People don't realize it, but no one lives that rock and roll life 24-7. They think it's hundreds of bottles of champagne flowing and private jets and money. But there's a lot of time when you're traveling - time to think, time to be lonely. Sometimes it gets to you.
At 10 o'clock in the morning I'd go right in the studio. It feels good to be there in the morning before the day starts to mess with you - I don't mean in a negative way, but before I'd speak to a lot of people or get into anything, I'd go in there and just see what I felt. A lot happens in the morning for me in the studio.
I was an actor when I was a teenager and it could have been the direction that I headed in. But music and my relationship with music is quite deep, and it really is the nucleus of my creativity. So I gave up acting so I could pursue music fully, and I never thought about really going back. And then [director] Lee Daniels met me and wanted to work with me, and that's how it started.
If you go to Japan, they're still buying vinyl, and they want the education. They know who's playing on what tracks from the '60s and the '70s - who the guitar player is, who the drummer is, who the producer was, what studio it was recorded in. That's how I grew up listening to music. We bought albums. We read the liner notes. It was important to know the whole history behind it.
I was watching an interview with Martin Scorcese concerning Raging Bull, which is one of my favorite films, and he was talking about how he'd worked with a lot of guys who weren't quote-unquote "actors," like Joe Pesce and Frank Vincent. Scorcese was very smart in the way that he cast, because you don't know where you're going to find the right person who can carry a role and summon that emotion you're looking for.
I think kids in Europe have developed a deeper knowledge of music and of black music in particular. You go to Europe, and these kids know about all this obscure funk and soul that kids over here wouldn't know. I think it's getting better in the States, though, with the age of the Internet.