Emily Osment is one of those people that you feel instantly drawn to. Get over the fact that she stars on the Disney Channel, because that doesn’t make her who she is. I had the chance to interview her and you’ll find out just why I say that.
This was one of the funner interviews I’ve done, if not for the fact that we’re both roughly the same age, but because it was laid back, relaxed, and she challenged me on some of my typical interview points; I guess not everyone agrees with Wikipedia! Read on to find out why…
Eggplante (E!): Hey there! I typically just jump right into things, so let’s talk: you’ve got your EP out now, as of Tuesday, I picked it up, and there are a lot of messages on here. What is the unifying theme for it?
Emily Osment (EO): Well, it all comes down to the name of the album [All The Right Wrongs]. When it comes to naming your album, you really wanna think about it and I didn’t want to go the self-title route just because that’s boring, and I am far from boring! It’s gotta be cool! The reason we went with an EP was because we had too much music, and we figured we could get more out there with an EP and a full length later on, rather than waiting a long time to do another full length album. I wrote a lot of this stuff when I was in high school – regular high school, normal friends, really horrible, awful, terrible girls, that kind of thing – songs like ‘I Hate the Homecoming Queen’ aren’t about any specific person, though… if you can survive high school, you can survive anything.
E!: Were you one of the mean girls?
EO: Noooo! Are you kidding me!? It was weird because I felt like, before Hannah Montana, I was a normal person and no one really cared about anything, and then the show happened, and some people dropped off and some people stayed with me, when it comes to friends, and it can change you and really tell you who your friends really are.
E!: Now, I’ll admit, when I first listened to your album, I expected Miley-Pop, and yet the sounds are actually a little more mature; where does that come from?
EO: Two years ago, I started working on the record, and that was when I realized that I’m going to want to say words like ‘damn’ and I’m gonna wanna be my own person and I’m not gonna hold back and this is my music and music is about being true to myself, and I felt like if I was restricting myself and what I want to say in my record, I felt like going with Disney would be the wrong move for me. They’re a wonderful company and I’ve worked with them for four years and they’re amazing people, but when it comes to music, I’m kind of creating another road here and I wanna go with another company. I went with Wind-Up [Records] only because they made such an amazing impression and I had my heart set on going with an indie label.
E!: What’s it like meeting people who expect you to be or buy your album expecting to hear a Miley copy-cat?
EO: You know, you’re gonna get judged, so it’s just like, listen to it, you know? People are going to say what they want to say, it’s alright, write a song about it, it’s okay!
E!: What are the most precious songs on the album?
EO: When it comes to songs, ‘You Are the Only One’ was a hard song to write just because it was really pulled from specific experiences and it was about a relationship that I had for a very long time and just getting past it and moving on. It was a hard song to write and put everything on the table and just let it go. All the other songs are personal experiences or just fun songs. I hate when albums are just love songs. It’s like, well that’s boring. You want to have something fun! Definitely though, ‘You Are the Only One’ was a big one for me.
E!: Tugs on the heartstrings? What do you think it is about those songs, because every time I ask an artist about their favourite song, even for a band like Billy Talent who write sadistic emo tracks, a huge one for them was the only love song on their last album. Why do you think that is?
EO: Love is easy to write about! I mean, you talk about love and you can make a hit!
E!: Fair enough. Would you consider the ultimate form of flattery perhaps having an Emily Osment song featured in Rock Band or Guitar Hero?
EO: Oh my God that would be so cool! It’s funny, the drums for me are so hard, and I play real drums, and they’re easier than the Rock Band drums are. It’s kinda weird, but having a song in there would be pretty awesome.
E!: So you’re a video gamer, then?
EO: Ummm, yeah.
E!: Why do you say it with a kind of shame?
EO: Well, ’cause I have a bunch of guy friends who are like totally into ‘Halo’ and they got me into it and my friends who are all about World of Warcraft, I’m just like ‘GET A LIFE!”
E!: We like to ask the weird questions, so we’re done with the ‘inspiration’ questions, because if I want to know that, I can Wikipedia you, right?
Note: this is typically where an Eggplante interview gets more intense. Read on to see how Emily catches me off guard for some fun backlash against Wikipedia! Hilarity ensues after the break…
EO: No! Wikipedia is false! They say I like knitting and I learned guitar and they say that my favourite movie is Breakfast at Tiffany’s; I’ve never even seen that movie!
E!: Well, fair enough, so onto the weird questions: if you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
EO: Any super power? Freezing time would be the best! I would get so much done. If I could have frozen time just to sleep, and then wake up eight hours later, that would be great!
E!: Well that brings me perfectly into my next question: Hannah Montana, Dadnapped, Soccer Mom, Haunting Hour, Suite Life, and that’s just in the last three years. Plus interviews, signings, events, and all that; where do you find the hours to do anything else?
EO: And then I have my band that wants to go party every night in Toronto! You see the bags under my eyes? You know, somehow, we make it work. My dad’s my manager, my tour manager works everything out, people at Wind-Up, the label, everyone has a copy of my schedule. It was funny, the week before my SATs, I was like ‘nobody plan anything!’ It was the biggest break I ever had! I’m almost thinking about taking my tonsils out just to have a forced two week break.
E!: What kinds of artists are you influenced by? You said you like Audrey Hepburn for film, but what about music?
EO: Well, when it comes to my EP, I was influenced my Alanis Morisette. I think I listened to Jagged Little Pill like forty million times over a couple of months, but personally, my musical tastes and what I actually write are completely different. I have a very eclectic mix; I listen to everything. Underground, indie stuff. I hate saying that I’m a scene, emo kid, because I’m not, but I like techno, electronic, the indie music, everything.
E!: Would you ever get a tattoo? What would you get?
EO: If I got one, I would get a Radiohead quote on my finger, in between my fingers. But that’s the thing, with the industry that I’m in, it definitely lowers the chances of the different roles that you can play, especially in period pieces and that kind of thing. Poor hair and makeup takes like six hours to cover up that sort of thing!
E!: Well let’s get into the juicy stuff; life, love, the good stuff, you know!
EO: Alright, let’s do it!
E!: So explain this long relationship for us.
EO: I had a pretty ridiculously long, complicated relationship. I think everyone’s got that relationship in their life where they think ‘Oh, that one! I remember that one!’ I can’t even put words to it. Ask my best friend, she’s like ‘I don’t want to talk about it anymore, we talk about it all the time!’ But it definitely was an inspiration for the album.
E!: So let’s jump back into the Eggplantey stuff; Nutella or Peanut Butter?
EO: Peanut Butter.
E!: Why? See, I’m a Nutella diehard, so you have to explain yourself to me!
EO: Well, Nutella is really rich and I would feel bad eating it for breakfast. I would feel like I’m putting candy on my food.
E!: You’re 17! You’re supposed to want to put candy on everything!
EO: I don’t like candy, I don’t like soda!
E!: Alright, so let’s talk about this. Why are you so weird?
EO: Hahaha, well I was at my brother’s place the other day, and I went through his fridge and it’s all low fat yogurt, unsweetened tea, and no fat milk, and whole grain bread and he’s the most healthy person I’ve ever met. And when he moved to New York, he was like ‘I’m gonna be all cool and healthy in New York’ and that influenced me and I tried it and followed him.
E!: Not a bad lifestyle! Who was your favourite Power Ranger?
EO: Why are you asking me about Power Rangers? You should be asking about, uhh, I don’t even know, I watched M*A*S*H when I was little!
E!: Well, fair enough, who doesn’t have a crush on Alan Alda? So tell me about this movie that you’re shooting.
EO: I’m shooting a movie? Am I?
E!: Ugh, Wikipedia.
EO: Wikipedia? What have I told you? What does it say?
E!: It says that you’re filming a movie scheduled to begin in 2009 and the name escapes me at the moment.
EO: You shouldn’t read Wikipedia. It’s FALSE!
E!: Point taken. So the website is called Eggplante.com and it’s called that because, well, it’s weird, but more so because you won’t forget it when you get home tonight.
EO: You’re right, I won’t!
E!: So when you see me on Twitter saying ‘go RT the article’, go do it!
EO: RT! Re-Tweet! You just said RT! RT! Really? What is the world coming to?
E!: I’m sorry! I’ve got three Twitter accounts!
EO: Three!?!?! What do you need three for?
E!: Well, I’ve got Eggplante, my personal one, and another one that I manage, so it all checks out! Anyways, we do this thing called the Crap Shoot at the end of our interviews, so I’m just going to say something and you have to give me the first thing that pops into your head, talk for as long as you want about it, give me one word, whatever you want.
EO: Cool, let’s go.
E!: Let’s start out with the big one. Disney Channel.
EO: Wooooooo! Lots of history; four years working with them. I started working there when I was 13: the ‘awkward’ age.
E!: Ninja Turtles.
EO: I’m going to say Haley on this one just because I have this memory of seeing pictures from when he was little and he had this Ninja Turtle helmet he’d wear when he went bike riding.
E!: Hey, that’s awesome! Uhh, children shows since we’re on the topic.
EO: Great! I like the Family Channel! We did a show in San Francisco the other day and we all started singing the ‘Full House’ theme song! Bob Saget! Yeah!
E!: Next: Canada.
EO: Eh? I went out with these contest winners the other night and they couldn’t get over the fact that I say soda and not pop and they’re like ‘so..da…’ and I’m like, ‘yeah, you say it enough, it’s gonna start sounding weird!’
E!: So the last one is Video Games. I planned these out before, and I just had a feeling you liked your video games somehow.
EO: There’s a really funny picture of me wearing the ‘Halo’ headset slouched over playing the game and we set up a time to all get on and play Xbox Live.
E!: And is this photo Googleable somewhere?
EO: No! It’s on my personal Facebook that you will not find!
E!: Well that’s pretty much it! The EP just launched, your album is expected next year, I hear March.
EO: The date is changing, but yes, next year!
E!: Well, the Wikipedia says March.
EO: Don’t trust Wikipedia! How many times do I have to say it!?
E!: Awesome, well that’s incredible! Thank you!
EO: Thank you so much!
All the while, Emily was rocking these killer boots, truly fashionable in their own right! I joked about owning a pair of my own just like those, but told Emily if she ever hoped to see them, she’d have to release that Halo headset-toting Xbox Live-playing photo we’re all dying to see!
UPDATE: We took the liberty of uploading the audio from the interview. Hear how relaxed it really was, and hear lots more that didn’t even make it into the written interview… check it out here: Osment.mp3 (18.3 MB)