The “contact” page on Johnathan Rice’s website is intimidating: there are five email addresses, broken into three categories, and none of them start with the name “Johnathan” or even “John.” He has the type of career that requires a lot of people to manage. It turns out, however, if you message him on Instagram he responds directly.
I discovered this shortly after purchasing his book of poetry, Farewell My Dudes: 69 Dystopian Haikus, when I took my satisfaction to Instagram, proclaiming it to be the best thing written since Computer Duo’s treatise on dating. Which it is. It is also the work of an accomplished musician who, despite the obvious time constraints, makes time to thank people for their support. Which, in my case, he did immediately.
When I bring up his book over the phone, the first thing he says is “It feels good to put something in your parent’s hands. To show them what you’ve been working on.” Because a handful of solo records and getting to say you’ve recorded with Elvis Costello and acted beside Joaquin Phoenix wasn’t enough: Mr. Rice had to be a poet too.
The truth—if one can collect any from a brief phone call and a few email exchanges—is that Mr. Rice is good at many things because he works really f***ing hard. He texted to say he was running late 10 minutes late for our phone conversation. That’s solid attention to detail, Friends.
As my pal Larry Mongo would say, “The man’s alright.
CV Henriette: How do you listen to music at home?
Johnathan Rice: I have Sonos hooked up to living room and kitchen. Upstairs next to the bedroom I have a Hi-Fi setup for all my vinyl. Sonos in the streets, vinyl in the sheets.
CVh: Name one song that’s changed you.
JR: Rainy Night In Soho by the Pogues.
CVh: Sun sign?*
JR: I don’t know. I’d have to google it, and what’s the fun in that?
CVh: Inner avatar?
JR: I like to think of myself as a dog running through the woods.
CVh: What’s the characteristic you like most in people?
CVh: Dislike the most?
JR: Desperate Insincerity.
CVh: Last book you’ve read about music?
JR: Invisible Republic by Greil Marcus.
CVh: Best Live Show?
JR: Rage Against The Machine at the Hollywood Palladium in 2010. Sheesh.
CVh: Artist You Most Wish You Saw Live, in their prime?
JR: Nina Simone.
CVh: Favorite Musical?
JR: Adam Green’s Aladdin.
CVh: Question I forgot to ask?
JR: I think you did great.
*Mr. Rice has a Gemini sun.
Playlist? We’re waiting for the full album. Watch this video for his latest single, Meet the Mother:
Follow @mrjohnathanrice for Instagram haiku inspiration.