Although his career is entering its fourth decade, “Weird Al” Yankovic is far from hanging up his accordion. The world’s biggest selling comedy recording artist in history is currently spending his time working on a new album, releasing episodes of his new web series, and beginning the second leg of his international “Alpocalypse Tour.”
The second leg of Yankovic’s U.S. tour began on April 28 in Primm, Nev., and will bring the singer to stops all across the country, including one in Tucson on Aug. 7, at the Fox Theatre.
Yankovic’s latest album, “Alpocalypse” was released on June 21, 2011, and featured parodies of Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, and of course, Yankovic’s signature polka medley.
Yankovic first became interested in music at a young age when he would add his own words to songs he heard on the radio. Then, the day before he turned seven, his parents bought him his first accordion.
“At first I wasn’t sure what to think about it,” Yankovic said in a June 27 interview. “I guess they wanted me to be a one-man band. I took lessons for about three years, and then learned to play by ear.”
Yankovic first arrived on the scene in 1980 when his first song, “Another One Rides the Bus” was released. In 1983, his self-titled debut album was released and since then, Yankovic has sold more than 12 million albums, and won three Grammys after being nominated 14 times.
However, Yankovic never anticipated having a career in music.
“I studied architecture in college, but when I got out of school, I found that I had no real interest in it, so I decided to pursue something I loved.” Yankovic said.
Besides architecture, Yankovic also considered becoming a disc jokey before he decided on music.
“I was a DJ for my college radio station and I really enjoyed it,” Yankovic said. “But I spoke to some friends who were DJ’s and they just didn’t sound happy, and I didn’t want to pursue something that was going to make me miserable.”
Yankovic says that being a DJ in college is a large part of how his nickname came to be.
“People first started calling me ‘Weird Al’ in the dorms freshman year,” Yankovic said. “I never thought much of it until I became a DJ and since all good DJ’s have nicknames, I owned up to it.”
Although Yankovic is most well known for his music, the comedian is also an actor and bestselling author. Yankovic released his first children’s book titled “When I Grow Up” in February of 2011 and has a second book scheduled to be released in 2013. He also stars in the new web-series “Face to Face With ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic.” The series airs on YouTube. The series follows in the path of Yankovic’s previous television show “Al-TV,” which aired in the late 90’s and was a parody of the type of interview shows that aired on MTV and VH1. The first season is currently under way, and features 18 “interviews” over 10 episodes.
With all of the hits he has released over the years, Yankovic knows that he must make room for them in his set list.
“The set list changes depending on the tour,” Yankovic said. “But the format is usually the same. About half of the set lists are the hits and the other half consists of golden oldies. It’s a fun evening out. There’s good music, and costume changes, and it’s a lot of fun for the whole family.”
Yankovic will play the Fox Theatre on Tuesday, Aug. 7. Tickets range from $44-$56. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.