When I’m in the mode of feeling positive about love, I don’t really feel the need to mark it down in song. In fact, I know what that song would sound like, and I would not subject anybody to that.
Regarding race or gender or sexuality, one of the great things about art and music is that they can provide people with very little else in common with a similar entry point for discussion, but the discussions still need to happen for life to get more interesting.
I think that music and art and film, at their best, can connect with something that is eternal in human beings, that might not have so many labels on it, something that’s ultimately universal and that may just be a feeling.
If you push hard enough you can change. You can take everything you know and round it up, turn it into something else, and keep turning things into something else.
My father was a psychiatrist and a social worker but he was a very talented painter and musician and writer on the side.
I want to be around these positive, expressive people who are doing something different and who also want to get the hell out of there and don’t want to be around basic human bullshit.
I don’t want my reasons to be informed by what people think about what I’m doing.
Being 15 and like a punk in the DIY community, basically being with a group of people like no one else, it was the first place to exclude or call out if people were racist, sexist, homophobic or in any way prejudiced.
There was something in me, even leaving fifth grade, that hit me and said, “I have to get out of here. I don’t know where, and I don’t know what else I can do but I’m really not going to end up like any of these people.”
I was born in St. Louis and lived in Pittsburgh for a bit, before my family moved to Nigeria, where they’re from. We lived there for three or four years and came back to the States when I was about ten. I realised that I’d gone from place to place not fitting in. The thing that helped me fit in when moving around and not having a ton of friends was that I could make art. That was the through-line.
If anybody won life, David Bowie did, at least as a creative entity in the sense of writing yourself into existence and writing yourself out in such a graceful swoop.
I feel like now if you’re going to start a band you have to have an Instagram full of yourself looking a certain way, lined up like five dudes in mugshot alley, hanging out by the bridge or up against the wall, or “We’re in a library for some reason!”
Adding instruments to parts of a song and having them somehow find a pocket. That to me was a huge lesson. Like, there’s more than 808s in the universe.
Adam is one of my favourite writers, period. He has such a unique voice and he’s somebody who I admire so much for putting the effort into inventing his own language and furthering it.
There are a lot of spikes that can happen when what you’re doing starts to get attention or people start to talk about it. They can just kind of really do a number on your reasons for making music.
No one wanted a job. No one could hold a job. You tend to see those going hand in hand.
I was living in a loft with Dave Sitek – this loft full of people just working on their stuff. Some were painting, some were writing. Any plans you had were kind of like a plan for the next two months.
You have to be a really talented writer if you’re trying to encapsulate a news story with a song and have it live after the event. I don’t have the focus to do that, really.
I know that being upset without having an avenue to fix anything is a real hard place to be in for too long. But it’s even worse thinking that it’ll go away if you just ignore it.
Painting and animation can be kind of long work. Music was more immediate and more fun.
The feeling of being halfway through a show and just realizing that there’s nothing you can do to save it – it’s a horrible feeling.
I’ve had terrible, terrible, terrible shows where I just thought, “That was off-key” or I forgot lines or I thought I looked like an idiot, and then you’re leaving and talking to people, and they’re like, “I had the best time of my life! That was amazing!” You just never know.
Even as a fan, as someone who’s into his performances, the Stooges and his own stuff, Iggy [Pop] is one of the people who kept underlining something that a lot of my older musician friends with punk roots say: you get into this space in your life where you feel like a weirdo, you’re marginalised, you don’t fit in… and then you can get up on stage in front of people who probably hate you.
Most of the bands that I really hold in my heart – you don’t think about them as bands; they’re just the soundtrack of your life.
A lot of people have reunion things, but I think bands are supposed to break up.