I don't record (any type of genre of music) that I didn't hear in my family's living room by the time I was 10. It just is my rule that I don't break because ... I can't do it authentically ... I really think that you're just hard-wiring (synapses) in your brain up until the age of maybe 12 or 10, and there are certain things you can't learn in an authentic way after that.
Mainly, when I ran into Emmylou Harris, that was it, you know? We could finish each other's sentences musically, and personally, too. We have a very shared, similar sensibility. And that was a friendship that really opened up a tremendous number of musical doors for me.
People don't realize that by voting Republican, they voted against themselves....I worry that some people are entertained by the idea of this war. They don't know anything about the Iraqis, but they're angry and frustrated in their own lives. It's like Germany, before Hitler took over. The economy was bad and people felt kicked around. They looked for a scapegoat. Now we've got a new bunch of Hitlers.
Your musical soul is like facets of a jewel, and you stick out one facet at a time ... (and) I tend to work real hard on whatever it is I do, to get it up to speed, up to a professional level. I tend to bury myself in one thing for years at a time.
I can draw with sound. That's the most useful thing I learned in terms of what my craft is...The arrangements were mine. They were little lines and stuff that I had written myself...And I was locked into this idea that vocals didn't count, melodies didn't count, songwriting craftsmanship didn't count. The only thing that counted was high arching guitar solos.
When I would be on the stage singing, I would see a movie of something that happened, I would be telling the story. I would be describing the story in sound, but my goal would be to make somebody else run their own movie.
I get on the airplane and there's a screen in front of everything. You get into a taxicab in New York, there's a screen blinking at you. I think it's going to have a tremendous effect on our brains, because those bright, saturated colors and those strong lines, they do things to your brain.
This is an election year, and I think we're in desperate trouble and it's time for people to speak up and not pipe down. It's a real conflict for me when I go to a concert and find out somebody in the audience is a Republican or fundamental Christian. It can cloud my enjoyment. I'd rather not know.
I think there's just a lot of compassion in art. Again, when you're doing something that resonates with somebody else, you're going through an experience another person has had, whether it's been a painful experience or a joyous experience or a happy experience.
...I think it was a modest thing I did (Fahrenheit 9/11) ... this is an election year ... I'm not telling them how to vote. I'm saying get information about the issues ... at first there's just silence, then there's 'Yeah!' and then there's 'Boo' ... I have never seen a reaction like this, in all my years of touring ... Clear Channel can't threaten to not play my records because they are not going to play them anyway ...
I never wrote anything down. I never kept a diary, never kept a journal. I did write one letter home about touring with the Doors that I used as a reference for the book for some details there, and then I was glad I had that, but that was it.
In the United States, we spend millions of dollars on sports because it promotes teamwork, discipline, and the experience of learning to make great progress in small increments. Learning to play music does all this and more.
I grew up singing Mexican music, and that's based on indigenous Mexican rhythms. Mexican music also has an overlay of West African music, based on huapango drums, and it's kind of like a 6/8 time signature, but it really is a very syncopated 6/8. And that's how I attack vocals.
The dream world of sleep and the dream world of music are not far apart. I often catch glimpses of one as I pass through a door to the other, like encountering a neighbor in the hallway going into the apartment next to one’s own. In the recording studio, I would often lie down to nap and wake up with harmony parts fully formed in my mind, ready to be recorded. I think of music as dreaming in sound.
Someone once asked me why people sing. I answered that they sing for many of the same reasons the birds sing. They sing for a mate, to claim their territory, or simply to give voice to the delight of being alive in the midst of a beautiful day. Perhaps more than the birds do, humans hold a grudge. They sing to complain of how grievously they have been wronged, and how to avoid it in the future. They sing to help themselves execute a job of work. They sing so the subsequent generations won’t forget what the current generation endured,... Read more »