American Invasion: How Long Gone

Chris Black and Jason Stewart are the hosts of the pandemic-borne podcast How Long Gone where they shoot the sh*t, interview celebs and keep us normies up to date with what's happening in New York and LA. 

Ahead of their live conversations with Raven Smith and Isamaya Ffrench last month, we sat down over some Guinness and green juice in The Library Lounge to talk parasocial relationships, Julian Casablancas and their hateful love of London. 
And I talk to them back as if we are friends. It's like a friend kink.

Do you think that your listeners think of you guys as their friends?

Chris Black: Yeah, they definitely think they're our friends. How could they not though? That's the nature of the whole beast, that you listen to people have these conversations in a pretty intimate way throughout your day.

Jason Stewart: What is a friend though, when you really think about it? Don't both parties have to be along for the ride? I guess that would be a parasocial relationship.

Do you think they feel emotionally invested in your lives?

JS: Yeah. For the good and for bad. I definitely get dozens of DMs every day from people who listen and talk to me as if we are friends. And I talk to them back as if we are friends. It's like a friend kink.

Do you think that it takes away from real relationships, that these people are DMing you on Instagram? Do you think they're not spending enough time with their real friends?

CB: I think everybody's on their phone all the time. I think that's just how we operate now. Even cross-generationally to some extent. I think people just choose to communicate that way.

JS: It's the same reason why a lot of people communicate better in a group chat scenario versus conversing in real life. You're able to sort of craft and construct your responses and takes on things, use imagery and clips to share your points. And people have to talk to all their friends and they can listen to us and get a little assistance on how to think about things in life, if they don't have a take on something or an opinion on something.

CB: Yeah. We’re providing a service in that way. 

If you think we're elitist, then go listen to The Daily, bro.

How do you grapple with your self-proclaimed bi-coastal elitism?

CB: Well, I am relatable and unpretentious. I think that liking nice stuff and living in a major city doesn't make you pretentious or unrelatable.

JS: Elitism can be confused with being opinionated, I guess. Although it can be both. 
I was thinking about this on the car back from The River Cafe. The word exclusive can be a good thing. We can talk about certain things on the show that exclude a bunch of people who are bad. You could be an elitist rich person, you're talking about diamonds and Maseratis and you're excluding poor people, that's kind of a bummer. But if I'm excluding shitbags and all those people, I think that's good. We don’t need more of that.

CB: Everything ain't for everybody. If you think we're elitist, then go listen to The Daily, bro. I don't know, like this ain't for you.

Where in Europe feels the most American?

JS: I mean, obviously London, because they speak English here and we're all from here.

CB: Wherever the sh*ttiest people of England live, that's the most American.
This is the only place in Europe I want to go. I'll say that, mainly.

JS: Yeah. We love London.

CB: It's the best. It's cool. It's given us so much. Unlike when I go to Paris. They're mean.

JS: I listen to depressing dance music and electronic ambient suicidal music. And this is where that's all beautiful.

CB: Jason walking around today getting wet with Burial in the AirPods. This is his dream.

JS: I also love eating peas.
So you've written the American Songbook for guys that wear skinny jeans, but not all of your songs.

Do you have dream guests?

JS: Julian Casablancas. But it's an interesting one because we both grew up listening to The Strokes and admiring their music, if not impersonating them.

CB: Chill, bro, that’s on you. I never.

JS: Well, it's like a sweet irony because like when The Strokes were around, I would dress like them — like so many other people — in an effort to get the attention of women. The problem is that my new wife likes Julian Casablancas a lot. So now the problem is like I worked so hard to be like The Strokes. And now that never happened, but I achieved that goal and now I have a wife, this is all good and we're all done here. And now she's like, I want to see The Strokes every time they play in town. 

I've been bitten by my own snake, is what I'm saying. So now that I know that she likes him so much, she's going to be listening to this episode and it is going to be a delicate dance of blowing smoke up his ass and also making fun of him.

CB: Got to neg him a little.

JS: Demeaning him. I have to knock him down a few pegs while knocking some pegs up.

CB: The Voidz.

JS: Yeah. Not all of your songs are great.

CB: So you've written the American Songbook for guys that wear skinny jeans, but not all of your songs.

Put down Nando’s. Fuck it.

In general, how do you feel about the British food stereotype? 

CB: It's a bit sh*t.

I think that's an antiquated assessment of the food here. It used to be a bit. But whenever I go to a foreign country outside of America, which is known as a melting pot of course where the greatest cuisine of the entire world comes to shine. But whenever I go to London or Italy or Asia or wherever, it's like just eat the food that they make there. And that's all you got to do. Just come to London and eat British food.

CB: That's the problem. Is that like asparagus with mayonnaise on it...and beans?

That sounds great. Clotted cream is what I'm after here. 

Do you listen to any British podcasts?

You guys do that here?

Favourite place to eat in London?

CB: Ottolenghi

JS: I don't have a favorite anything is my problem. Put down Nando’s. F*ck it. 

Favorite place to shop in London?

JS: Amazon

CB: .co.uk.

JS: Maybe Idea Books.

CB: Yeah. We're going to go to Idea on Sunday. I love Selfridges, of course. It's amazing. Labour and Wait is a very cool store. I went to Duke's Cupboard today, it's a vintage store. 

JS: It's like Our Legacy

CB: This name for a vintage store feels very British Cupboard. 

Favorite place to listen to music?

CB: On my AirPods on the tube. 

JS: I love Sweeties. I hearing DJ sets at Sweeties, especially when I'm DJ-ing. 

Favourite place to hang out?

We're both grown men. We don't hang out at places.

CB: Where am I going to hang out? I'm working in my hotel room all day. Tethered. I got to go right now. I got a call at five o'clock.

JS: I'm napping.
Listen to new episodes of How Long Gone every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Follow Chris Black and Jason Stewart. Stay at The Standard, London


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