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'Read Bill' Michael Madsen Interview

To commemorate the release of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's highly anticipated "Grind House" production, Lyrical Knockout Entertainment is proud to present excerpts of Deejay Ra's literacy themed radio interview with "Kill Bill" and "Sin City" actor Michael Madsen about the release of his "Complete Works of Michael Madsen" poetry book.

Madsen's former co-stars in over 100 productions since 1982 have included Al Pacino, Ben Kingsley, Uma Thurman, Mario Van Peebles, Kristanna Loken, and most memorably Harvey Keitel in Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs", who presented Madsen with an 'Equinoxe Rebel' Award at the 2005 RebelFest Toronto Film Festival.

Burn Hollywood Burn

"First of all I never planned on being a writer. I didn't write this book because I had the intention of writing them. I wrote because I needed to get something out of my head. For whatever reason I saved everything I wrote and eventually I had a big box of pages. And at one point in time I was actually going to set them ablaze, I was living in Santa Fe New Mexico and I was going to burn them up because I couldn't start a fire in the fireplace. I was convinced by someone to not do that, and instead I sent it out to a publisher and that was my first book. I'm always surprised to hear from people that they've read the book and actually have a favorite poem."

"Apparently I have a poetry voice that I'm not aware of that's sort of different from the acting thing. I thought poetry was an interesting way to express myself that had nothing to do with acting and in fact over time it became a little more interesting to me. But the content isn't for everyone, in fact I must say I certainly don't want any ten year old kids reading this damn book. I'd say at least over seventeen for my kind of stuff because it's pretty raw."

Read Bill

"Kids should be reading something. They should be reading Shakespeare because everything that ever meant anything was already figured out by Shakespeare. Even though sometimes it's kind of confusing to listen to, if you read it slowly you realize that he really had everything figured out as far as social ideas are concerned. And even though it's dated there's a lot of good lessons in there, a lot of interesting ideas that are communicated by him."

"Besides Shakespeare films there were also a lot of literary breakthroughs that were made in the era of Bogart and Cagney, film noirs that were based on novels. White Heat, Maltese Falcon, and Casablanca were all based on some sort of novel."

Please Listen To My Demo

"I've never done an audiobook, but actually always wanted to record 'Catcher In The Rye'. But then I found out that Matt Dillon had already done it so he beat me to that one. There's a lot of books I'd like to do on tape but it takes a long time and it has to be the right book. There's a fine line where you have to find the right thing that you want to do because you should do it, and you need to do it for people who want to hear it. Actors should stay away from doing that sort of thing just for the money."

"I think one of the interesting things that could be done with my poetry is it could be used as lyrics, like for a heavy metal band. I don't think they would work for a hip-hop artist but I think they could be used for some of these rock kids that are coming up who got a really strong stage presence, but their lyrics are a bit simplistic. I'd really like to sit back ten or fifteen years from now and hear a band using my lyrics. I might even do something with a jazz band where they would play behind my readings too."

Mr. Blonde and Mr. Dylan

"I've actually written a screenplay about Pretty Boy Floyd, the background is from the 1930's. And I just finished reading Bob Dylan's biography which is called The Chronicles, and Mr. Dylan speaks a lot about Pretty Boy Floyd, ironically. So what I did was I got in touch with Mr. Dylan and said I wrote this script about Pretty Boy Floyd, he was a bank robber in the 1930's and I might do this movie. But I gotta do it soon because in the next five years I'll be too old to play Pretty Boy Floyd because he was blasted when he was only 38, so I can't get away with it much longer!"

"So I said to My. Dylan would you be interested in writing the soundtrack of music considering you also have a great interest in Pretty Boy Floyd. And in fact I got a very positive response from Mr. Dylan, saying that in fact he had already recorded one song about Pretty Boy Floyd, and that he wanted to read my script. And at that point in time he'd decide whether or not he was interested in writing the score and soundtrack for my film, so let's see what happens."

Gangster Actor Meets Gangsta Rapper

"All I can say is that a lot of hip-hop is very interesting and I know that it comes directly from a place in the artists' lives. In fact I recently made a film with DMX, we had a good time together making a picture in China. And that guy is the real deal, DMX comes from what he claims to have come from. And so he definitely has a legitimate opinion on what his life was and what the streets are about. And that's cool with me, because there's nothing that I hate more than phony tough guys."

"Actually I've heard myself referenced in a lot of songs. There's even a rap group that used actual quotes from me as Mr. Blonde, so I know that I'm personally responsible for representing a certain amount of violence. But then again everyone tells me they know when I do it on screen, it's all in good fun."

School Or The Streets?

"I have kids, and I sometimes think it might be good to expose them to the fact that the world is full of violence and hatred, because it makes them stronger and tougher and more aware of what they're up against as they're growing up. But I'm the kind of guy where the other side of me is saying there's an innocence and a goodness in children that's ripped out of them by early exposure to certain things that are so heavy and violent."

"All I'm trying to say is I'm lost myself in the middle of wondering whether or not it's a good thing to expose kids to violence so that they can straighten up and get smart, or if we should be protective and keep them in a world where they can mature and move down their own road. But I think we're increasingly moving into a world where kids can't be protected even if they should."

Where Is The Love?

"I'm not gonna pontificate about music but I'm just gonna say I think a lot of hardcore music is legitimate and a lot of it isn't. But if you go back to Nat King Cole or Ray Charles, that music has a wonderful kind of warmth, melody and nostalgia. I wish there was more of that to kind of balance the hardcore stuff out."

"I mean my goodness isn't it nice once in a while to just sing a lullaby and get back to some gentler stuff. There's still a lot of love left in the world and I just wish sometimes that would come out in popular music."

Attached support photography courtesy of A Band Apart Productions.

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