You do have a modicum of peace of mind here, but it's as unsettled as any other place.
Most people didn't have the bandwidth to download whole albums. And so it brought back this cherry picking idea that the audience would focus on certain songs and possibly be the impetus behind what eventually got on AM radio: the single or whatever.
When I got out of high school, I was in a blues band. It was the kind of music I was interested in, and listening to, mostly because it was becoming a vehicle for a generation of guitarists - like Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. Mike Bloomfield. And that's what I wanted to be, principally: a guitar player.
'State' can be a word that is a noun or a verb or an adverb - it's kind of why I chose that title. It's not to confound the audience but to keep me from painting myself into a cul-de-sac in the early stages of making a record by having too high concept or having some really strict set of rules I have to adhere to.
Exploitation was rampant before statehood, and various factions actively tried to eradicate the roots of Hawaiian culture in the process of converting the natives to European religious beliefs. Some of the results can never be undone. We try to honor what is left.
I never look for music by genre. I look for an artist who puts a dependable trademark on things. Like Elvis Costello - he's a great songwriter who presents his songs in a number of contexts. I feel the same about my own music.
Before there were any sort of 'recordings' there was performance. If we are devolved back to the Stone Age tomorrow, there will be performance.
Because of the way the record business has kind of stumbled and disintegrated, in a way, you're as likely to sell records at your merch table at your gigs as you are to sell them in a regular record outlet or even online.
My guitar heroes are Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck and people like that - so I've tried to make an album of Robert Johnson covers that, well, while not totally faithful for blues purists, is faithful for people like me that grew up with the '60s and the electric blues-rock versions of Johnson's songs.
I decided early on that I wanted to be Michael Bloomfield, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton - not George Harrison.
Celebrities are the fodder of much of the media business, so they're always interested in making you seem provocative when you're not, or trying to bring you some sort of embarrassment by revealing something you'd rather not have revealed. That's the downside of celebrity.
The Toddstock thing is the closest thing, I have to say, a Grateful Dead sort of thing where it all lapses over from the formality of a concert into more of a lifestyle thing.
I write in a very strange way. Things are very fragmentary for a very long time, and then they come together very quickly near the end of the process.
It seems like a totally gratuitous myth to tell people a giant rabbit comes round at night leaving candy in a haphazard way around the house... and the cover shows the bunny caught in the act.
'Something/Anything?' was kind of a different record, since I'm playing everything myself. A lot of the songs on there have a particular kind of instrumentation that is much like a guitar quartet, and in some ways, it's an exceptional song on that record because so much of the writing on 'Something/Anything?' is piano-oriented.
By the time my first solo record came out, I was making a handsome living as a record producer. I had worked with the Band, Janis Joplin and all of these other artists in the Albert Grossman organization. So as my so-called solo career evolved, I never felt pressure that I had to come back and top when I might've done before.
It's great if you can afford to carry a string section on the road with you, but most people are used to the idea of just a keyboard player creating those string sounds.
I used to have sort of mixed feelings about a producer whose only skills seemed to be going into the studio, schmoozing the artists and making them feel good. I can see now that in some cases, that's what you have to do because that's the only way you're going to get them to produce.
People have always said that I could have been a highly successful pop artist, if only that were my intention. It never was. My original intention was to be a kind of behind-the-scenes participant in music, to just be a record producer and engineer. And I made a record for myself just so I could have an outlet for my musical ideas.
It was always remarkable to me how ignorant the labels were of the listening habits of their own customers, and how obstinate they were in denying those habits and then trying to essentially alter those habits instead of retooling their business to adapt to them.