Tame Impala


Episode originally published March 29, 2016 at


Show notes:

Our friend and cocktail expert, Karin Stanley (Little Branch, NYC) on how to make a Tom Collins, and a Negroni:

How to make a classic Tom Collins:
You need a highball or collins glass, ice, three quarters of an ounce of fresh lemon juice, three quarters of an ounce of simple syrup, two ounces of gin, a few ounces of club soda and an orange wedge for garnish.

To make the Tom Collins mix the lemon juice, simple syrup and gin in a cocktail shaker and shake it up with ice. strain over some fresh ice into the glass and fill to the top with club soda. Garnish the drink with an orange slice and maraschino cherry.

The Tom Collins is said to have come from a waiter named John Collins who worked at the Limmer’s Old House Hotel in London. John Collins served the cocktail with whiskey, or perhaps Genever, but became the popular Tom Collins when people started to make it with Old Tom gin. As always, cocktail history is pretty hard to verify since the people recording it were probably pretty drunk, but this is the most popular account of the Tom Collins.


To make a Negroni:
You need sweet vermouth, campari, gin, ice and a twist of orange peel. Some people like a negroni combined in equal measurements, some people like it with more gin and a little less vermouth and campari. Try it both ways to figure our your preference.

To make the negroni combine all the liquid ingredients over ice in a tumbler or rocks glass. Stir a little to chill and express the orange twist into the drink.

The most widely reported account of the Negroni’s history is that it was invented in 1919, at a cafe in Italy. The story goes that a Count named Camillo Negroni asked a bartender to strengthen his favorite cocktail, the Americano, by adding gin rather than the normal soda water. The bartender also added an orange garnish rather than the typical lemon garnish of the Americano to signify that it was a different drink. What resulted is the classic negroni we all make today. If you want to go even further down the negroni rabbit hole, you can make it with sparking wine instead of gin and you have a Negroni Sbagliato, which translates to “negroni mistake” which is a pretty delicious accident!


Here is the song Kevin references when talking about the song structures of his early compositions. This is The Doors: Light My Fire (1967)


Mind Mischief from Lonerism (2012)

Feels like my life is ready to blow,
Me and my love we’ll take it slow
I hope she knows that I’ll love her long,
I just don’t know where the hell I belong

How optimism led me astray,
Two hundred things I took the wrong way
But I saw her love gauge running low,
I tried to fill but it overflowed

Feels like my life is ready to blow,
Me and my love we’ll take it slow
I hope she knows that I’ll love her long,
I just don’t know where the hell I belong

She remembers my name
Could be blown way out, way out
It’s all going to change
She remembers my name

But she was only messing around,
Please, no more playing with my heart
Ooh, go with Mr. Right just for once
Ooh, no more mischief with my mind

Then it all just came out
Guess I’ll hold it in next time

No more getting it wrong,
I’ll be frozen here on.
If forever we’ll see,
But no more guessing for me

Oh, I was just so sure of everything
Ooh, that’s what you get for dreaming aloud
Oh, the day that words are clearer to me


Cause I’m A Man from Currents (2015)

Like the brutal autumn sun
It dawns on me, what have I done?
Saying sorry ain’t as good as saying why
But it buys me a little more time
Lost in the moment for a second time
Each fucking doubt I make, unleash a cry
I’m just pathetic, that’s the reason why
In desperation, all that you can do is ask me why

Cause I’m a man, woman
Don’t always think before I do
Cause I’m a man, woman
That’s the only answer I’ve got for you
Cause I’m a man, woman
Not often proud of what I choose
I’m a human, woman
A greater force I answer to

Once again, as it takes a hold
I am aware I’m not in control
You see, I have a conscience and it’s never fooled
But it’s prone to be overruled
You wanna know what I always think I’m bind by
You never accept defeat or let it slide
But I have no voice if I don’t speak my mind
My weakness is the source of all my pride, I’ll tell you why

Cause I’m a man, woman
Don’t always think before I do
Cause I’m a man, woman
That’s the only answer I’ve got for you
Cause I’m a man, woman
I’ll never be as strong as you
I’m a human, human
A greater force I answer to


Partial Transcription of the interview:

Whats your favorite drink?

I guess like Tom Collins. Gin, soda, lemon, and usually something else. I don’t know Jody got me into them. You can just keep drinking them. Because they’re just so, you know, clean. You can just drink eleven of them and not feel like…if you have like eleven beers- not that I regularly have eleven beers, but— you feel kind of like you need to change it up. And Tom Collins has a kind of purity to it.

Other than that, I don’t know, a Negroni? I gave my friend Nick who used to play bass in Tame Impala shit for so long about drinking Negroni’s because I thought they tasted like shampoo. You know, when you wash your hair and shampoo sometimes trickles down your face and gets into your mouth? The first time I tasted a Negroni I thought that was what it tasted like. But then one day I mockingly ordered one in a restaurant in Italy and I made myself finish one and by the end of it I was hooked.

One of the first questions we wanted to ask Kevin is whether or not he has a routine for writing or recording music. Flannery O’Connor for example used to get up everyday, 7 days a week and write for 3 hours. She didn’t write outside of that set aside window of time. In fact she said “I spend 3 hours a day writing and the rest of the day trying to get over it.”

Neil Young, is a famous example on the other end of that spectrum who wrote only when he felt inspired. He used to say if I have a song that I am trying to write , it doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing, it’s the only thing that’s in the room, and everything else is in the way. So we wanted to ask about any particular routines or details he had when he was consciously sitting down to write .

I kind of wish I had a routine sometimes. Because that’d make me be able to churn out more music, you know? I feel like if I had a routine that means I would know how I do it. I would know the process of it. But I just don’t. I mean for me, the writing part happens at the same time that the recording happens. Because, for me, writing music and recording music has always been the same thing, you know? I know like bands and artists that write a song and they’re like, “Right, this is finished, this is a song. Lets record it in a studio.”

But that’s not the way I do it. Because I never go to the studio as a separate thing. I just record music at home. And so I just sort of have an idea for a song and it’ll be like some chords with a melody—mainly a melody that will be the hook, I mean… not even like the hook. It might be just the verse. Just the seed of the song, you know? Because the chorus isn’t always the most important part of the song. It can be any part of it—that is the soul of it. It can be the verse or just some guitar melody that goes after each chorus or something. It doesn’t have to be “the chorus”. For me, that part is the Soul of the song. And it can come wherever.