If you love CREEM, you love Jaan Uhelszki. For they are one. And throughout this past year, our readers have been peppering Jaan with all manner of questions. Some looked for help, some just for gossip. All of them got what they wanted: Jaanswers.
Well, now it’s our turn. Ever curious and looking to avoid real work, we here at CREEM put our collective semi-brain together and came up with some rapid-fire doozies of our own for Jaan. Call it an attempt to get closer to our hero, despite her tyrannical no-eye-contact rule. (Yes, even on Zoom.) Let the grilling begin.
Who was the most challenging interview that ultimately you feel like you triumphed over?
Jimmy Page, who would only let me speak to him through an interpreter, despite the fact we both speak English.
Who is your favorite person to interview?
Neil Young. It always feels like playing cutthroat pinochle. And he keeps score from interview to interview.
What is your most failed interview?
Britt Daniel from Spoon. It was so bad that at one point I asked him if all his girlfriends accused him of being a withholder. He didn’t answer that, either.
What do you think was the last musical movement that was compelling?
I always like a masked and made-up band, no matter the genre.
Who better embodies the raw spirit of Van Halen: Hagar or Cherone?
Very funny. Diamond Dave all the way.
What song do you like to blast in the car?
“Jump” by Van Halen. See?
Put these guys in order of preference, first one’s your favorite: Jarvis, Damon, Liam, Noel, Ashcroft.
Ashcroft, Noel, Jarvis, Liam, Damon.
Mustard or mayonnaise?
Always mayonnaise. So many more interesting uses.
What was the most embarrassing thing to happen to you in an interview?
I fell asleep interviewing Flo & Eddie, a comedy-rock duo made up of former members of the Turtles. They didn’t seem to notice.
Who is your least favorite band?
White Zombie. They put me in a bad mood.
Who is an ideal mate for an Aries VP of Content and why?
A Gemini, because Aries get bored easily, and a Gemini is never, ever boring since there are two of them. Besides, Gemini rules content. Think: Emily Ratajkowski.
What celebrity does the VP of Content most resemble and why is it George Clooney?
Yes, there is a bit of Clooney around the eyes. I’ve heard that his mother says he looks like an Asian lesbian. So, I’d go for a more glamorous Hayley Kiyoko.
Best rock movie of all time.
The Harder They Come.
One of your top 10 albums of all time.
Two come to mind: Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin and the Stone Roses’ first one.
Favorite book not by you.
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.
Favorite classic CREEM piece not by you.
“Rush. But Why Are They in Such a Hurry?” June 1981, by John Kordosh.
Favorite modern CREEM piece not by you.
“Breakfast With Nickelback” by Hether Fortune [Issue 4], and Dan Morrissey’s interview with Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago about tripping at Glastonbury and the Hair Club for Men jingle [Issue 3].
Which interview subject had the worst breath?
Whose solo album by someone in a band shocked you with its genius?
Transformer by Lou Reed.
Of all the people you’ve interviewed at home, who had the coolest house?
Rod Stewart, by far. It’s like he lives in a posh hotel: little tables filled with photos in silver frames, fussy expensive paintings, highly polished floors with beautiful handmade Persian rugs.
Who had you laughing the hardest during an interview?
Why did women want to kiss Stiv Bators?
They really didn’t.
(Well, that wrecks Nerd Shit, page 34.)
As a media coach on the side, what’s the worst crisis you’ve had to coach someone through?
I can’t say. That’s why God made NDAs. But it involved fire.
I have five planets in Capricorn. How doomed am I to a moody, saturnine existence?
Moody? Capricorns aren’t moody, just driven. Usually in Bentleys, Ferraris, and Alfa Romeos. They’re ambitious and usually become very, very rich. All your friends will expect you to pick up the check, but Caps are thrifty—you won’t want to.
What astrological signs make the worst and best interviews?
Worst? Scorpios, even though Neil Young is my favorite interview. They’re usually elusive control freaks. Capricorns are the best because they tell you (much) more than they intended to. Think Lars Ulrich and Paul Stanley.
If you were media-coaching Lily-Rose Depp’s camp-tragic pop star character on The Idol, what would you tell her to do about the Weeknd’s hairdo?
Buy him a hat! Although it would be so satisfying to snip off that ponytail thing with hedge clippers. Think of the sound.
What’s the best concert tee in your possession and can we get a pic?
The best concert tee in my possession WAS a long-sleeve black KISS T-shirt studded with rhinestones. And yes:
Are we as cool as the classic CREEM staff?
Wait a sec, you’re breaking up... [Line goes dead.]