Seth Rogen Got Really, Really into Funk Music While Working on 'Superbad'

"I was, like, 23, and it just really entrenched me in that world, made me obsessed with Funkadelic, and other funk and soul"

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Oct 5, 2023

Seth Rogen is very much about getting into the groove — whether it's at the pottery wheel, within the lifelike plastic contours of a penis-shaped slide or while listening to some classic funk. And, like most things, it can all be traced back to the formative film Superbad.

Rogen is the latest to take on Pitchfork's Listening Diary series, where aptly named journalist Andy Cush sat down with the "actor, writer and weed paraphernalia mogul" at the office of Rogen's cannabis company, Houseplant, to cue up some tracks from his and business partner Evan Goldberg's latest vinyl compilation to get high to, as well as some other all-time favourites.

While discussing "Will I See You Again?" by Thee Sacred Souls — a young R&B band from San Diego that Rogen said "make music that sounds like it's old" — he reflected back on his time making the self-described gold standard for high school movies, which took a just-the-tip appreciation for soul much, much deeper.

"When we made Superbad, the title was completely arbitrary, basically," Rogen explained, referring to the classic James Brown song of the same title. "But then, as we started making it, the director, Greg Mottola, started to really take cues from the name and infuse it with all this soul and funk music."

"Not a lot of people know this, but Bootsy Collins actually plays bass on the score of Superbad," the multi-hyphenate revealed of the funk legend. "That soundtrack was one of the most fun experiences I'd ever had. I was, like, 23, and it just really entrenched me in that world, made me obsessed with Funkadelic, and other funk and soul. It's been my favourite type of music for a long time, and Superbad inadvertently sent us down this deeper path on it."

Elsewhere in discussing his playlist, Rogen discussed "Go on Home Baby," a song by Van Morrison's "first big band" Them, recalling seeing the musician perform in the early aughts. "It was unbelievable, truly one of the greatest shows I've ever seen. He sang every single song you would want him to sing," the actor said, adding, "And he drank so much throughout the show, it was completely astounding."

Rogen continued, "His recent social choices aside, it shows how relentlessly talented Van Morrison is. Even blackout drunk, trying to make bad music, he can't help but stumble into an amazing hook every now and then."

Check out the rest of Rogen's picks here.

Latest Coverage