Visualize success, but don’t believe your eyes.
Have you ever walked down the streets of New York and been given the right of way? It’s an amazing feeling.
While I’m singing complete gibberish to my son when he’s in his crib, I’ll occasionally think, ‘This song I’m making up is actually pretty good.’
For the longest time, I was just playing music and not really expecting any success – just kind of doing it because I liked doing it. While doing that, I went on a lot of shitty tours, playing to nobody, so I think it makes me appreciate it. Our band the New Pornographers have been popular for a few years now, but it still shocks me. I remember thinking we were hugely popular when we sold 15,000 records, and now this one sold 30,000 in two weeks. I’m grateful for the whole thing.
Having a kid made me realize, “I have to take care of this kid, but I can’t have the luxury of dropping everything in the world and spending every waking moment with him. I’ve got to work.”
As a musician, my job is incredibly easy, and it’s a good one, but I’ve got to work at it occasionally.
I was always concerned with making cool-sounding rock records.
Sometimes I’m trying to communicate a feeling. Sometimes I can’t piece it together into any kind of coherant thesis. I’m just trying to evoke some kind of mood, and put some kind of idea in somebody’s head. If Marshall McLuhan or Harold Innis were looking at it, they would tell you that the genre of rock music isn’t the best way to deliver a political message because it distorts it, it makes it into entertainment. Perhaps the best political message is just to speak it to somebody. I think that’s something I’m always writing about in songs, just how to mediate, how to present something.
I’ve always liked using flutes and clarinets. Any time I can use those, I’m really happy.
Sometimes, even when I’m writing the lyrics, I’m not sure what I’m getting at, but then months will pass and I’ll listen to it and I’ll understand it completely. I think I trust myself in that most of what comes out of me will be honest. Even if it seems like it doesn’t make a lot of sense, I realize that it does. It’s hard to follow, and maybe there’s a lot of subtext to it that nobody knows, so it makes it impossible to follow.