The Australian Weekend Mag has a better than the usual interview with Tom Waits by Gerard Wright on the occasion of the release of the 3 CD set, Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards. Available in Australia for around $100 the CDs are meant to stand alone musically as well as being part of the bigger set.
Tom describes Orphans as "A lot of songs that fell behind the stove while making dinner". It contains 56 songs of which around only 14 are to be found easily elsewhere. All reports so far is that it is a great spread of Tom's styles across the 3 CDs.
One of the highlights for me in the Oz Weekend interview comes when Tom talking about who the album is aimed at and is asked if he is worried about how the true believers will receive it (as if us true believers ever doubt). Tom replies that it isn't that audience that he worries about but how people like David Hildago Los Lobos, Mark Linkous Sparklehorse and Nick Cave are going to think. Oooh that just makes me and a few thousand others love Tom even more.
In another neat touch in the interview Tom talks about how he learnt Waltzing Matilda at primary school where it was a staple of USA music classes in the '50's & '60's:
"I knew that song since I was a kid. Everybody sang it in school. It's Banjo Paterson, right? Paterson yeah. I didn't know what a Matilda was but it sure was an intriguing song...... when I was older it haunted me. Somebody sat down and played it on the piano one day when I was in the studio. Just tore me up......... I had this whole romance with the road...... leaving your troubles behind.......so that's what it became for me"
Tom Waits - Cat of The Week