1.0 – What’s the best thing about Barn Sessions?
Perhaps that it’s real, it’s live, and you can see a mouse suddenly appear behind John’s lovely head in the “Hiding”‘ video. That’s just my personal opinion.
2.0 – Did you have a sound in mind when you starting recording it or did it evolve?
It was more of a feeling I wanted people to remember. The entire landscape of music has gone through drastic changes. I wanted to do a live experiment with talented people to see how the variables would change the result. It evolved as things do, once my team of amazing artist friends helped it become what it is. The sum of their talent and personality, combined with other elements, created the sound.
3.0 – Do you consider branding & image as part of the artistic process?
When I found a wooden hard drive to go with the Barn Sessions package I was pretty pleased. There is an overall aesthetic that is particular to each project. I liked the wood because what people receive is the same material that shaped the acoustic environment where the music was created. I am a creature who tries to be consistent.
4.0 – When did you start writing songs and what was your first?
This is a good question. I would have to say if I really go back in time, I was writing in my head constantly, and piano melodies near my mother’s lap at 3 or 4 years old. I remember listening to her voice when she would talk to people. I remember thinking that her kindness created music in people. I would play things that fit the scene of the room. I would play to the moods of the people inhabiting the room. I became aware of the power of simple observation, and began to understand how music was a doorway to change people’s emotional states.
5.0 – Do you have a philosophy when it comes to writing?
Stop thinking so much.
6.0 – And what about the stage and playing live?
There’s nothing like it at its best and its worst.
7.0 – How did you catch the folk bug originally?
I didn’t know I had it! I came from rock. (Older brother-you know:)
8.0 – Did you have to work at it or does it come naturally, or both?
I work all the time at all aspects of everything I do. My friends tell me I really need to get out quite often luckily. Playing music, and trying to survive as a musician, are two different things. They both take extraordinary amounts of discipline and work.
9.0 – What’s your favorite record of all-time?
That’s the hardest question. If I had to choose, Brian Eno and Harold Budd. It brings me to a state of absolute serenity.
10.0 – What was the first concert you attended and how did it impact your life?
I think the first time I was truly impacted was either Tool, NIN, or Tori Amos. It was all within the same week. It really changed up the playing field.