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J. Tillman Quotes
My humor is my creativity, and my skepticism is a gift.
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.
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.
Funny is a good foil. Humor is illuminating, and it also gives you power.
There's a lot of risk in putting what you suspect you really are into your 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'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.
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 kind of bored playing drums in a band. Which was depressing, because playing in the band was kind of a golden ticket.
I've never taken the steps to be 'successful': I've never had a manager or signed to a publishing house.
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.
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.
I play sad bastard music. For the money.
I was like, 'Josh Tillman, you are not a songwriter. You are an ape. Stop thinking of yourself as a songwriter.'
It's a vanity to think that a legitimate shamanistic experience can be purchased.
Laurel Canyon is kind of grotesque. It's this nature-themed place, and everybody is kind of angry.
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.
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.
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