’re always promoting some new movie or record or book? But the most interesting part of it for me is when they stray from the subject and start talking about, like, how their dog went to the vet. Then I’m interested because they’re real people. And then they start talking about their movie and it gets boring again… I dunno, I’m probably ripping off Big Brother magazine more than anything.

How do you pick the people you interview?

Well, I’m a bartender by trade and I’ve met a lot of people who I’ve interviewed that way.

Does anyone ever get mad at you for all the retarded shit you ask them?

Not really.

David Byrne didn’t get mad when you suggested he change his name to the more youthful-sounding “Burny-D”?

Surprisingly not.

Are you a writer? Have you always written?

No, never.

This is your first stab at it?

I think so, yes.

What did you do before this?

When I was in school I wanted to be a painter, I guess. And then I got knocked back from this big college and I took it really badly. So I started to work in bars. Then I tried my hand at filmmaking and it was just so pretentious and horrible. Then I was in a relationship for six years and that was horrible too. I didn’t do anything creative the whole time. Terrible. When I finally came out of that I was free to do whatever I wanted. I told my friend Andre that I wanted to do a little mag and he said, “Oh cool, I’ll lay it out for you,” because he’s an art director. The first issue we did is so awful and stupid.

Wow, why are you so self-deprecating?

Don’t you ever look back at something you did and go, “Ugh, yuck”? I rarely feel good about anything I do. But I think that’s better than being like, “Good job, Jay!” and patting myself on the back.

What else sucks about your magazine?

In the latest issue we spelled Chris Nieratko’s name wrong. And we listed Tim Barber twice in the contributors. The ad for our webpage is also pretty stupid. “I’m a sexy girl, bluh bluh.” It’s completely nonsensical.

What I love about your interviews is that it’s like a barrage of questions coming at you so quick. Like: “Do you like Pink Floyd? Do you like Dark Side of the Moon? Do you jerk off a lot? Do you hang out? Do you party? Do you freak out? Do you have any moles?”

It’s easy when you’re on the phone. I just sit at my little desk under my loft bed in my tiny apartment. I’ve got to get an office.

Do you have any pets?

I used to have a cat called Furgazi. She was the best cat in the world, superhappy and friendly all the time. My ex-roommate took her when she moved. I offered her a thousand dollars and she wouldn’t let me have Furgazi. That’s how good that cat was.

Do you do drugs?

No, not anymore.

Did you ever smoke heroin?

No, but I smoked E once.

Wait, you can’t smoke E, can you?

I crushed it up and smoked it with some weed. It gave me a creepy, horrible feeling. I just felt scared. Drugs are bad. Stay in school. Be nice to your parents. Choose a good career.



Is Wooooo gonna be your career?

I don’t have a fucking clue, Amy. I don’t know what I’m doing. I just don’t wanna bartend anymore.

What’s the worst interview you ever did?

I interviewed Patrick O’Dell for this Mexican magazine. I was going through some stuff at the time. I think I was drunk. Yes, I was drunk. It was terrible. I was trying to be more serious. Since it was for another magazine I couldn’t be rude. So it was just kind of boring. There were no stupid penis questions or bum stuff. I thought the interview would just do itself but it didn’t.

That’s kind of how I feel about this interview. Who is a worse interviewer, me or you?

Probably me.

No, I think it’s me.

You have more experience. It has to be me.

We need to work on our self-esteem, eh? Tell me, which is your most favorite interview you ever did?

I like the one I did with Moby—which people never read, because it’s Moby. No offense, Moby. He’s a nice guy, but he’s not my cup of tea. I thought it’d be cool if I asked him absolutely no questions about himself. So I asked him all these questions about what he thought of my magazine, and I interspersed that with really vulgar questions. Like, I asked him if he’d ever been with a girl whose pussy was so big he could fit his balls in as well as his dick. And this was in person. I had to go to his house and sit face to face with him. It was scary.

Here’s an example of a question you asked him: “Wooooo has saddle-stitch binding. Do you like it?”

Yeah. He tried to argue with me and tell me it was stapled.

So, Jason Crombie, what would I have to do to get interviewed in Wooooo?

First off, I’d have to like you.

Aw, you don’t like me?

Oh! You mean you specifically.

Yes, I’m a very fascinating person.

I’ll google you when I get home.


What did you do before this?

When I was in school I wanted to be a painter, I guess. And then I got knocked back from this big college and I took it really badly. So I started to work in bars. Then I tried my hand at filmmaking and it was just so pretentious and horrible. Then I was in a relationship for six years and that was horrible too. I didn’t do anything creative the whole time. Terrible. When I finally came out of that I was free to do whatever I wanted. I told my friend Andre that I wanted to do a little mag and he said, “Oh cool, I’ll lay it out for you,” because he’s an art director. The first issue we did is so awful and stupid.

Wow, why are you so self-deprecating?

Don’t you ever look back at something you did and go, “Ugh, yuck”? I rarely feel good about anything I do. But I think that’s better than being like, “Good job, Jay!” and patting myself on the back.

What else sucks about your magazine?

In the latest issue we spelled Chris Nieratko’s name wrong. And we listed Tim Barber twice in the contributors. The ad for our webpage is also pretty stupid. “I’m a sexy girl, bluh bluh.” It’s completely nonsensical.

What I love about your interviews is that it’s like a barrage of questions coming at you so quick. Like: “Do you like Pink Floyd? Do you like Dark Side of the Moon? Do you jerk off a lot? Do you hang out? Do you party? Do you freak out? Do you have any moles?”

It’s easy when you’re on the phone. I just sit at my little desk under my loft bed in my tiny apartment. I’ve got to get an office.

Do you have any pets?

I used to have a cat called Furgazi. She was the best cat in the world, superhappy and friendly all the time. My ex-roommate took her when she moved. I offered her a thousand dollars and she wouldn’t let me have Furgazi. That’s how good that cat was.

Do you do drugs?

No, not anymore.

Did you ever smoke heroin?

No, but I smoked E once.

Wait, you can’t smoke E, can you?

I crushed it up and smoked it with some weed. It gave me a creepy, horrible feeling. I just felt scared. Drugs are bad. Stay in school. Be nice to your parents. Choose a good career.



Is Wooooo gonna be your career?

I don’t have a fucking clue, Amy. I don’t know what I’m doing. I just don’t wanna bartend anymore.

What’s the worst interview you ever did?

I interviewed Patrick O’Dell for this Mexican magazine. I was going through some stuff at the time. I think I was drunk. Yes, I was drunk. It was terrible. I was trying to be more serious. Since it was for another magazine I couldn’t be rude. So it was just kind of boring. There were no stupid penis questions or bum stuff. I thought the interview would just do itself but it didn’t.

That’s kind of how I feel about this interview. Who is a worse interviewer, me or you?

Probably me.

No, I think it’s me.

You have more experience. It has to be me.

We need to work on our self-esteem, eh? Tell me, which is your most favorite interview you ever did?

I like the one I did with Moby—which people never read, because it’s Moby. No offense, Moby. He’s a nice guy, but he’s not my cup of tea. I thought it’d be cool if I asked him absolutely no questions about himself. So I asked him all these questions about what he thought of my magazine, and I interspersed that with really vulgar questions. Like, I asked him if he’d ever been with a girl whose pussy was so big he could fit his balls in as well as his dick. And this was in person. I had to go to his house and sit face to face with him. It was scary.

Here’s an example of a question you asked him: “Wooooo has saddle-stitch binding. Do you like it?”

Yeah. He tried to argue with me and tell me it was stapled.

So, Jason Crombie, what would I have to do to get interviewed in Wooooo?

First off, I’d have to like you.

Aw, you don’t like me?

Oh! You mean you specifically.

Yes, I’m a very fascinating person.

I’ll google you when I get home.

See more at wooooomag.net.