There are distractions, all around. There's so much media, for a young kid to battle against, to get to something soulful. You have to make a decision, on your own, what you can take from these people, if you can dig deeper. It's nice to be able to let people dig deeper.
Amy Winehouse: Did she invent white soul? Wearing a beehive? No. But she did something brand new and fresh, altogether as a package, and you see who's in her wake, from the Duffys to the Lana Del Reys ... Adele selling 20 million records? That would not have happened if Amy Winehouse was alive.
Nashville has always felt perfect. I don't think Third Man Records could exist in any other town that I know of in America. Anything smaller or larger than the size of Nashville, and also the music - the attention that's paid to music in that town is sort of the right kind. It's not too hipster and it's not too fake; it's something in the middle, which is really good ground for a place like Third Man Records, that aims to be genre-less. It's great to be able to have that kind of access.
I came up from growing up with a lot of Catholic guilt, a lot of punk rock, hipster guilt in the later years where I think people have thrown a lot of things on me. Where I always felt like I'm not supposed to tell the horn section what to play or I don't want to come off egotistical.
This generation is so dead. You ask a kid, 'What are you doing this Saturday?' and they'll be playing video games or watching cable, instead of building model cars or airplanes or doing something creative. Kids today never say, 'Man, I'm really into remote-controlled steamboats.'
We don't have to live up to the expectations of others. Passion is personal. As long as our passion is fueled with the right stuff then keep on plodding forward. I'll never be Mark Twain or Tom Clancy. But that's okay, because neither of them could teach you to mix a boundless number of grays, or where to place the catch light in a portrait.
When you know your work sells, then seeking a gallery or outdoor show is fine. Then, if an event or art gallery kicks sand in your face don't give up, keep moving forward. Use your brain and eliminate a lot of your personal agony. There are times when you should not take NO for an answer. But there are others when you should never put yourself in the place to be rejected to begin with. Seek the wisdom to know the difference and then go for it. Persevere in the face of disappointment.
It's hard for me to play seated theaters because people tend to sit down and get a little bit complacent, so it's less energy. It's just very dry and dead. People start to feel like they're watching a movie. The environment when they walk into it, it's not standing room only, smoking and drinking and rock 'n' roll. So it's a little bit dangerous to do that.
I always stayed away from the studio environment as much as possible. But I just wanted to see if I could work in one. It's not easy. Just having an engineer's assistant around is enough for me to be uncomfortable. With more than one person there in the room, it feels strange.
Technology is a big destroyer of emotion and truth. Auto-tuning doesn’t do anything for creativity. Yeah, it makes it easier and you can get home sooner; but it doesn’t make you a more creative person. That’s the disease we have to fight in any creative field: ease of use.
When you put something out there into the world, there's all these words you don't want to hear, that you hope people don't say. I don't like anything that starts with 're' - like retro, reinvent, recreate - I hate that. It's always like living in the past - copying, emulating.