Indy: Listening to your new album takes about the same amount of time as eating an apple; good call on naming it Golden Delicious.
MD: It's like 38 minutes, which is a bit on the long side for me. The other thing is I think in the iPod era gosh, that sounds pretentious if you want to make something that is longer, you can't do a 70-minute piece. Remember, Led Zeppelin IV was eight songs. [The Smashing Pumpkins'] Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is, like, two 60-minute discs. That's a hell of a commitment.
Indy: Speaking of '90s commitments, do you feel Soul Coughing was underrated?
MD: It's overrated, as far as I'm concerned. The first record [1994's Ruby Vroom] had a certain kind of chaos that wasn't available anywhere else, but I think my performance on the record is dreadful. I think we're more admired than listened to, and it was largely a missed opportunity.
Indy: Hmmm ... so who else do you feel is overrated?
MD: This is rather controversial, but I was a friend of Jeff Buckley, and I don't think he could write songs for shit. I really don't. In fact, I tried to talk him into letting me write some songs for him, and he was really offended. What he was best at was interpreting songs, like "Lilac Wine" and "Hallelujah." A lot of his original stuff is weird, poorly done prog rock.
Mike Doughty's Band at Boulder's Fox Theatre, April 23.