In HateSong, we ask our favorite musicians, writers, comedians, actors, and so forth to expound on the one song they hate most in the world.
The hater: A comedian who’s appeared on shows like Younger and Louie, Nate Fernald is perhaps best known for his (totally untrue) role as Marc Maron’s co-host on WTF. Just last year, he released “WTF With Marc Maron and Nate Fernald,” proving, he said, that he’d been “basically ignored the whole time, to the point where I usually ended up just watching a movie for the rest of the interview.” It’s a dubious and false claim, but a funny joke from Fernald, who’s also written for The Pete Holmes Show.
The A.V. Club tracked down Fernald backstage at the Riot L.A. comedy festival, where he was not, in fact, anywhere near Marc Maron.
The hated: Sting, “Brand New Day” (1999)
The A.V. Club: Why is that the song you picked?
Nate Fernald: The first thing: The word “fuddy duddy” in a song… I can’t handle that.
AVC: I didn’t even know it was in there.
NF: Oh, he genuinely uses the term “fuddy duddy” in the lyrics of that song, and he rhymes it in a sentence that ends with “buddy.” I forget the exact lyrics, but it’s something like, “It’s something something buddy, I ain’t no fuddy duddy.” I would get mad at my mom when she said that as a kid. When I was a kid and she would say “fuddy duddy,” it would make me angry because I was just like, “That’s a dumb phrase. Don’t say it.”
AVC: This song has also got that jazz harmonica intro.
NF: Yes! This is the thing I hate about the intro. I don’t know if this will make any sense, but it feels like it’s the intro to a third-rate sitcom. Did you ever have that feeling when you were a kid when you were watching your favorite sitcom, but then you didn’t like the one that came on after it? So your favorite one ends, and you hear the intro to the next one, and it just makes you feel bad? That feeling comes back to me when I hear that weird harmonica.
I’m going to keep saying, “bah-bwempt-bah-bwempt-bah-bah-bwempt” just so I can see how you spell it.
AVC: I hadn’t listened to the song in a long time, so thanks for reminding me how bad it is.
NF: It’s so bad. It sounds like a bunch of recently divorced dads started a band together, and that’s the first and only song they made.
AVC: Did you watch the video?
NF: I did. And he’s Jesus in it?
AVC: But it’s Jesus for everyone, like for Indian people and the Chinese.
NF: Hey, the power of Sting, you know?
AVC: This song was on TV for a long time as the theme to The Early Show on CBS.
NF: So it was a theme song! I did not know that.
AVC: I don’t think it was written as a theme song, I think they just thought, “‘Brand New Day.’ It’s a new day. It’s a morning show.”
NF: Also, the phrase “brand new day.” I don’t think I could ever get along with someone who says, “It’s a brand new day.”
AVC: It’s like a therapist.
NF: Yeah. Someone who just discovered holistic medicines probably talks about brand new days a lot.
AVC: People who work at herbal wellness centers and get colonics.
NF: I’m trying to debate whether I’d rather have a colonic or hear “Brand New Day.”
AVC: A colonic can supposedly be pretty dangerous. “Brand New Day” will probably not injure you.
NF: If someone was going to give me colonic, I’d just be like, “I’ll just listen to ‘Brand New Day.’ That’ll do the job.” That would clean my body out, just putting on “Brand New Day.”
AVC: Do you like other Sting songs?
NF: I love The Police. I’m not super well versed in the solo stuff. There are a couple songs in his solo stuff that I’ve heard I’ve liked, but there are a lot of songs I’ve really not liked of his solo career.
AVC: What songs did you like?
NF: I like—it’s called “Fields Of Grain” or something. [It’s called “Fields Of Gold.”—ed.] You know, not going to change the world, but a decent hook.
AVC: It’s nice enough.
NF: I like how sexual Sting is. He’s a sexual dude. My friend and me made a video a long time ago and there was a scene in it where someone shows up with a bunch of Sting CDs. I just made a bunch of Sting album covers. The only one I can remember, the album was called Dressed To Finger. I think that could be a real Sting album.
AVC: At the very least Sting probably loves fingering.
NF: He calls it Sting-ering.
AVC: It’s weird to think there are people who have heard that Sting in into tantric sex and then think, “Well, I like Sting, so I should check out this tantric sex stuff.”
NF: He probably opened up that world for a lot of people.
AVC: Is there anything someone could do to make “Brand New Day” better?
NF: I don’t think so. There’s so much about it I dislike. I hate it so much that I almost love it. If the song comes on, I’m not going to change the channel. I’m going to sit there and get mad at it. It’s got that opening harmonica thing that just makes me feel sad. The lyrics are real bad. And just the groove of it—it’s something a dad who’s gone out of touch with music thinks would be cool. I keep going back to dads with this. It’s really a dad song.
AVC: It depends on what kind of dad you’re talking about.
NF: I can’t wait to revisit it when I become a dad. Maybe I’ll love it.
AVC: Do you think the second a baby comes out of your partner, you’re like, “I love Sting!”
NF: When you first see your child, something changes in your brain chemistry, and now you love Sting’s solo career.
AVC: “It’s a brand new day for this baby! Now I see it.”
NF: Hey, maybe that’s a real thing. Maybe that’s why Sting talks about all the sexual stuff. It’s so that people then start having kids, then turn into dads, then love his solo career.