Sunday, August 03, 2008

INTER:VIEW - Justin Romack

INTER:VIEW is a new feature of Todd Blog where I interview my friends to showcase how rockin' awesome they are. According to the rules of INTER:VIEW, the interview post with the most comments will win a free guest-blogging spot in the future.

#1. First off, Justin, congratulations on being selected as our first interview. Does it feel good to be more desired than Clay, Robert, Jason or David?

Well, Todd, I have to admit that I was a little shocked when you informed me about receiving this honor. To be honest, I had not been readingyour blog that much that particular week, so I was unaware that the competition was even underway. But, it is pretty amazing to know that I was requested (ratheroverwhelmingly, I might add). And, yes, in response to your question – it feels great to be number one…because I know that is what you were really asking.

#2. Most folks know that you are a gifted drummer, faithful friend and a bit of a computer expert. But most people don't know that you actually very skilledin funny voices. You can do some great impressions and have even created characters out of thin air. When did you realize you could do voices?

I actually don't like my real voice, so I always wanted to try something new. Plus I am really good at copying everyone else's great ideas – so impressionsare perfect. Actually, I remember that I won a radio contest as a kid when I called and left a voicemail message with a bunch of funny characters and noises.That, plus some crazy friends, have pushed me to explore the horizons of voice impressions. I have a couple new characters I am working on now. I, alongwith the help of my buddy Jinx, have thought about doing a prank call CD in the future. I think that would be fun

#3. You really seem to do well working in the Family Guy character-base. Any reason why those character voices are easier to do than, say, the Simpsons or even kid stuff on Disney?

I am actually working on a Miley Cyrus / Hannah Montana voice right now. I think that might come in handy one day. But, in all honesty, I watch a lotof "Family Guy", and the characters on that show are very funny. I have a hard time being funny on my own, so I like to piggyback off of their success.Plus, the show has a ton of different folks to learn voices for, so it's (in a strange way), somewhat of a challenge to work with lots of characters likethat. And, the Mr. Herbert voice is just so useful in everyday life.

#4. Who's your most popular voice?

My most requested voice is Tyrone Philips. Tyrone, known as either "T", "Ty", or "Rone", is an urban gentleman, hailing from Lufkin. He's a Lufkin Highalumni (excelling in Geometry, thanks to his favorite teacher, Ms. Jones). He hasn't been the same since his loved one, ReRe, was tragically struck bya vehicle in the Brookshire Brothers parking lot. Since then, Tyrone has invested his time in playing tambourine in the TWB and working for the SmokehouseBlues Show on a local Lufkin radio station (spinning the best in old school and party blues).

#5. Most of the folks reading this are aware, but just in case this particular blog is drawing in some guests, we should probably mention that you are blind.Correct?

Technically, you are only half right. I am legally blind, which is to say that I see light and some contrast and shapes. Let's just say that I am limitedenough visually that last week I walked into a restroom, and didn't realize the lights were off the entire five minutes I was in there. It was a surprisewhen I went to turn them on and noticed the switch was already off. I was a little embarrassed.

#6. You travel with Larry, who is a Golden Lab. He's a service or "guide" dog. Most folks refer to him as a "seeing eye dog." Is the term perceived as weird or incorrect in the blind community?

Unfortunately, in the area in which I live – I hear "seeing guard dog" more than "seeing eye dog". (There's a big difference, and I honestly don't think Larry could guard anything but his rawhide bone.) The blind community has no preference as to what you should call our service animals. We are really a pretty mellow bunch, except when you scrub all the Braille off of the public restroom signs…that's not cool – you know who I'm talking to.

#7. Because Larry is with you almost anywhere you go, you end up having a lot of Larry Stories. So far, what's the strangest or funniest thing that's happenedregarding Larry.

It is always funny to see people overreact at the size of Larry. It's almost like that didn't know dogs could weigh 90 lbs. and that they are a good150-200 lbs. larger than said dog. Yet, I cannot turn a corner and pass an individual in a waiting room without being hollered at. About two weeks ago, I was at the doctor, and Larry scared a man. Like "jump out of your chair" scared. And in his defense, I came up from behind him, however, he didn't have to scream obscenities at Larry for startling him. Not to mention that the average age in the room is about 74 or so, and their eyes were glued to him for the remainder of the time we were there, like we were plotting some uprising in the middle of Retina Associates of Texas.

#8. You've been married almost a year to your beautiful wife, Angela, who we all know is awesome. This may be a bit too personal, but why exactly did she marry you?

It is a bit personal, Todd. You still ask though? I could see where there is reason to ask it though – I mean, she's not musical, so she doesn't need a drummer around. I can't cook much, so it's not my lack of culinary skills. I don't have an awesome car…so she didn't marry me for my sweet ride. Great…well…ummm…youtell me. Why did she marry me?

#9. I mean, you're moderately attractive and friendly enough, I guess...but were there just no other guys in Lufkin when she started dating?

I mean, I guess I possess some quality that she finds attractive and worthy of a life-long partner, right? Great, I am already paranoid, and there yougo making it worse. I guess I am somewhat funny. I mean, for the first month or so before we started dating, we would make prank phone calls to the HolidayInn reservation line. I mean, I was good enough at those calls to keep her entertained until they switch the phone lines over to the UK (which is 2 A.M.,in case you are wondering). That must've counted for something.

#10. All jokes aside, though, you liked Angela long before she like you, right? Tell us that story!

Two words: Forrest Layton. That's right, I felt I was in direct competition with him. I was fully prepared to knock him square between the eyes. But,something stopped me. Or, more like, you stopped me. See, I liked Angela from the first moment I met her. She's a Godly woman, very smart, very witty and humorous, and I have a blast with her each and every day. But, Forrest seemed to be the topic of conversation with the girls at my church around that time. So, I automatically assumed that Angela liked Forrest. I heard Forrest and Todd talking about her one time so, then I assumed…girl likes guy, guy likes girl…simple college level arithmetic, kiddos. But, Todd helped a brother out. He got the facts straight. And, he asked me this to have me publicly proclaim his awesomness in getting me and my wife together. And it worked.

#11. Are you terrified at all at the prospect of fathering children - unleashing other little Justin Romacks on society? Because it scares me...

Scared? No. But, you definitely should be. I plan to raise up the greatest militia of prank callers this world has ever seen. We will be unstoppable. Actually, to be quite honest, as of late, I have been thinking about when Angela and I want to have children– and what my disability will play in that. To be honest, I am a little scared. But, I have a great wife, who will be a great mother…and will make up forall the mess I will surely make.

#12. You actually were a bad little kid, weren't you?

Bad kid, maybe. Difficult, yes. Annoying, definitely. Mischevious, at times. Well, I guess I was kind of a bad kid. I was a little manipulative withmy prosthetic eye, at times. I remember during the second week of kindergarten, it was nap time. I wasn't having any of that. So, I popped my eye out,dropped it on the ground, and started shouting, "Oh no! Look! My eye fell out." I don't believe that prosthetic eye procedures are a requirement in theTexas teacher certification. But, aside from my prank calling, I grew out of all my mischief.

#13. But now youre a nice guy. What's the moral of your story?

You mean to say, you are a fantastic, law-abiding, upstanding citizen…and a great guy to hang out with, right? I have come a long way, yet I stillhave a long way to go. I think it has to do with, first of all, my wife. She keeps me on track. And my friends, who have really helped me to become a betterman. Except for Jinx and Philip…they've been encouraging this prank call thing, as of late. But, they are funny dudes with great ideas.

If you'd like to support Justin as he pursues a career in prank-call-comedy albums, please leave a comment below. (He actually is quite good at it...)


david said...

justin is a great guy to hang out with. i need to schedule more of that.

justin- i think you should look into magic jack for your prank calling needs. i'll seed you the $20.

Doug said...

Yea im the first comment...but will todd post it last...hmm... great interview. fantastic even.

clark said...

you are a great drummer and your dog is awesome

cole caraway said...

it was great having u at um army this year

Clay Smithhart said...

hey i dont really know you that well but you dominate the drums

julianne ford said...

your cool

Hunter said...

Justin your so cool!!! thanks for being here.

Maegan Mahoney said...

Hey! you are amazing!!

Ashley Hamel said...

youre amazing at the drums! it was great to have you at um army this summer!

clark said...

dude what up keep it real

adrienne. said...

best. interview. ever.

Justin makes me giggle.

hunter said...

you are funny, i guess
i don't know

Angela said...

I orginally thought of commenting an outlandish claim in order to generate more comments. Ya know, get a conversation going.

Then I thought about making this a simple, one-word kind of comment like: "Charming."

I obviously abandoned both of those ideas. So I will simply say that Quagmire is my FAVORITE impression of yours! Great interview...giggity giggity goo!

Anonymous said...

haha,justin im not sure your mature enough to have kids yet(lose the prank calling)
and im still wondering why angela married you too!

-katie mcclain=)

Artie said...

Been too long since I've been around Romack at all. We keep promising each other that we're going to play together some day.. and yet here it is years later and

You do rock though dude!

daniel said...

"I am actually working on a Miley Cyrus / Hannah Montana voice right now. I think that might come in handy one day."

Please promise that won't teach that to your militia of children. One is enough.

Great interview, Romack.

Johnny! said...

Dude, you married up. She quotes Quagmire.

Jinx said...

I don't think I've ever heard you do Quagmire...and I don't recall encouraging any prank calls lately. But I claim no involvement in case of any lawsuits in the future.

I love you Justin Romack.

We'll make out later on web cam.

p-melt said...

Thanks for the shout out!