Kamasi Washington: You read interviews with people from 50, 60 years ago and it sounds like they’re talking about what’s going on today.
Richard Simmons: That’s right. They usually wrap them in a baggie with a little note.
Washington: It’s really cool, it’s awesome. It could’ve been called something else.
Simmons: Absolutely. Do you want to live or do you want to die?
Washington: (Laughs) I don’t know.
Simmons: I was sitting in a cafe in Florence one day and met somebody in casting and did a little something and then I met somebody else and they asked me to do something.
Washington: To me, that created a once-in-a-generation piece of art. I thought that was amazing.
Simmons: It’s not worth it. (Voice breaks) They don’t make Dolfin shorts anymore.
Washington: When we were younger that was kind of controversial, the fact that we didn’t do things the way that people expected us to do them, and now it’s almost like, what we’re doing, it’s like the world has caught up to it.
Simmons: The last time I was on, we went to commercial and I was like, “I’d love to meet your wife!” He was like, “You never will.” And then I was like, “And see your son!” And he was like, “You’ll never see him.” And then we come back from the commercial break and he’s all friendly with me again. You’re laughing but it’s true. (Long pause) I feel that interviews should have commercials.
Washington: We’ve always just kind of been ourselves. There’s a depth to our connection that I can’t really get with anyone else.
Simmons: Everyday after school, for three hours a day, I would sell those pralines on the street corner. There’s nothing cynical about it.
Washington: It was the story of these kids that had been training– you know I watch a lot of kung fu movies, a lot of anime. They weren’t always there.