Where are you right now?
I'm at the Metropolitan Hotel in London, England.
What does Q mean to you?
Well, Q seems like a magazine that's remained faithful to music. Popular music and underground. We don't have something like that in the States. When Rolling Stone will only put an actress, or a pom star, or a male model on the cover ... you have to question the integrity of a music magazine when only about 25 per cent of the magazine has anything to do with the music.
What's the best thing you've ever seen in Q?
I can't think of anything in particular. I remember ... [Long pause] ... like, a great picture of Thorn Yorke?! (Laughs) I don't fucking know.
What's your high point of the last 20 years?
In all honesty it was Nevermind going to Number 1 [in the US], and being in a band that went from complete squalor to knocking Michael Jackson off the charts. I didn't even know what the fucking charts were at the time; I was 21 years old and had never really paid attention to that kind of stuff. For me, the whole thing was a laugh. I wish I'd kept a journal because that was such a hurricane of memories. From September of '91 to February of '92 our lives changed forever, and the legend, or whatever, all has to do with those six months. We were just stuck in a van that whole time, showing up to gigs where there were too many people and it was too loud and we were too fucked up.
And the low point?
[Instantly] Kurt dying. Having someone that you know and respect and love die in such a horrible way, it just ... it just stopped the world for me for a while. There's people that you meet that you know aren't going to be around forever, and in a way you prepare yourself for that - and Kurt was onc of those people. I couldn't imagine him being the happy old man, and maybe it was just the time, maybe it was what we were all going through, but in a way I kind of prepared myself mentally for that and disconnected just to protect myself. Bur there's nothing you can do to keep you from feeling what you feel when it happens.
What's your biggest fashion disaster of the last 20 years?
Oh, God, look at any photo of me from 1991. The funny thing is that I used to wear fucking long johns under shorts. It was for a few different reasons: (a) because I had this complex about having really skinny chicken legs; (b) because that's kind of what the punks would wear during the fall. I look at it now and I think, "What the fucking hell was I thinking?" A complete bozo.
What was the first track you down loaded?
God, that was probably recently, once I discovered iTunes. I got so excited I spent the night finding albums that I had had that I just couldn't find any more: Not So Quiet On The Western Front, the Alternative Tentacles compilation from the '80s, [Black] Sabbath's Heaven And Hell, Abba's Greatest Hits - I probably spent $500 that night, just getting album after album.
Who's your favourite artist of the last 20 years?
The artist I've listened to most in the last 20 years is probably Metallica. I was a huge Metallica fan from the first album on, and as much as I've worn out my Beatles records and my Pixies records and the Zeppelin records, I'd have to say that's the band that I've probably listened to the most. It's funny because it sounds like such an adolescent trip, but I'm still on it, man.
Your favourite drug of the last 20 years?
Well, I quit doing drugs in 1990, so I haven't done any since then. I never did coke, not once. Never did heroin, was never a big fan of pills. I still drink occasionally. But I'd have to go with the weed, because ... I smoked a lot of weed, man - from the time I was 14 to 20 I smoked about an eighth a day. I was a fucking pothead. But I gave it up, thankfully. I don't know if I'd be sitting here right now if I hadn't.
Where will you be in 20 minutes?
I believe I'm going to the [music therapy charity] Nordoff-Robbins awards ceremony. I think we're getting a Silver Clef, which is great. I think it's probably the one award I'm most proud of. What a fucking great thing - music therapy.
Finally - are drummer jokes ever justified?
Absolutely. I think drummers are like goaltenders [in ice hockey]. I was a goaltender for eight years when I was a kid, and with drummers and goaltenders the buck stops there: you're the backbone or the foundation of the team or the band, and a band's only as good as its drummer - that's fucking true.
Have you heard Keith Moon's solo album Two Sides Of The Moon?
I never have.
It's fucking terrible.
[Laughs] That's the best drummer joke of all: what's the last thing the drummer said before he was kicked out of the band? "Hey, guys, I wrote a song I think we should play."