As someone obsessed with “Game of Thrones,” the day leading up to the season six premiere on April 24 was filled with anticipation and a lot of tweeting from my couch in an attempt to pass the time. It was then I discovered a common thread between musician T-Pain and myself – and it had nothing to do with Apple Bottom Jeans.
We both love “Game of Thrones.”
TI: We follow the “Game of Thrones” Twitter feeds pretty closely, and saw how panicked you were on premiere night that you might not get home in time. Did you make it back?
I did not make it home in time, but my wife paused the DVR for me and we didn’t start until I got settled, so that was pretty cool.
TI: That’s nice of her.
Yeah, yeah she knows.
TI: Have you been liking this season so far?
So far! Man, that last shocker on the second episode was f—ing amazing.
TI: I know!
I didn’t think it was gonna work, and then, that last second, oh God it was so great. (laughs)
TI: When did you first start watching the show?
Probably like a year and half ago. Not necessarily when it started but you know, when I got a chance to sit down and I was able to binge it. I got to have a little time at home – I asked for some time off – and it was “Game of Thrones” time.
TI: So you binged the whole series?
Oh yeah, [HBO] was already on season five. So we went all the way from episode one to the last one [available] of season five. I think there were maybe four episodes left in season five by the time we caught up.
TI: Have you read the books or dived into crazy fan theories at all?
I started reading the books … [and then] I found out that the books were different. Once there were like side stories and stuff like that … I was like, well, wait a minute. So I stopped reading the books.
TI: Yeah, the show has changed so many things that I think it gets confusing to pay attention to both, so that’s probably a smart approach. Who’s your favorite character?
Man. I think Daenerys is my favorite right now. She’s probably the prettiest, but also maybe “Old Red Woman” is my favorite character.
TI: That was a shocking reveal, too.
Yeaaah, f—ing old lady boobs! I was like “I’m ready for that.” (laughs)
[One aside here – T-Pain’s laughter is among one of the most infectious things I’ve ever heard. Okay moving on.]
TI: If you had to pick a song from your catalog to assign to either Daenerys or Melisandre, which one would you choose?
Ah man, I think uh, wow. Holy s—.
TI: I know, it’s a lot! You have a lot of songs that could work.
I would say if Tyrion can be on the throne, and then somehow Sam comes back as like a full-on maester … like that would be f—ing ah-MAZING. That would be the craziest s— in the world to me. I would love that. If Sam can come back as like a full-on maester and like, no d— or nothing, oh my god, it would be so great.
[Becoming a eunuch is not a standard part of maester-training, but T-Pain has a vivid imagination.]
TI: [Sam] is definitely a perfect right-hand man.
Absolutely. If Tyrion and Sam got together and just ran everything, all the Seven Kingdoms, I think that would be f—ing awesome.
TI: Have you had a chance to meet the cast or get on set?
No, I haven’t even tried. I mean, you know the things in your head that are like so great, you think well there’s no chance I’m even going to … you know what I’m saying? The show is so great, and the series is so great, they must get so many requests from so many people that it’s like … in my head I don’t even think it’s possible.
TI: Yeah, everyone was talking earlier this year about how Obama is the only person who gets advanced screeners of the episodes now.
Yeah I heard! I was so mad about that. Jesus. That would have been so great.
TI: So you mentioned this earlier, but the big Jon Snow reveal – did that totally floor you?
Well yeah because from the first episode of this season I kind of felt like they were going to drag it out all the way to the end. I figured he was gonna wake up at the end or something, or they were going to let him rot and give him some good CGI stuff. But nah, that floored the hell out of me. It was definitely unexpected, after they did the whole Red Woman trying, and it didn’t work, and she tried a bunch of times, and it was just “Oh this dude’s really f—ing dead.” And then he gave the old Michael Jackson “Thriller” cliffhanger.
It f—ed me up. It was f—ing awesome. I screamed in my hotel room. I got a complaint and the f—ing hotel security came up to my room and was like “We heard a woman screaming and we wanna know…” [both myself and T-Pain dissolved into hysterical laughter at this point]. So yeah, it was great though. It floored me, surprised the s— out of me.
TI: Do you think Jon Snow and Daenerys might ever meet?
It would be mega-great, but I don’t know. Being that I haven’t read the books or anything, I think Jon’s gonna go on like an evil streak. I think Jon’s about to kill a TON of people.
TI: Oooh, really?
Yeah! And Daenerys is super “good,” and Jon’s like … we always think of good and bad as a “yin and yang” kind of thing. And I think Daenerys is always dressed and seen as such a “light” person. Her hair is mega-blonde, she’s always in bright clothing, and s— like that. And we got Jon Snow who’s like black haired and always in mega-black clothes. I think they’re gonna end up having a problem with each other. I haven’t read the books, but that’d be f—ing awesome. The people we love the most having a problem with each other, I think that’d be f—ing crazy.
TI: I think she could show up in Westeros, and if he’s been taking charge of things then she’s going to have to get him out of the way.
Yeah! I mean – she has dragons. And Tyrion obviously has a little bond with the dragons now.
TI: That was such a sweet scene!
Man, that was so WEIRD. I mean great story Tyrion but you’re a little guy, you’re gonna get f—ing eaten by these dragons. I don’t know, I think if [Jon and Dany] meet up in King’s Landing and s— just gets real … I don’t know. It’s very weird and then I don’t know if Daenerys is like going into the “wife-holding” (a lot of laughing). Like I don’t know where she’s going! I don’t know if she has a clique now. I don’t know if she has a clan, or if they’re just going to be against her, but DAMN. There’s so many things that could happen right now. I’m very excited about any outcome.
TI: So people obviously die all the time on the show. Who do you actually WANT to see killed off?
Ah man … who do I wanna see killed off. Um. You know, it’s sad to say, but Reek has to die.
Yeah he’s gotta go, he’s gotta go. He’s too wishy washy. I don’t like him. Like now he’s going back?! Like, you know what I’m saying? He’s a snitch. That’s what it is. In the hood you can’t keep those kind of people around.
TI: Do you think they’re going to let Ramsay survive the whole season again?
Ramsay’s gonna go all the way to the end! He’s gonna go all the way to end and then it’s gonna be the most satisfying death since f—ing what’s his face.
Joffrey! Absolutely. It’s gonna be the most satisfying death in “Game of Thrones” since Joffrey. I wanted Joffrey to die sooner but at the same time, I mean these are [real actors]. I don’t think Joffrey – ah that’s how much I’m into this, I don’t even know the guy’s real name – like I don’t think he can play anybody else for the rest of his life.
TI: Jack Gleeson! He actually quit acting for a bit.
He has to. He has that “Harry Potter” syndrome where anytime, like with “Harry Potter” that dude [Daniel Radcliffe] did the “Woman in Black” movie and it was like oh s— Harry Potter is in another movie.
TI: Yeah, the kid who played Joffrey was like, “I’m just gonna stop acting for a little while.”
And that’s crazy because he’s too good. Like, he’s too good. If you can make somebody hate you as an actor, that means you’re really good. Him and f—ing Ramsay and Cersei are on the same path right now. People are just waiting around to see what kind of s— Cersei’s gonna do, so that’s pretty awesome.
TI: What she does in season six could be really interesting.
I don’t know what she’s gonna do, but the Mountain is gonna f—ing terrorize the whole thing. I want to see his face without that goddamn helmet and I wanna hear him talk. Like I mean first of all how great is it to still be in GoT and not have ANY lines, that’s just f—ing sweet to have (laughs). There’s a lot of characters that could really f**k up the whole storyline right now and we won’t see it coming.
TI: Yeah, there are a lot of wildcards.
Something is going to come from waaaaay the f— left and it’s going to be crazy. Something that we’re never gonna see coming. It’s gonna be really nice. I can’t wait for the future events. Thanks Obama!
TI: (laughing) As mentioned earlier, we learned about your affinity for “Game of Thrones” through all of your tweets, and it seems like you’re super active on Twitter. Can you talk about how you use Twitter?
I started tweeting awhile ago, it’s been years and years. But I think I only started tweeting my actual thoughts a few months ago. At first, Twitter for artists was something to show how cool you were, and you’re not supposed to tweet geeky things and s— like that. A few months ago I was like “Man I got some s— I need to ask people, because I need to know if I’m weird or not.” (laughs) I don’t have any way to ask people if I’m weird, or I don’t have anything to compare [my thoughts] to. I need to know if people think about these things. A few days ago I said I wanted to see a football game that’s all quarterbacks. Like I need to know if somebody else thinks that! (laughs)
Yeah! There’s like millions of people that think this and nobody says it because it’s not cool. You know what I’m saying? Like “cool.” The tweet lately that has gotten the most interactions is the “I think we need to all go back to flip phones so I can properly hang up on people.”
TI: Has Twitter become more fun to use since you’ve changed your approach?
It makes me a little more excited, because now I know I’m not weird as s—. I’m cool.
TI: What is that you like about Twitter versus Instagram?
TI: Do you read everything that people tweet at you all day?
Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s a lot, but I’m constantly on it. You know it’s time consuming, sometimes it’s very depressing because people are f—ing mean. But it’s cool, I take the good with the bad. It’s like studying – seeing what people are saying about you so can make your next move and you can know how NOT to move the next time. If a lot of people disapprove of something you did, and you read it on Twitter, you know not to do that s— anymore.
TI: So you use it like a sounding board for how your fans are feeling about projects?
Absolutely. It’s like instant analytics. It’s pretty cool.
TI: People seemed really excited about the new Waze release with your voice as a navigation option.
Yeah. YEAH. I’m more excited than anybody! (laughter)
I’ve always wanted to do GPS, ever since Garmin got famous, I’ve always wanted to do that stuff, man. I wasn’t thinking anybody wanted to hear my voice that much, but you know this was like right when GPS started after MapQuest. It’s been a longtime dream for me, and when this opportunity came up with Waze and I saw Morgan Freeman and Shaq and Arnold Schwarzenegger on there, I thought “Well OBVIOUSLY I have to f—ing do this.” We got in touch, and they were thinking the same thing so it was easy peezey, lemon squeezey.
TI: What was the actual process of recording like?
Oh, it was a very long day at first. The first day was just doing all the mandatory “left,” “right,” “U-turn,” you know all the stuff that’s going to be in your normal GPS. Then there was a day of “police reported,” “accident reported,” “hazard reported,” “roundabout,” stuff like that. It was a lot, it was a big four day process, so it was pretty difficult, but I wanted it so bad (laughter) I got through it, and I made it work. If Morgan Freeman can sit there and do it, absolutely I can do it.
Well I think I wanted it more than they did. (laughter) I was ready to go. I was ready for it.
TI: Are there any T-Pain Easter eggs that people can find in the app?
If you follow me on Waze you’ll see my accident reports (laughs). There might be more things because I’m literally still recording. When I get back home I’m going to record more. Yeah there’s a lot. There’s some more customizable things, like I’m re-doing some of my songs into directions.
TI: Re-doing songs into directions?
Well you know I’m like re-doing “Buy U A Drank” lyrics into directions or “I’m Sprung” and stuff like that.
(Laughs) It would be pretty difficult but I always think about it. You can’t NOT think about it when it comes on. And i t’s getting longer! Every episode I know it gets a little longer they have to add a new place on the table. That map is getting huge. It’s like a f—ing Middle Earth map.
TI: It would be hilarious if one day Mordor just like popped up on it.
(Laughter) Absolutely! Just as a joke. They’d love it. No one would notice but they would love it.
TI: To loop back to what we were talking about with social media – your new single “Look at Me” is all about selfie culture. Can you discuss how that song came about, and your feelings on how obsessed we are with selfies?
I was my going through the Instagram phase where everybody was like “Yo get on Instagram, get on Instagram” so I did. Once the selfie videos started happening they got a little uninteresting. I got very disinterested in just seeing a chick staring at the screen, and it didn’t seem as sexy as a quick pic … o nce it started being like 15-second videos of just absolute silence and just looking at the f—ing screen, it’s like SAY SOMETHING MOTHERF—ER.
But I would always hear music in the background, and I went to some of my friends who are like Instagram f—ing experts in some kind of way, and I asked them like have you ever seen a ton of chicks doing selfie videos to the same song? Like is there a selfie-video song? And everybody said no, so I was like well, ha, I’m gonna do that (laughter).
So I set out to make a song to do selfie videos to, and that’s pretty much where that came about. And you know I set out to do that but at the same time it didn’t really work out that way, it just turned out to be a great song. They can do their selfie video to it or not, either way it’s a great f—ing song. So that’s how “Look At Me” came about.
TI: Can you talk about the Ty-Lite selfie case used to shoot the video?
I was actually looking for a light, and I couldn’t find any that looked like a cell phone light. And I couldn’t film this on the back camera on my iPhone because then I wouldn’t be able to see what I was filming, so I needed a front light. I deal with Fancy.com a lot, and I saw that they were selling the Ty-Lite … T hey said “You just gotta show it in the video a little bit” and I said, “Well I can’t show it in the video because they’re gonna be USING it but I’ll show a picture of it. Here you go!” (laughs) So it worked out great. And it was the only light in the whole video!
Holy crap, it was so tough. It was so difficult to organize. You know, I got off a plane and went straight to the video shoot and then I had to put the video out the next day. W e shot the video the day before it came out. I figured it was going to be simple, you know. The whole plan was to shoot it on a cell phone, throw it on a computer, throw it in Final Cut, and we’d have it out the next day. But it was much more difficult than that. It was supposed to be a two-hour video shoot, and then it was like eight hours. Yeah that was a lot.
TI: It looked like fun, at least!
The second verse was more fun because everybody was drunk after that (laughs). The first verse was like “Hey, we’re gonna try to shoot this video on a cell phone,” and everybody was nervous. Once we got the first verse we took a break and everybody was just drinking. And then the second verse went like a breeze. It was really fast. And then we did the bridge after the second verse and that’s when the whole group thing happened. And everybody was all grouped together and drunk and smiling. I was a lot of fun. It worked out.
TI: What can you tell us about the upcoming release of TP10 [an upcoming album of new music celebrating T-Pain’s ten year career]?
I can tell you a LOT about the upcoming release of TP10. It’s gonna be awesome, first of all. It’s gonna be frickin’ great. We have to narrow it down to 10 songs and I’m up to 47 songs to pick from. And it’s mega-frustrating, because I want them all to be on there. I’m trying to keep this whole “10” corresponding thing going. I’m gonna make it happen.
It’s gonna be really good, I’ve got a lot of faith in it. And I’m sure people are going to love it. This is to hold everybody off until [my album] Stoicville comes out. TP10 is definitely going to let you know why I’ve been in the game for 10 years.
TI: We’re excited to see which ones you pick!
Me too. I mean I don’t know yet either (laughs).
TI: Well thanks so much for your time, this was really fun.