John Roberts — actor — voices Linda Belcher on Fox’s hit animated series Bob’s Burgers, for which he’s been nominated for an Emmy Award.
Roberts is also a musician and songwriter, who collaborated with Blondie’s Debbie Harry, on “Love Level,” as well as performing at Joe’s Pub in NYC, where he delivers galvanizing shows.
His new music video, “Looking,” combines Roberts’ love for ’80s dance pop music with fluorescent lights, beau coup neon, mannequins, a vintage phone, and a studded leather jacket. Wickedly extravagant, sleek, and exuding sumptuous sensuality, the visuals match the intoxicating pulse of the retro-flavored music.
I sat down with John Roberts to find out how he got into music, what inspired “Looking,” and to ask if he’s serious about a music career, or just slumming. Turns out he’s as funny in real life as he is on Bob’s Burgers.
How would you describe yourself?
Loyal and fun.
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
I made blow job lips at a guy in a dive bar and we ended up strangling each other. I think I pissed while sitting down at my table at Sidewalk Cafe too. It was all a cry for help.
What’s your favorite song to belt out in the car or the shower?
Any song that’s currently on.
How did you get started in music? What’s the backstory there?
I used to rave and got some sample equipment and would loop things and write at home but only shared with friends. It wasn’t until my old band Optigrab that I actually would perform. Although Optigtrab was borderline comedy, but with fun beats.
You voice Linda Belcher on Bob’s Burgers. What would Linda have to say about your music?
What musicians influenced you the most?
Blondie, Ramones, Prince, Sugarhill Gang, Run DMC, Madonna, Beastie Boys, 808 State, Van Halen, Black Sabbath. 80’s Freestyle, 90’s House…
How, if at all, do your musical influences shape and impact your music?
I want to feel the same excitement I feel when I listen to my influences. The same energy.
You’re tagged as “’80s dance-pop.” How would you describe your style of music?
I really like “Looking.” What inspired the song?
Thanks! Wanting to go out and get laid and have a stranger sit on your face.
With all due respect, is music a side-project to acting for you, or is it the real deal?
It’s the real deal.
If you had to choose between music and acting, which would win?
Music. Music is hands down my favorite. Don’t ask me why it’s taken me this long.
The video for “Looking” is totally retro — glitz, neon, studded leather jacket. Who came up with the idea for the visuals?
Me. I worked with Dickie my art director and was inspired by old Robin Byrd and wanted to do something campy and queer. I styled it though.
What’s next for you musically? Will you be touring?
Another EP. Working more with Big Black Delta and Babydaddy from Scissor Sisters, as well as Junior Sanchez. Putting together a live show as we speak. First performance will be at School Night, July 15 in Los Angeles. Then something big in the fall in Brooklyn or NYC.