I used to be monastic, almost. Now I'm like a Tibetan that has discovered hamburgers and television. I'm catching up on Americana.
I'm a very analytical person, a somewhat introspective person; that's the nature of the work I do.
Augustine, Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath are confessional writers and all three make me sick. I have nothing in common with them.
I conceived in art college at the age of 20, near the end of term.
My individual, psychological descent coincided, ironically, with my ascent into the public eye.
Everyone I know has attention deficit, and they say it with great pride. It's a bad time to be right.
In New York, the street adventures are incredible. There are a thousand stories in a single block. You see the stories in the people's faces. You hear the songs immediately. Here in Los Angeles, there are less characters because they're all inside automobiles.
I have an aversion to being mislabeled. Here's a label I'd accept: I'm an 'individual.' I'm someone who can't follow, and doesn't want to lead.
I loved Debussy, Stravinsky, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, anything with romantic melodies, especially the nocturnes. Nietzsche was a hero, especially with 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra.' He gets a bad rap; he's very misunderstood. He's a maker of individuals, and he was a teacher of teachers.
In terms of fiction, I'd rather go out and have a good time than read a book about someone having a good or bad time.
At the point where I'm trying to force something and it's not happening, and I'm getting frustrated with, say, writing a poem, I can go and pick up the brushes and start painting. At the point where the painting seems to not be going anywhere, I go and pick up the guitar.
Buddy Holly and the early rock 'n' roll was no lighter than the way I play. It's very minimal.
It's in my stars to invent; I was born on Madame Curie's birthday. I have this need for originals, for innovation. That's why I like Charlie Parker.
Not to dismiss Gershwin, but Gershwin is the chip; Ellington was the block.
I don't understand why Europeans and South Americans can take more sophistication. Why is it that Americans need to hear their happiness major and their tragedy minor, and as jazzy as they can handle is a seventh chord? Are they not experiencing complex emotions?
I thrive on change. That's probably why my chord changes are weird, because chords depict emotions. They'll be going along on one key and I'll drop off a cliff, and suddenly they will go into a whole other key signature. That will drive some people crazy, but that's how my life is.
My family could only afford to get me the box of eight Crayola crayons, but I craved the one with all 24 colours. I wanted magenta and turquoise and silver and gold.
I had made all these rules for myself: I'm not writing social commentary, I'm not writing love songs.
We managed to put together a compilation that had some creativity to it. In the meantime I was listening to the free radio stations and I noticed that during their war coverage they were playing these songs born out of the Vietnam War that were all critical of the soldiers.
The considerations of a corporation, especially now, have nothing to do with art or music.