Watch: Lou Reed’s final interview

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A month prior to his death, Lou Reed participated in a photo shoot for French audio headphones company Parrot. Out of that we’ve gotten Reed’s final photograph, a triumphant portrait of a man still defiant, even as his body was failing him. Now, Parrot has shared an interview with Reed conducted by director Farida Khelfa. According to Rolling Stone, it serves as Reed’s final interview.

“You do what you love… or you get arrested,” Reed answered when asked why he plays music. Asked if his father purchased his first guitar, Reed said, “My father didn’t give me shit,” adding that he himself purchased a “very cheap” guitar from “working in the forest, chopping trees down, and taking care of chickens on the farm.”

Reed admitted to Khelfa that he didn’t practice or play guitar every day, but instead “played from the heart.” In a bit Reed’s trademark cynicism, he also said he “sleeps with his guitar and amp.”

Given Reed was there as part of an advertorial campaign for headphones, most of the conversation focused around sound. “I know the way I like things to sound,” Reed explained. “I wouldn’t want to hear Beethoven without beautiful bass, the cellos, the tuba. It’s very important. Hip-hop has thunderous bass. And so does Beethoven. If you don’t have the bass, it’s like being amputated. It’s like you have no legs.”

Reed also told Khelfa that he considered the sound of CDs to be “horrifying” and that he recently “remastered every album I have to take advantage of the new technology.” “And it was so beautiful it made me cry,” he added. “I am very emotionally affected by sound. Sounds are the inexplicable… There is a sound you hear in your head, it’s your nerves, or your blood running. It’s kind of amazing to hear that.”

Watch a portion of the interview below. A more extensive clip can be found at Parrot’s website.

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