I’d been touring for so long, seven years. For a year and a half I’d just been curious about what it was like not to tour. It’s like if you were to lift a 100-pound barbell with your right arm for seven years, eventually you’d get really curious about what your left arm was capable...
I didn’t really get London until I read Dickens. Then I was charmed to death by it.
When I did ‘1,2,3,4’ on ‘Sesame Street’ they’d rewritten the song and made it about counting. At first, I balked. I was like, ‘Counting to four? That’s where we’re going with this?’ Then they sent me appearances by other people like James Blunt doing ‘You’re Beautiful’ as ‘My Triangle.’
After ‘Sesame Street,’ it’s a hyper-familiar world to me and I have this childlike ability to ignore the fact that I’m talking to scraps of cloth. Every country I go to, I see posters promoting the film in different languages. ‘Los Muppets’ – I love that!
Commercialism isn’t challenging creatively; it’s only challenging in a stamina way.
You never know what’s going to play into what’s worthy of getting encapsulated into a song.
Well, there’s just some universal truths in a way that I’ve just observed to be true. You read Voltaire. You read modern literature. Anywhere you go, there’s these observations about romantic love and what it does people, and these rotten feelings that rarely are people meaning to do that to each other.
There’s a crazy amount of goodwill, and I don’t know where it came from, and I don’t understand, but the more I pay attention to it, the more it’s going to sting when it flips, so I think I’m almost subconsciously cultivating this naivety to it all.
I once looked over the shoulder of a friend on Facebook and it looked like hieroglyphs to me. There’s merit online, of course, but social media gets super freaky. Imagine if three generations from now, people online have forgotten what date or day of the week it is.
For me, music is in the choice of what not to play as much as in what you’ve chosen to play.
When I was in Beck’s world, I felt like the little sister. I’m in the big brother’s room with all his friends. You just hang out and keep your mouth shut so they don’t realize you’re there and kick you out. I like being in situations where I can be an underdog, where I can...
On the videos for ‘1234’ and ‘My Moon My Man’ I wanted to make the songs visible. And, really, what way can you make sound visible other than good old naive dancing? I was working with a choreographer, but I’m not a dancer. Any notion of elegance is impossible with me.
Opinions are like snowflakes, you know what I’m saying?
There have been times I’ve planted stuff in songs where four years later I’ll be singing it from a subconscious, kind of chameleon little lizard mind… and at a certain moment, all of a sudden, I’ll hear a line from a different vantage point and it’ll change its meaning. It’s something I wrote but it...
When I first played ‘1234’ it was on stage in San Francisco at some kind of, like, sticky-floored club. And it felt like a punk song. I mean it’s ridiculous to say that now, but it had that kind of, like, piercing straight melody. And then this fist-pumping ending, you know that pa-dap-pada.
Music is pretty intimate stuff and I can only work with very few people: Gonzalez being one, Mocky being another and, on a completely different level, Broken Social Scene. With Broken Social Scene it’s not one-on-one, it’s a one-on-12. It’s very healthy, very comfortable, like a big pot luck supper among old friends.
So, I’m on ‘Sesame Street,’ walking around with all these monsters, Elmo and his buddies, a whole bunch of chickens, a whole bunch of penguins and a number four dancing about. It was just pure joy, simple, ridiculous fun, stupid joy. There’s no irony. ‘Sesame Street’ is just a crazy great place to be.