The nature of honesty is that if someone has information or knows something about you that you don’t want heard, then they have power over you.
Everyone, when you’re a teenager and you’re growing up, you do feel like your life is dramatic enough to be on a TV screen, but we know that it’s not.
I do have that mindset – that most good art comes from some turmoil, from someone trying to come to some equilibrium, or come up and get a breath.
Because I write very simply, but inside the simplicity, there’s a lot of subtlety. That’s what I’m proud of.
The clock never stops, never stops, never waits. We’re growing old. It’s getting late.
With the a cappella groups, every voice is like one string on a guitar, one note on the piano, or one cymbal, and you don’t have the luxury of falling back on anything.
I’m aware that I’m very fringe, and it’s nice that way.
A lot of 18-year-olds are like old men. They think they’ve seen everything.
Rock and roll is – and should be – a kid’s place.
I used to do this big rant at the end of some gigs with Ben Folds Five. The band broke into this big heavy metal thing and I started as a joke to scream in a heavy metal falsetto. I found myself saying things like: Feel my pain, I am white, feel my pain.
Everybody knows it hurts to grow up… and we’re still fighting it.
But I really do have a soft spot for the solo shows. Any musician who writes and sings will tell you that’s the center of it, that is it. It’s almost like there’s something church-like about it and you gotta go back there, if you’re a songwriter that sings your material.
I’m really good at writing ‘almost hits’.
My job is to be some sort of music/lyric psychic, to figure out that that’s the right song to not fight the lyric.
It’s a tough thing to know that when you’re making your album, you’re going to end up collaborating with, say, Wal-Mart, on your artwork. That just sucks. And the pressure behind getting the numbers real fast is, to me, dizzying.
I’m older than I was, and I’m still washed-up, and I haven’t changed my music one iota. It’s just much easier to do this when people are being nice to you.
Now that I have found someone, I’m feeling more alone… than I ever have before.
Maybe this is wrong, but I feel like I craft my songs carefully enough that I still find that fifteen years after having written one, it still works for me – I’m not cringing.
The reason I stop playing songs is usually because I get sick of them, and then they find themselves back into the set list at some point.
There is still some art in pop music. But it can’t happen if you’re not inspired.
My idea is to play with the people who you know want to get it right. Then it’s fun and easy to record, and you can get down to details, like taking out cymbals so the verse doesn’t dwarf the chorus, something like that.
Why would I want to sound like Joni Mitchell? I’ve got Joni Mitchell records, and they’re great, and I couldn’t possibly be that good.
You never know when you put out an album that’s unique whether it’ll get beat up for it or not.
Next door, there’s an old man who lived to his nineties and one day passed away in his sleep. And his wife, she stayed for a couple of days and passed away. I’m sorry, I know that’s a strange way to tell you that I know we belong.
I’m not really a strange person or anything, so if there’s music I like, usually there’s other people who like it too.
Billy Joel and Joe Jackson were both great, and they both play piano.
Even though I live in America more, I feel like when I go to Adelaide, that’s when I get to go home.
The press is like any business. It’s a group of really intelligent individuals that ends up being one slathering, one-eyed, drooling monster.
The way I see it, there’s only one melody for any song.
In many ways, I’ve chosen to be plain, almost too plain, too self-effacing. Like, if I record a vocal and I don’t like the way it sounds, I would have them turn it up and take the reverb off it to make it as plain as possible.