What do you feel has been one of your greatest works yet as far as your books go?
AB: Oh like I was saying before, they’re all my children [laughs]. My Eminem book I’m really proud of because it’s like the cultural thesis I never got to write in college because he wasn’t around yet [laughs]. That I’m really proud of because it isn’t a straight bio, I say that in the introduction. It’s about him as a cultural phenomenon and what it says about America and racism in this day and age and socio-economic divide and why he symbolises these things, why he was so hated by the same news outlets that turned around and loved him six months later when he released the Hollywood version of his life 8 Mile. I’m really proud of it because I got to get into things that I had been thinking, he was a real fitting vessel for all that. It is my first book too. It got written up on the front page of the arts section of the New York Times – I was ridiculously proud.
Tommyland is ridiculous and funny. I’m just excited I got to live with Tommy and write a book about it and found different ways to talk about it. I’m actually a character in the footnotes, correcting Tommy every time he is wrong about timing. It got to be so funny, with the first draft I started to fact check something and I’d be like, Tommy you are off by seven years on your marriage to Heather Locklear! You’re wrong by five years! It was just hilarious. He has no recollection and would be like, ‘oh, I don’t know dude.’
I love the Slash book. It was funny because I saw Guns n Roses and Motley Crue when they played together in New York when I was fifteen and it’s crazy that I did a book with the coolest guys in each band – in my opinion. Just being able to get into what happened with Guns n Roses in the Slash book was totally rewarding. He’s just amazing.
The book I did with Artie Lange, Too Fat To Fish was incredible. Artie is really smart, he’s a great interview, he made my job easier than most people. He’s great to collaborate with, we’re actually writing a new book together this year.
Wow! You are just so busy!
AB: Yeah and I could not be lazier than I’m being right now. I do have a work meeting later and we’re doing this interview so those are good excuses… these dogs I’m with too need walking, they need to go on a hike [laughs]. I’m in the middle of finishing Wyclef’s memoir about The Fugees essentially. That’s taking a long time but it’s almost done. I’m already working on Artie’s book. I’m starting interviews with Courtney in November. I’m doing that Playboy interview next week which needs to be done by November.
I noticed on your Facebook profile that you’re a Buddhist/Daoist?
AB: Yeah if anything [laughs].
When did you first get into those philosophies?
AB: A long time ago, in school I guess. In college I studied comparative religions. I’m not a practising anything except a meditator. Out of all of the world religions and philosophies those two resonate with me the most. I like their view of what existence is more than any other world religion I have studied.
What type of meditation do you do?
AB: I have a general mediation I do most mornings before I have to get up and get going. I have a visualization I do. I have this great class when I am in Los Angeles that I do. It’s amazing. Basically what it is, is that the guy leading it has all these rose quartz crystal bowls that are different sizes – he is a percussionist – he plays the frequencies on the bowls. He sort of vibes out with the frequencies on the people in the room. This probably sounds so ‘west coast’ but I don’t care because it’s the truth and I like it [laughs] but it’s a something sonic mediation – I can’t quite remember the name. He creates these frequencies of these resonating balls of crystal quartz and he leads everyone into mediation and then there’s a Tibetan chant and stuff. I do that regularly when I’m out here. The sonic frequency thing… you can take someone who doesn’t believe in any of that kind of thing – a lot of it is the healing belief in the power of crystals and energy – and the frequencies of what the guy will play will affect them. It does something to you, it definitely send you on some kind of thought experience within yourself. You can get the same kind of frequency from meditation tapes as well. Having someone playing it live though and feeling the people there it’s amazing. It’s definitely unique and special—I have gotten a lot out of it.
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