Adam Green talks sweaty balls

“I like it when my balls get all sweaty. I like it when it makes this special smell. I rub it on my neck like cologne. It’s quite attractive.”Adam Green is not your everyday interviewee. Within 30 seconds of our conversation beginning, the American indie crooner has already gone off at the strangest tangent. “Something compelled me to think that if I put cologne on my neck before I went to bed I would have particularly good dreams. It worked for a while but the only problem is they were all about transsexuals giving me blowjobs,” the lynchpin of the New York scene tells me in answer to a question I think had something to do with his upcoming debut tour of Australia. He goes on, “Anyway, with the cologne being thrown in the garbage, those dreams have dissipated. Now I just like ball-sweat on my neck before I go to bed. I dream about hockey,” he says with such disappointment that I feel compelled to tell him there are certain places in Sydney he can go if he would like to meet some real-life transsexuals. “I don’t really want a transsexual hooker,” he interjects. “I just want to have a lovely transsexual that follows me everywhere and is really pretty and cuddles me at night.”

Wrestling the conversation back to Green’s first visit to this country, I discover that financial constraints mean he’ll be without his trusty backing musicians for the tour. “If I brought my band – like, five guys – it would cost a fucking fortune to do just one trip, not to mention the actual tour,” he frowns. While arriving alone is not ideal, Green has excitedly recruited a temporary band for his time here, and it might contain a few familiar faces. “I ended up hooking up with those guys from Operator Please. They helped me to put a band together that mostly just involves friends of theirs, and some people from Operator Please might also play. Maybe I’ll even do some stuff with strings with them.”

Though Green has never played here before, either as a solo artist or as part of legendary anti-folk band The Moldy Peaches, talk turns to the last time I saw him play in London a few years back. This sends the conversation hurtling in another random direction. “Oh yeah, that was a fun show but a crazy, horrible day for me because the night before I had gotten food-poisoning. I’d never had food-poisoning and always prided myself on having an iron stomach. All of a sudden… holy shit. I threw up 500 times. This shit wanted to leave my motherfucking body.” Barely stopping for breath, he regales me further, his chatter mirroring his lyrical style: funny, leftfield, snappy and littered with expletives. “I was watching that show Cribs. It was [American actor/comedian] Pauly Shore’s house. He is such a sleazeball, lowlife jerk-off. He was showing me his schmucky, stupid house. Then all of a sudden I threw the fuck up over everything.”

Considering how Green clearly enjoys veering away from the straightforward question slash answer dynamic of an interview, I ask just how bored he has gotten of being asked about Juno – the movie which ends with Michael Cera and Ellen Page singing Moldy Peaches’ song Anyone Else But You. “I don’t mind it,” he shrugs. “I’ve been a fan of Michael Cera and Ellen Page for a while and I am excited about the movie but, yeah, who wants to talk about Juno all the time? I like Ghostbusters too but I don’t talk about it every fucking day. The Ghostbusters song is probably twice as good as Anyone Else But You,” he laughs. Sardonically, he adds, “But, yes, Anyone Else But You is wonderful. Kimya [Dawson] and I wrote that shit together and it was impossible. You could never probably fucking do it. Never. Nobody. Just us. And we should be paid for it so handsomely.”

And with that tongue-in-cheek outburst, our time together comes to an end all too quickly. No time even to discuss his latest album, Sixes & Sevens, which is a delightful journey through folk, swing, indie, jazz, and honky-tonk. Before he bids me farewell though, he temporarily ditches his delicious irreverence in order to look forward – five albums into his solo career – to finally arriving in Australia. “I wish Moldy Peaches had come to Australia,” he laments. “It’s weird to me that this is the first time.” Though it’s taken him a while to get here, he promises fans heading to Oxford Art Factory that it will have been worth the wait. “I do believe in an old-style rock show. It’s really going to rock the house.”