I'm a creative person who had a lot of dark time in my life. I can still get to it: I can still go to a relationship or a time when things weren't great. But it's getting further and further from me.
Nashville is a boys' club of redneck conservative ideas. But they're ready to embrace gay people. I never felt for one second that someone was judging me. Some people are like, 'Oh, I love gay people' in that 'I have lots of black friends' kind of way. It's awkward, but you have to appreciate that they're trying.
I wake up every day thinking, 'I just can't do it anymore.' There's nothing left to say, and I'm completely dry. And then I get in the room with somebody and they say the right thing, and I'm on again.
One of the greatest tools you have as a songwriter is anonymity. If someone knows too much about the songwriter, they don't get to insert their own characters. I don't want the audience thinking about the gay guy who wrote the song.
If the right idea comes up, and it feels true to talk about somebody being in a truck, and that's the only way to tell the story, then I will reluctantly tell the story that way.
The truth is, I probably would be dead if I had become a star, because at that point I was so closeted and so afraid of people of finding out I was gay. There was no telling what would have happened.
We'll set up a demo session and try to knock out eight or ten songs and make them sound as close as we can to a record with the money and time we have.