I would be a huge hypocrite if I didn't tell you that at one time in my life I thought the way that you made music was you got on a major label and you got famous.
Everybody in my band is married, pretty much, and have lives at home, and I don't want them to be away from their families so long that they just start to feel psychotic. You have to go home and stand around in your bathrobe doing your dishes to feel like a normal person sometimes.
I want to get away from the social vampires in Tucson. The people who have no lives of their own and meet me and know who I am and feel entitled to say negative things. I have good friends here, especially in the bands. But a lot of it is just like high school.
I know that I can sing really loud. It's like having that really big Evinrude engine on the back of your fishing boat. But I've been trying to be more dynamic with my voice, and not just singing on 10 all of the time out of terror.
I really wanted to find a piano for the farm house. There were so many free pianos on Craigslist, I thought, 'Let's get as many free pianos as we can and stick them all in the barn.' I got eight in a short period of time, only six of which were tunable, but it's still quite funny.
There's just kind of a sweetness about Canadians. Americans are a little more pushy, I mean, in a way that I enjoy - they're basically pushy because of their enthusiasm - we're a lot clumsier than other people.
I think I've kind of been mistaken for somebody who's trying to be a spokesperson for animal rights, and the fact is I'm not qualified to be a spokesperson. I am passionate about it, but I'm not trying to make other people do what I do.
I don't know anybody who doesn't hate being called alt.country. It just sounds like a website. I don't mind being called Americana, I don't mind being called country noir, or independent country is fine, but the words alt.country make me insane.
I try not to be overly literal. When I'm writing songs, I write down a lot of words, and then I try to simplify it. I like to give people hints or words that make visual pictures for them.
If I could ever be on a Missy Elliott record, I could then die. Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige - I love hearing them interviewed, I love the way they talk about their art. They're very self-assured, they're funny, they're inviting. I love it.
I have a real dog-like mentality, in that it's like, 'Where is my next meal coming from? Am I ever gonna eat again? Will I ever write another song again? Will anyone show up for tour?' I think it comes from being really poor as a kid.
I just want to make stories. They don't have to have a moral or a reason. There might be some mild cautionary notes, but they're not moral. They don't impart any Judeo-Christian ethic of any kind.