How did you guys wind up touring together?
Mann: I don’t know how it happened! I was told the promoter suggested it, but I’m not really sure how that went down, or if somebody else suggested it to the promoter.
Leo: One of the promoters suggested it, but then Aimee fought hard against it!
Mann: How dare you! I was very excited at the idea, and I thought, “I would have done this a long time ago if the people in charge thought it was an appropriate match.” I thought I might have gotten pushback from management, because Ted’s a punk icon and he might be too rough on my delicate audience.
But your song “The Gambler” was the turning point.
Leo: That’s true. When Aimee asked me to do the tour, I was actually in the midst of working on that song. So it was a moment where I thought, “Wow — this is a lot of weird things coming together at once!” Because I really was thinking about her when I was writing, and that I would eventually ask her to do something on it.
Mann: Fate had decreed that we were meant to collaborate. And the first step was me playing on “The Gambler” in Ted’s set. And that was unusual for me, to want to sit in or jam with anyone in any way. But that song felt like an embodiment of what a collaboration between us would sound like. And it was just a small next step to start writing additional songs.
Did your husband, Michael Penn, ever walk into the living room and go, “Hey! Who’s THIS guy?”
Mann: We did not record in the living room, for one. But I’ll assume you’re asking if he might have felt, “Why are you recording with another gentleman?” I’ve done projects with him, but he’s scoring two different television shows now, “Girls” and “Masters of Sex.” And he just doesn’t have that … that performer thing. So I don’t think he’s feeling “Hey, why not me!” He’s probably thinking “Hey, glad it’s not me!”
IF YOU GO
Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Thursday
Contact: (415) 885-0750, www.slimspresents.com