Jason Isbell InterviewJun 09, 2021
you look at every call it's lat no, it's what I but it's never who I am never who started on the street I think every song that everyone sings is somehow autobiographical I think they're about the person who wrote them and they're all about the art of write a song itself. I think it's extremely difficult to write a song without any of you coming out and you know it can be in a completely ironic way. You know, I have friends who have written hit country songs for girls to sing. and I always listen to the songs and I think you know, I bet someone told him that at one point, he himself may not think that about someone else, but I bet a girl told him that or he was wrong in the way he The character and his song are making a mistake.
I think it's a mistake to try not to let yourself into the songs because that's part of what people want to hear and that's part of the process. She is sleeping the glitter while she pulls the rope. for her to turn - stop the last thing Wiggins for me was not there seen working now it seems to me that they both suffer no, I heard her say you are the only reason she is alive today unit four hundred is the name of the band and that came from a mental treatment center in north Alabama where you can check yourself in, your family can check you in, but about once a week, after you've reached a certain point in your rehab, they'll take you out in a van and give you a per diem and let you go around downtown on your own, find something to eat and the first time I saw this happen it took me a minute to figure out who they were and once I knew they all have badges and name tags and stuff. they just say really really strange things and get really confused and lose it and try to find a good sandwich and get back to the van and then the first time I saw us stop for lunch it was like, oh, now I know exactly exactly what.
I'll call him normally. I write the best I can when I wake up for some reason. I think it's before everything else I have to do starts to find its way into my head, even if you know it doesn't matter, but sometimes it's not morning. everything when I wake up, you know, whatever the morning is for me, it would be my favorite time to write and the easiest time for me to write, yeah, I mean, if you're on the road, you have to do it whenever you can. take it when it comes and when you have a few minutes to sit down and work you have to do it, but if I'm at home and I have my worries it would be as soon as I wake up, it seems like the people here may have been bigger fans of my songs with the truckers than with Patterson's or Coolants because I think what the three of us did was quite different, I mean a lot of the themes crossed over and you know a lot stylistically.
It wasn't too far away, but I think we all come from three separate riding schools and those people I think know what to expect when they come to a show. I don't think anyone is going to come pay. 10 or 15 dollars to cut me off, yeah, the biggest change in my life since I've been on tour with those guys is more than anything else, just a group of people that I'm working with, you know, sometimes you push the button restart because you spend a lot. time with those four or five people and then when you spend the same amount of time with four or five different people it can sometimes take some getting used to, luckily for me I knew the rest of the band beforehand and I'd known him for years , so it was almost like going back to some of the things I did before playing together and that made it really comfortable, very easy to do and you know, I even lived with the bassist for almost two years, so it was a pretty easy step, easy enough, to make something personal when playing an acoustic show.
I think it reminds you a lot of the fact that you trust the songs more than anything else, the arrangements, the lyrics and the way the song was originally written and because I usually write with just acoustic guitar or just piano or something So, I definitely feel the need after a few shows like that, I feel the need to play with the full band again, it's a lot easier to be creative when you don't have to fill in so many gaps. You can really take your time and decide when you want to touch it and when you don't want to touch it.
If you're playing in an acoustic environment, it's cool because it's a little more intimate the connection you have with the fans, sorry, a couple of people cried, but most just laughed, most, you know, it's strong for him, but never again Steve never has to, man, we can make me disappear. Oh, I could. being in a worse place here at home, Daisy comes and now people leave with nothing and even the music press keeps me up at night because it definitely hurts me to see the magazines I read go out of print or even get smaller, you know? changing the style of the paper with the quality of the photographs or any of those things that always bother me, but you know, I think things are moving to a new medium.
I like the books themselves. I like reading books and I actually like holding books, so it's a little sad for me to see everything going to a digital medium, but you have the opportunity to reach more people. I think it's a compensation. You know, musicians do the same thing and I think the big mistake with music was when it was impossible. hang something on your wall and you stand there and stare at it, you know, then it became kind of useless to have that item in stock, so when vinyl made wafer for cassettes or CDs, you know that was the end of the physical product.
I guess for print magazines, I think people maybe get tired of the clutter. I don't know, you know, I have tons of magazines in my house that, I don't know, are sentimental or just crazy to throw away and As long as you can keep publishing what you have and your readers can still find you, I think it's possible to make it work.
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