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" I try to make all my songs good. I don't ever write one to finish one. A lot of protest songs end up that way, driven by some kind of emotional response. "
" It's glorious to be able to go onto the Internet and hear any kind of music anywhere, from anywhere, and get it instantly. But there's also something glorious about having a record with a sleeve and looking at the artwork, putting it on the turntable and playing it, there's still something romantic to me about that. "
" It's very strange when people get so focused on what a song means, what actual events inspired a song. That gets people really excited for some reason... But that's what's great about music - however people interpret it, whatever they see, is what I want to be there for them. "
" The one recurring theme in my writing, and in my life in general, is confusion. The fact that anytime you think you really know something, you're going to find out you're wrong - that is the rule. The moments where you think you have something figured out, those are the exceptions. "
" On good days, I can see the inherent goodness in people, and that human beings have a high capacity to learn and adapt. But things like the environment, nuclear weapons and ideas like peak oil - if you think about them too much, they can really freak you out. "
" I don't really premeditate what I write my songs about; you know, they just kind of happen, and I can't start writing songs to please a certain group of people or propagate a certain message all the time. That's just not how my songwriting works - it just sort of comes out, and the songs are what they are. "
" People resist change; if they like something, then they want you to keep doing it over and over - but I think if you like what a particular band or artist does, then you should want to see what they're going to do next. "
" I like ideas, but I don't like being preached to. "
" You can only really understand good if you have bad, so the idea of heaven or anything that happens for eternity, even if it's nice, I can't imagine it being nice forever. Even the idea of forever is kind of ridiculous, which is unfortunate because it's kind of a nice thing to say, you know. "
" Once you realize that everyone is in the same boat, that everyone is just as insecure and childlike as everyone else, that all these jokers in D.C. ruining our world are just greedy kids grabbing for marbles - I think that realization means you're an adult. "
" They say it's better to bury your sadness in a graveyard or garden that waits for the spring to wake from its sleep and burst into green. "
" I remember having to quit school and quit my job. I just sort of moved all my stuff into other people's places. Within, like, six months, I was able to earn enough money from touring to rent a place again. "
" Why are you scared to dream of god when it's salvation that you want? "
" I've been part of running a label since I was a kid, so I understand how it works. But the more and more I learn about it, the less and less interested I am in it. "
" I find that moving keeps me optimistic, the idea of what's going to be down the road a bit or around the next bend. "
" I have a terrible memory in general, but one thing I've always been able to remember is my songs. "
" You can't manufacture inspiration, so a lot of it is still a waiting game for me. There's still a lot of mystery to songwriting. I don't have a method that I can go back to - they either come or they don't. "
" I think that, with anything creative, you should have the freedom to experiment, and that experimentation means not feeling totally responsible for how other people perceive it. "
" I was raised Catholic, and I have an aversion to anyone who takes religion to the extreme. "
I Was Raised
" I've cried, and you'd think I'd be better for it, but the sadness just sleeps, and it stays in my spine the rest of my life. "
" It's dangerous to buy into praise and criticism for what you do when you're trying to present your music to people. I don't ignore it completely, but I don't dwell on it too much. "
" I prefer career artists that have spent time honing their craft, as opposed to, 'I won a karaoke contest on a reality show and now I have a record.' That's such a drag. The music that comes out of it is so poor. "
" You can do a lot to shape the feeling of a song by the way you record it. "
" I like to feel the burn of the audience's eyes when I'm whispering all my darkest secrets into the microphone. "
" The best feeling I ever get is when I finish a song, and it exists, and it didn't exist before, and now it's there, and it makes me feel a certain way. "
" We've all seen the power music has to spread messages of solidarity and hope. "
" I didn't used to think about politics much, or social issues. I was a teenager, writing about girls. "
" The only thing major labels can really offer is money. "
" I really just want to be warm yellow light that pours over everyone I love. "
" It seems like everything I do musically I tend to lose a few fans and gain a few fans, and it all kind of evens out. "
" When I run into a person or a kid that comes up and gives me the spiel about, 'Hey, I got your record at this time in my life, and it really helped me,' that stuff totally still rings true. If you're standing there talking to someone, it's really easy to tell if they're being authentic or not. And that's great. "