Simon Hale, the British arranger, does all string and wood arrangements on my records.
I wouldn't say that I've had a tough life by any stretch of the imagination.
Ultimately, if I'm really moved by something, it's going to go on the record and that's that.
And frankly, when I made that record, hit songs were not what I was trying to achieve.
Because of my Buddhist practice, I'm never lacking for inspiration.
I try to make sure that the Buddhism is more or less implicit in the music rather than explicit.
I think my Buddhist practice has a profound influence on my life and encompasses my creative projects.
My second record was all about big ideas - I was trying to make big statements about the culture, about life. I think in a certain way, I was a 27 year old kid with a guitar.
I mean, at the end of the day when I'm making a record, what I want to do is what I do.
After College I traveled across country to LA and within six months had a record deal - it was very premature, I was not ready to make a record.
I think in a way I was probably completely naive about what it takes to make something become a hit.
But I can't really say there is too much modern music that I'm blown away by at this moment.
Happy music doesn't tend to move me much.
I got a publishing deal with BMG, they were supportive, and some money to record demos.
I mean, I was glad that people liked it and happy for it to be on the radio, but all my musical influences weren't really pop artists.
If I were to do this over I'd play a lot more shows before I made a record.
I'm fortunate I have this coterie of musicians around me to help take music to next level. Being surrounded by so much creative energy, so many creative people really feeds that creativity in me.
I started playing music at a pretty young age.
I feel fortunate about being able to make the music I want to make and getting away with it.
I make the kind of music I like.
A real foolproof way to do it is play your stuff by hook or by crook and build up a grass roots following.
The experiences of promoting my first album were really something; there is so much illusion in my environment (touring and pop music) that I wanted to clear away.
I actually am always a music first person.
Things come to me pretty regularly. There is never a shortage or a backlog.
For my second record I had gotten ProTools (program) and started to familiar myself with hard disc recording.
It's inevitable your environment will influence what you do.
I privilege the music over the lyrics.
I certainly wouldn't say that my life is a disaster, but there have been moments where I've felt like that.
Lately I've been a workaholic. I'm in the studio all the time and I've helped to produce a couple of artists.
I'm a pretty big P.J. Harvey record fan and you can really hear New York in his record.
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