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" I was like, 'Josh Tillman, you are not a songwriter. You are an ape. Stop thinking of yourself as a songwriter.' "
" There's a lot of risk in putting what you suspect you really are into your music. "
" What a crazy coincidence that the teaching of Christ sees to be so compatible with late-era capitalism, suburban isolation, rampant consumerism. And so I am not ever surprised when I see evangelicals contort themselves to justify supporting Donald Trump. "
" I think that providing obstructions in the live setting is when you get something that actually means something, as opposed to just aping your way through your greatest hits. "
" With sad music, or music that's perceived as sad, there's a sense of solidarity that can be really powerful. My songs are all joyful to me. "
" If music was made by some kind of critical theorist, it would sound like my music. "
" I had this revelation, you are a lot better at the between-song stuff than you are at the song stuff. That was devastating. And I usually find devastating things to be pretty valuable. "
" I was kind of bored playing drums in a band. Which was depressing, because playing in the band was kind of a golden ticket. "
" It's a vanity to think that a legitimate shamanistic experience can be purchased. "
" I try to make myself, and subsequently the audience, as uncomfortable as possible, whether it's completely desecrating a song they thought was one thing, or getting too drunk to really do a very good job. "
" When I was young, I had this contrarian thing, and my music for a long time was an extension of that. I didn't want to entertain people; I had too much vanity to be an entertainer. I think that some layers of vanity came off. "
" I was asked to audition for the second season of 'Stranger Things.' I didn't want that level of exposure. I don't want to be TV famous. "
" You know, there's an economy in lyric-writing that doesn't afford you, or at least me - I usually start off with nine or 10 verses and then boil it down to two or three that are half the length of the original verses. "
" I think that life is messy and that human beings are insane. "
" Funny is a good foil. Humor is illuminating, and it also gives you power. "
" My last album as J. Tillman, 'Singing Ax,' that was really a premeditated death rattle of the aesthetic precedent I had set. I realized I wasn't creating spontaneously; I was enforcing all these parameters. I was too self-loathing or something, and there was this obvious dissonance between my conversational voice and creative voice. "
" There's a difference between art and entertainment. Entertainment is really about forgetting about your life, and art is about remembering your life. "
" I've never taken the steps to be 'successful': I've never had a manager or signed to a publishing house. "
" I play sad bastard music. For the money. "
" I made a decision as a child that I would never let anyone tell me that I was invalid or inauthentic, or that my experiences were. "
" My music asks people to think critically, so how can I get upset when people think about me critically? "
" Laurel Canyon is kind of grotesque. It's this nature-themed place, and everybody is kind of angry. "
" I've been writing a lot about my encounter with love. Which is the white stag as far as songwriting is concerned because love songs are so banal, and my experience with love is anything but that. "
" My humor is my creativity, and my skepticism is a gift. "
" I would play my Dungeons and Dragons songs and watch people's eyes glaze over, and then I would start joking around between songs, and all of a sudden people were lighting up and engaging. "