And if I'm honest about it, I was obsessed with Nirvana and Pearl Jam. This is like '92, right in the throes of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam and Nirvana. I think I probably wanted to be Kurt Cobain.
My dad used to love Steely Dan, the Stones, Jethro Tull and all that. There was always Steely Dan going in my dad's car, but I remember The Royal Scam in particular because it has 'Kid Charlemagne' on it.
I grew up around a lot of various religions, so it's a part of my consciousness in a way. Everything from heavy Catholicism to followers of Indian spiritual masters to Unitarian universalists - all in one family. Though the family aspect was stronger than any particular dogma.
I guess trying to throw my body into the guitar is so natural for me that I don't even know how to explain it. I can't imagine life without it.
A song has a life of its own. It's an autonomous thing, separate from your own experience, almost. And the mere repetition of it means it's subject to change; it means approaching it differently, expressing different emotional aspects of it. It doesn't feel like wallowing.
I'm supportive of women, absolutely, and it's so gratifying to have girls come up and say, 'I'm really inspired by your guitar playing.' I mean no disrespect to the sisterhood, but musically I feel more drawn to things like Dirty Projectors, the National and Grizzly Bear.
I remember looking at the sky and thinking that the universe is so big and it's all chaos. I call it 'the dark fear.' At any moment, the dark fear could come in.
In regards to being a fashion aficionado, there's a certain amount of taking yourself seriously in the professional world. The self-effacing person can't completely go down the serious road. But I design, and love when things are beautiful.
Well, I've been recording myself on a computer since I was about 13 or 14. So it's completely entwined with my creative process. Essentially, it allows you to make music that's better and smarter than you are, by using your ears to lead the way.
One of my favourite things about country music is that, at least until recently, you could always count on a solid story, a punchline and a pun. I think it has that in common with hip hop, where they're not afraid of wordplay and I really appreciate that.
I love Robert Fripp. You know what I really appreciate about Robert Fripp? He always dresses appropriately for the occasion. When he's on stage, he's a Dapper Dan.
I think in some ways, it can do a listener a disservice to explain a song. I think I'd rather leave a little room for people to put themselves in it.
I think human beings have a really broad spectrum of traits, and I almost feel implicated when we say, 'Men are like this, women are like this.' Nobody was telling me, 'Don't get dirty, don't play in the mud, girls don't do that.'
The Lilith Fair thing was Bummer Town - hey, hop aboard the marginalizing train. I guess you had people come out of that and have careers, but I think there was a pretty intense backlash, too.
I started playing guitar when I was 12 and probably from that age knew that I wanted to make music and make my own music. Playing with other bands like the Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens was more like an apprenticeship for me than anything.
To be honest, because there's loud music in my ears probably three hours a day, between sound check and the show, I listen to podcasts more than I listen to music on the road.
I wrote 'Actor' all on the computer. I didn't touch any instruments until I was in the studio. So while I had all these ornate arrangements, I didn't have any songs.
I think a lot of people who want to be musicians terrify their parents because they don't have a living example of it in their families, and I did. So I always knew that it was possible.