Thursday, April 02, 2009

Lunch with Josh Freese at the Cheesecake Factory In Huntington Beach

(When is the last time you had lunch like this?)

An unknown number rang my cell phone on Sunday. I skeptically answered the phone and found myself speaking to Nicole who was coordinating lunches for Josh Freese. In case you haven't been following the saga, I previously posted Josh Freese's outlandish ideas to promote his new solo album.

Having been a fan of Josh Freese's drumming since his early days in the Vandals, I felt fortunate to be one of the lucky ones to buy lunch with Josh since all 25 packages sold out. Josh has worked with a slew of some of my favorite bands including Devo, A Perfect Circle and Nine Inch Nails. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to chat it up with Josh Freese over lunch at the Cheesecake Factory in Huntington Beach.

Meeting at 10:45 in front of Cheesecake Factory in Huntington Beach, I was greeted by the man himself, Josh and his cameraman. Josh handed me a goodie bag filled with signed drumsticks, a signed Remo Drumhead, his new cd/DVD, and a t-shirt. I had a feeling it would be filmed for his Youtube channel so I wore my Hum t-shirt and tried to not act like a complete dork.

Josh was very down to earth and just as zany and energetic as his drum style. It seemed to hit Josh that he was really going through with his masterplan when we sat down to eat. He relayed the craziness of trying to coordinate with people flying across the country to play miniature golf with Maynard from Tool, and Mark from Devo.

We were quickly questioned by the staff at the Cheesecake Factory as to why we were filming. Josh politely explained what he was doing and the waitress didn't seem to grasp the fact that Josh will be back potentially twenty times. It is a good thing that the Cheesecake Factory menu is quite extensive.

I did get a chance to relay my extensive live show history with Josh. I even mentioned the time I saw Josh drum for Maynard at the Whiskey for a Circle Jerks benefit. I didn't get tickets for the Viper Room show that happened later that day which was the live debut of A Perfect Circle. Josh quickly added he remembered playing to a few hundred people with A Perfect Circle as the first band on the main stage for Coachella in 1999.

I ordered a chicken and shrimp jambalaya pasta while Josh ordered a turkey sandwich and soup. What has gotten lost in the midst of all the craziness, is that Josh is promoting his new solo album which serves as a homage to the Replacements, Fear, and the quirk pop of Devo.

One of the funnier moments of the lunch was when Danny Lohner of Nine Inch Nails called Josh. I sarcastically asked Josh to quiz Danny on the status of the Renholder album which is Danny's side project. I did get some funny tour stories that I probably shouldn't recant here but overall the lunch went by in seconds.

I did get a chance to ask Josh about his contribution to Juliana Hatfield's album Only Everything to which Josh commented it stood out in his memory of being a fun album to work on. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to quiz him about Buckethead and the Guns N'Roses days.

We ended the lunch by taking a few photos in front of the Cheesecake Factory parking signs which may end up on his site. While you can put a price tag ($250) on the package, the whole experience was pretty classic and worth every penny. This very well will be the most expensive post here on Amateur Chemist but one that definitely will not be forgotten.


Rowan said...

That's awesome, mate--what an experience!

This just further cements the fact that Josh is a truly cool, down-to-earth guy.

Glad you both hit it off.

Shaun said...

Thanks for asking him about Juliana and Only Everything.

Randy Shipp said...

I second Shaun's comment. Very cool.