By Reed Fischer
By Anna Gulbrandsen
By Jeff Gage
By Stacy Schwartz
By Natalie Gallagher
By Erik Thompson
By Jeff Gage
By Loren Green
R&B lothario Har Mar Superstar and Yeah Yeah Yeahs squealer Karen O. have settled into their mid-20s with all the quiet anonymity of P. Diddy leading Operation North Korean Freedom. She appeared on Top of the Pops this year with Kelly Clarkson and Marilyn Manson; he frolicked on the cover of Mixmag with half-naked Ibiza dancers. They toured Australia together this summer, and this Saturday they headline separate venues in the Twin Cities, Har Mar's hometown. What we wanted to know is: Do these alternative sex symbols have anything in common besides exhibitionist tendencies? So we placed a conference call between Har Mar at his brand-new Hollywood crib and Karen at a tour stop in Orlando, Florida, to find out.
Har Mar Superstar:What's going on, dude?
Karen O: I'm a little bit wasted. I only have two questions that I prepared in advance. First, can you tell me the process that you undergo to write a song?
Har Mar:Most of the time I start out with an idea for a beat, made with my friend Eric Olson--he's from Minneapolis but he lives out here in L.A. We're like a production team.
Karen: What's his sexuality? Is he hetero, bi, or gay?
Har Mar:Eric? He's a hetero man. So what we do is type out a beat on the MPC, and then add a bass line. Then I drive around listening to the beat for a week or so until I come up with a vocal idea. Normally, all the songs are about sex, so I just sort of try to get into a lot of sexy situations. Then I drive away from them, and I write all the stuff down.
Karen: Okay, so when you say sexy situations that you drive away from--you're lying, right?
Har Mar:About half the time I'm totally lying.
Karen: You mean like sexy situations in your room watching--
Har Mar:--Sex in the City. That kind of thing.
Karen: Well, that leads me to my next question. I'm sure you get asked this all the time. What is the process that you undergo to eat a banana?
Har Mar:I always get this question. It's fucking so old. But what I do is kind of rub it around whatever's nearest. It could be something on me, or somebody else, or just a table or something, to make sure it's not some kind of booby trap. Because everybody likes to laugh at me every once in a while. So I just make sure it's a real banana. And then I peel it, from top to bottom. Sometimes I don't peel it. Sometimes I'll just eat the whole thing.
Karen: You're not the only one who eats it that way. I know that you felt kind of isolated eating bananas that way, getting a little bit down on yourself for a while. But apes and monkeys eat bananas with the peels on. It doesn't even occur to them to peel it.
Har Mar:Exactly. What's the point? So Karen, you're in Orlando. Did you try to go to Disney World or anything?
Karen: No, we went to see A Perfect Circle at the Hard Rock Cafe Live, which is actually in Universal Studios. We're in this backstage area. [Bassist] Twiggy [Ramirez] is onstage right now. [Guitarist] James Iha is in complete shadow: They don't want to give him any spotlight because he's Asian.
Har Mar:It's that and because he made that solo record that nobody really liked much.
Karen: Thing is, it's all white people here tonight.
Har Mar:Does that make you a little bit intimidated, because you have some Asian blood?
Karen: No, no, no. I don't know how I do it, kicking someone in the balls or knocking the wind out of them. But I know that I could take a few punches.
Har Mar:You could also just get wasted and not think about it. [mutual laughter] So you're coming out here soon to record with me. Are you fucking excited?
Karen: Actually, if you want to know the truth, I'm electronically mailing with Beck, and I told him that I was going to be out there recording with you, and he didn't write me back after that.
Har Mar:I saw him three days ago at a festival and he asked me to record with him, so maybe I'm totally cock-blocking you.
Karen: Well, it wasn't too long ago that we were on the dance floor, and there was this girl that you were interested in, and she had a few guys hanging on her, and I told you that you had some competition, and your reply was, "I'm winning." So I don't doubt that you could totally cock-block my ass.
Har Mar:No, let's do all that shit together.
Har Mar: [singing] One of these kids is not like the other.
Karen: Wait, who's that?
Har Mar:I would think it would be me.
Karen: Oh, come on, dude, why? Because you get more attention that way?
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city