J Tillman Quotes

Funny is a good foil. Humor is illuminating, and it also gives you power.

You can’t really do anything creative without a source of inspiration.

My humor is my creativity, and my skepticism is a gift.

I try to make myself, and subsequently the audience, as uncomfortable as possible, whether it’s completely desecrating a song they thought was one thing, or getting too drunk to really do a very good job.

Christian music was music that I grew up listening to that I can’t say has had much of an impact on anything I have done in my adult life. Maybe Christianity has, but certainly not the bullshit Christian music I was listening to when I was 12. To me there’s not much substance in that music. I don’t have a message or anything.

I guess with the way that I’ve conducted myself I’m in the logical spot and I’m fine with that. Even my limited interactions with success have left me confused and bummed out, so I don’t think the two can co-exist.

If my peers had a significant impact on my music, my music would probably be a lot more popular.

Love is just an institution.

You know, there’s an economy in lyric-writing that doesn’t afford you, or at least me – I usually start off with nine or 10 verses and then boil it down to two or three that are half the length of the original verses. I think for me it’s about what you leave out [rather] than what you put in. I’m not sure that the songs help me figure anything out so much as they’re a distillation of the original question.

I think that providing obstructions in the live setting is when you get something that actually means something, as opposed to just aping your way through your greatest hits.

I don’t think that just because a lot of my music has a quieter aesthetic; [it] excludes me from achieving that in a live setting, from being dangerous or something.

My idea of that[idea of career] is constantly changing. I mostly just throw it out to the universe and I can’t really do much after that. I’ve never taken the steps to be “successful”: I’ve never had a manager or signed to a publishing house. I’ve talked to people about it but I’ve never followed through because it gives me the creeps.

I don’t feel any obligation to make my intentions for a song accessible to a listener or an audience. I’m not interested in conveying anything to them so much as what’s best for me.

I like the freedom of being able to just use the live show as an opportunity to more so deconstruct what’s going on in the album than to recreate it.