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I lack an eidetic memory, so in order transcribe these phone call interviews I must record them through an app on my Apple product. My laughter was present throughout 80% of the conversation, because this man understands absurdity. The fact that the recording was audible despite my perpetual cackles and sniggers is nothing short of a miracle. In fact, the man I inter- viewed is a miracle. You probably know him from British television or from all the times your
keys and wallet go missing.
What is your earliest memory?
Oh, God. I remember somehow being in trouble, and I was told to go in my crib, or playpen (is that was they call it)? Apparently, I rode my tricycle off the base where we had just moved because I was so excited that it was flat, so I went all the way to the main gate, and security picked me up and they drove me back. We were moving at the time, so my parents sort of lost track of me, but I just kept going on my trike, and I think I was relegated to my room for a while.
So you were a military brat?
Air Force brat, yeah. Get it straight.
Did you have to make friends over and over? What was that like?
A lot of entertainers are military brats because they have to adjust. You either, like, withdraw into a shell, get beat up or become a bully, or you try and adjust as quickly as you can. I always felt sick to my stomach whenever I went to a new school, and I would try to be a bit goofy. It would depend on the class, but I would either be a class clown or a, you know, a goofball. You know. You know how it is. I think the same thing happened with Louis Anderson.
[Laughs] No, I don’t know, I just said that randomly. Jim Morrison was a military brat.
Do you feel any sort of extra patriotism? Do you feel connected to the structure of our country because of your upbringing? Or –
I looove the structure of the US. It’s sooo well put together.
I mean more like the system. Do you care about elections and politicians?
You know, actually, I’m really into politics. A lot of it is just because I like to hear arguing. I love good arguments and debates, so I’ll watch like MSNBC and stuff all the time. It’s sort of like sports for me. But as far as being extra patriotic, I used to be more like that and then I just sort of became a little less… crazy.
When you go overseas you realize the good things and the not so good things about the U.S.
What are some of the not-so-good things that you’ve realized?
Well, it’s still a really young country, so it’s still a little uptight. It’s still a little up its own bum. It’s a bit puritanical. Anything sexual comes out in a weird way because it’s sort of repressed, so whenever you repress it in one way it comes out, like, bestiality. It’s not just treated as a normal thing. Like a country that’s been around for a thousand years has a different sort of attitude about stuff like that. But the good thing about the U.S. is it’s always changing and it’s always innovating, so you can never be bored.
If you want to be a ghost, you be a ghost.
Put yourself on the web.
If you want to do porno, you can.
Of course. Do you have any religious beliefs?
Do I? Not really. I think you die and dissolve somewhere.
Like oblivion or an eternal nothingness?
I think you go into like a big bucket of borscht, and everybody is cooked in it, and then it’s periodically poured onto the Earth, mostly through Russia and parts of Lithuania. No, I’m not even going, “Just in case, I’ll believe.” It’s like I’ve sort of lost that energy. Like “Ugh. I don’t see much proof of this.”
In my previous conversation with him, I learned this man loves DeGrassi, Jim Henson, and birthing twisted worlds from his imagination. Just as the topics were shifting to a new level of interesting, the call was dropped, ever so abruptly. So I called back and soon answered a lovely voice, a woman named Elizabeth who quickly reconnected me with the sentient entity known as…
Elizabeth Goldsby, (Justin’s assistant): Hello?
David Luna: Hi, Elizabeth. I was talking to Justin, and I don’t know if his phone died, but the call dropped.
EG: Oh! What the hell? Okay, give me one second. He’s probably still talking [laughs]. Hold on one sec.
Thirty seconds go by.
Justin Roiland: Hello?
David Luna: Hey, how ya doin’?
JR: Hey, sorry. I don’t know what happened there.
DL: You were saying you have all these different theories, almost combining aspects of different religions, and that you don’t subscribe to any traditional religions that are oppressive in some way or another. So, what are some of these ideas? And have you ever had any experiences with psychedelics, and is that another thing that ties into these ideas?
JR: Yeah, that’s probably one of the reasons why I’m so skittish about the larger, mainstream religions. I haven’t had a ton of experiences with psychedelics, but it’s definitely influenced my perspective of reality and it’s hard to buy into [mainstream religions] after experiencing some of that.
Different theories I could give you. They’re all weird. Like the idea that you live every single life that will ever live. So, there’s two timelines: There’s chronological time, which is just time marching forward, and then there’s a completely different timeline that’s non-chronological, where you’re being born, going through life, and dying, and doing that almost an infinite number of times. So, you’re technically inhabiting every living person on the planet. You’re me, I’m you, we’re all the same. So when you kill somebody, you will also be killed by yourself. If you do something good for someone, that’s you doing something good for yourself. But it’s all masked and separated by the cycle of life and birth, and these two timelines working independently, but also being interwoven. It’s crazy. I mean, obviously I don’t truly believe that, but those are the kind of thought exercises. And it’s like, who’s to say it isn’t true? Is that any crazier than what some legitimate religions believe? I have another one. A lot of it has to do with reincarnation, different spins on that. The concept of coming back. You basically live a human life, die, then you come back as an animal—a pig, for example. I have a whole thing where I believe that pigs are people, so when we die we come back as a pig, and then when we die as a pig we come back as a person, and it’s this cycle that just keeps going and going. And again, there’s two different timelines. There’s chronological time and the lives that you’ve lived sequentially. And in the sequential timeline, when you come back as a pig after you’ve died as a human, you can come back within a 1000 year window forward and backward. Or 2000 years. I can’t remember exactly what it was. So, you could come back as a pig in the year 1200 if you died today, and then when you die as a pig in the year 1200 you can come back as a human, again within a 2000 year window, forward or backward.
The other idea is what animal you ate the most is what you’ll come back as in your next life. There’s all kinds of karmic versions of it. Because really, for all we know, it could just be one big, giant game. Who knows what this is. There’s a lot of crazy theories as to what is this life really, what’s really going on, and the fact that we all inevitably have to face death. And then we will all experience it. It’s kind of terrifying.
A lot of the Eastern religions are just focused on being, being present and not focusing so much on rituals. Like Christianity, and Muslims, there’s a lot of rituals, being disciplined and punishing yourself. There’s Lent and sacrifices and all this. The other school of thought is just more of a spiritual connection with being, and existing, and trying to be in the moment, and being present.
But I don’t practice any of it. It’s hard for me to because I’m so anticipatory. I’m very anxious. I’m always worrying about what’s coming up. I find it hard to live in the moment.
DL: That’s very fascinating. There are a lot of people, I realize, and not just my circle of friends, this generation seems to have a lot more unifying ideas, where we’re all part of one larger thing, as opposed to separate. Although we are individuals, we’re more inclined to work together and to look past our differences. Race is almost not a big deal at all for anyone born after 1980.
JR: Yeah, to me the idea of racism and prejudice based off of skin color or ethnicity is so comical. Both of my parents taught me and my sister that everyone’s equal and it didn’t even factor in to my upbringing. It’s so foreign an idea; it’s almost comical to me. I have a really dark sense of humor that comes from that. Because the idea of being actually for-real racist is so foreign and comical and hilarious. But that’s also bad because my experience with it is so far removed from the reality of how horrible it would be to actually be persecuted because of it. I grew up just knowing that [racism] existed and just thinking, “That’s fucking stupid. That’s just weird.” It’s kind of nice to see that hopefully, within a few generations, that whole concept of racism will be so minimalized in society. Hopefully. I think it’s going to be more about classism, if anything. It’s going to be poor people versus rich people.
On the first evening our conversation was scheduled for, I was scrambling to get organized. Let’s not make this a pattern, David. This man has created one of the most outstanding and exceptional animated series of the year, so let’s show some respect.
To my luck and disappointment, I discovered I was not alone in my lack of preparedness. The gentleman I was set to speak with needed to reschedule.
A week passed. I was greeted by a familiar voice. Perhaps I had heard it before on Gravity Falls, Adventure Time, or most recently on Rick and Morty, or perhaps it was familiar because he and I are merely aspects of a single, timeless organism made up of all the motion and energy in the multiverse. No matter. The host of this temporary flesh vessel was none other than the great…
David Luna: How often do you draw?
Justin Roiland: Not as much as I used to. I always say I need to be drawing more than I do. I go through periods where I’ll spend full days drawing for weeks at a time, and then I just won’t draw for months and months and months. When I’m working on Rick and Morty, the drawing is mainly characters or scenarios that I’m drawing on the dry erase board to illustrate or reinforce a pitch or an idea or a character or whatever. The thing I don’t do often enough is comics—just freestyle, freeform, even if they’re bad. I used to keep idea/sketchbooks constantly. It’s kind of sad because the digital world has sort of completely taken over that. Like now I have Evernote on my phone, and then I’ve got my Cintique, and I’ve been just drawing stuff on the dry erase board and then taking pictures of it on my phone.
DL: A lot of people involved with Farscape have had guest appearances on Rick and Morty. Are there people you’ve tried to get on the show but couldn’t? And if you could have absolutely anybody’s voice to your disposal, who would you want on your show?
JR: Season 1, we tried to get David Bowie. It was a very pie in the sky, very unlikely thing, but we were like, “You can never be told no if you don’t ask.” And that didn’t happen, obviously. We got very lucky with Season 1. For the most part, everybody we really wanted ended up coming through and happening. Going into Season 2, again David Bowie; we’re going to try again. I would love to have him do a voice.
Now that we’ve aired and people are familiar with the show, it’s going to be really interesting to see what kind of leverage that gives us when it comes to casting guest voices in Season 2. The thing that’s always cool to think about is what people am I a fan of that I could get to meet as a result of casting. There’s a lot of musicians that I would love to meet. That world has always been the most distant to me. I don’t go to concerts a lot, so I have all these bands I love, but that musicians’ world just seems so foreign and far away. I’m probably going cast some people from Battlestar; I love the idea of casting people from like awesome sci-fi shows, or just TV shows in general that I love, and, if possible, doing them in pairs. We have an episode coming up with Virginia Hey and Claudia Black, and they literally talk to each other and they’re together as characters in this episode, and it’s just so cool because I’m the biggest Farscape fan.
And in regard to the high school kids, I love casting Degrassi kids. As we continue to expand and develop other high school-centric characters, I’m going to keep going back to Degrassi because I love that show so much. Like, I love it ironically. It’s so bad, but I just love how bad it is. And it’s like one of my favorite things ever. It’s just appalling how one-dimensional some of the shit is on that show. I love that no one is calling them out or giving them notes. They just fucking write their scripts and shoot it—who gives a shit—and it does well, thank God. I want to be 70 years old and still see that show going. If they cancel that show I’m going to be so heartbroken. There’s such a sea of talent that has come out of that—good, bad and otherwise.
Last month, David Luna had the pleasure of speaking to Justin Roiland (co-creator of Rick and Morty), the interview lasted for almost an hour and is featured in The Annual #8. Below is a brief excerpt from that conversation, but to read the entire piece be sure to purchase the latest issue of The Annual!
Interview Conducted by David Luna, Puppet & Video by Kevin Cole
Interview Artwork by Buddy Purucker, Parker Benbow, David Luna, and Kevin Cole
Regular readers of Truth Web will know that I am fascinated by the paranormal, inter-dimensional travel and exposing the reptilian overlords who control our world like extra-terrestrial puppet masters! So it would make sense that at the end of a long weekend of Conspirabloging (conspiracy-blogging) I like to unwind by watching some light animated television-the one media that has yet to be corrupted by the reptilian hive mind… or so it would seem. Just before nodding off on a Monday evening I was struck a by a show called Rick and Morty. I rarely stay up late for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim because I have to wake up exceptionally early break the latest conspiracies, let’s remember that no one ever spoke to a Bigfoot between the hours of 1:13 and 5pm. I had become particularly fond of the program which seems to combine the majority of my interests with the exception of Reptilian hunting, but Icke forbid such a plot occur in a future episode.
In anticipation of the show’s return this evening I sat down to view a sneak peak of tonight’s episode at which point I found something rather alarming, a visual presence of show runner Justin Roiland in video that did not prominently feature Justin Roiland. For reference, here is a screen capture of an earlier interview with Roiland:
Looking behind him you’ll notice a photograph Roiland himself staring into the camera. Now, take a look at this screen capture of Rick and Morty’s Color Design Lead, Jason Boesch
Now enhance the image…
Could it be that Roiland’s photo isn’t just at his own desk as a result of Hollywood narcism but because Roiland is always watching his staff? Could Roiland be going to exemplary measures to keep his staff in constant fear of destroying his vision. While we’ve only seen two desks in the Rick and Morty offices I would bet that it’s entirely possible that this photograph will be seen on future desks as we look further behind the scenes of the show. For comparison, here are both photographs side by side:
It may not be a smoking gun, but it’s certainly a smoking coincidence. I’ll be watching you Justin Roiland, mark my words, particularly Mondays at 10:30pm on Adult Swim.
The Annual #8 has been sent to the printers and will be arriving at The Annual Studios on March 13th! But you can head over to The Annual Store now to pre-order your copy, and this one that’s not to be missed.
In this latest issue, we pay tribute to the late great Harold Ramis. Then, David Luna sits down for a two part interview with Justin Roiland, co-creator or Rick and Morty on Adult Swim! Sam Walker returns to dish out some Completely Serious Advice, we take a look at some Etymology, spend some time at the movies and so much more! This issue is jam packed with material that you won’t want to miss and will be sure to keep you laughing for the next two months!
This issue also features material from:
In this week’s Marry Me, Cullen, Kevin sit down, devoid of Susan who was trapped in a snow storm at the time of recording, to revisit Kirby’s dilemma from episode 14. The two walk through the specific viewing quarrels that Kirby and her husband share. This episode also features and exclusive preview of The Annual’s forthcoming interview with Rick and Morty Co-Creator, Justin Roiland.
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