I figured, 'If I ever get offered a chance to sign a deal, I'll only do it if I got to do it how I want.' So my contract is structured in such a way that I'm really protected.
I would really hate it if I could call up Kafka or Hemingway or Salinger and any question I could throw at them they would have an answer. That's the magic when you read or hear something wonderful - there's no one that has all the answers.
I knew all this Beatles music. I knew the songs phonetically. It was like my whole experience of that music was out of focus, and somebody put the perfect glasses on me, and all of a sudden I could see everything.
I've been thinking a lot about space. It was one of those slow-motion realisations how little we are, how far we are from everything else in our solar system. This idea of distance started kind of haunting me. How do you go forth and accomplish things but not end up leaving everything you started out with in the dust?
I'm like, 'Would you be the person in the room that would boo when Dylan went electric? I know I wouldn't. Or are you the person that left The Beatles after 'She Loves You,' or 'Drive My Car?' You weren't on board for 'Revolution 9' or 'Day In The Life,' were you?'
I think songwriters are more related to fiction writers. The Odyssey was a story in song. To me, that's so beautiful, all those painted characters, all those travels and adventures.
I've done that kind of stuff in records, where you start going back and you want to just redo everything, destroy everything, because you think it all sucks and you can do it better.
I'd always wanted to work in the studio and experiment with sounds. Things that I'm really influenced by and that I love are like The Beatles and Radiohead, and all those records by bands whose music is really involved.
I used to be such a militant city-ist, but more and more I've seen forests and nature and oceans, and I don't know any more if this is the awesomest way to live.
The only thing they really get to pick is the single. But I get to pick the producer, the songs on the record, the final masters, the artwork. Basically, I hand them a record.
You make something, and you really have fun with it, and you try to put emotion in it, and at the end of the day, you have no idea how the tide is going to fall. You don't know if everyone's going to like it, if everyone's going to hate it, if it's going to be like you're a media darling, or all of a sudden you're a sellout. You have no idea.
I write a tiny fraction of what I used to write. My only job used to be to just write songs, and that was a really nice job to have, but only a tiny amount of people heard those songs, and I didn't make a living from it, and eventually I begged my parents to let me move back into my room.
When you're playing such brilliant music every day, then the last thing you ever want to do is try to write something of your own that's crude and not as good.
It's a real gift to be able to have the works of brilliant, great people to learn from and build from. It gives you so much more to draw on, and then you don't have to be all about three-chord pop songs. I don't really like that kind of writing.
I care so much about making things that are useful for people to have and listen to, but I don't care so much that I won't do whatever the hell I want. It's just one of those things.