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‘Paul’ Creator Simon Pegg on His Favorite Music


Simon Pegg, co-writer and star of the extraterrestrial buddy comedy ‘Paul’, on the soundtrack to his life

Name an album that’s guaranteed to get you laid.
Music Has the Right to Children by Boards of Canada. It’s an ambient, candles-lit sort of thing.

Whom would you want to portray in a rock biopic?
I’ve always really liked Dave Grohl. During the Nirvana days, he was a charismatic personality, and obviously, that’s come through since he formed the Foo Fighters. I don’t for a second think that I have the chops to play him. I’m certainly not as ruggedly handsome or as good at drumming.

What was the last concert you attended?
Dan le sac vs. Scroobius Pip at the Koko [in London]. A lot of European rap just apes American rap, but they’re a very cool, intelligent act with an extremely British feel.

Is there a song that you associate with your first kiss?
Around the time that was happening, I remember Chaka Khan’s “I Feel for You.” I was very much into breakdancing and body-popping, and the video for the song featured two guys from [the 1984 film] Breakin’. I recorded it on the VCR and watched it over and over again. I had a big crush on Chaka Kahn. Her thighs wowed me.

What’s the first album you bought with your own money?
The Cult’s Love. I was 15. I’d rejected breakdancing by that point.

Who puts you in touch with your feminine side?
Björk and Florence and the Machine. I’m spitballing here, but women don’t seem to be as marginalized in the music industry. Really strong females are allowed to be themselves.

What song has helped you get over a breakup?
Oasis’ “Cast No Shadow.”

What were you listening to the first time you smoked pot?
Probably “Marian” from Sisters of Mercy’s First and Last and Always. I was a bit of a goth at that point, but this was pre-emo, when goth wasn’t something all teenagers were. It was more tribal and specifically about crimped hair and leather.

Name a play-list on your iPod.
I’ve got two snowboarding playlists, one with classical film scores by Hans Zimmer and David Arnold. The other has “Sabotage” so if I fall over, it’s not so bad.

What’s your favorite Strokes song?
Off the top of my head: “Hard to Explain.” I actually became friends with their manager when I was in New York, and we hung out at the place on 11th Street where they formed. The guys weren’t around, but their office was full of guitars and I geeked out a bit.

What song do you want played at your funeral?
“The Urban Spaceman,” by Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. As a sci-fi buff, it sounds fairly relevant. And it’s a happy song. You don’t want a dirge at those things. You want people to hear you talking from beyond the grave, saying, “Don’t be too upset. You’ll be here soon.”

The April issue of SPIN featuring the Strokes