Songwriting is a very mysterious process. It feels like creating something from nothing. It's something I don't feel like I really control.
I don't want someone to squeeze me, that might take away my life. Just want someone to hold me, and we'll rock through the night.
The songs are not necessarily autobiographical. A lot of songs are a combination of influences. It might be some part of my life, or something I've felt, or something somebody's told me. It all comes together.
As a child I spent a lot of time at the library.
After it's finished, sometimes I can trace a path that goes back to the possible source of inspiration.
I picked up the guitar at 11, but even before then, I was writing songs on the organ.
I think many people would say that writers like Stephen King have hypergraphia.
We have more media than ever and more technology in our lives. It's supposed to help us communicate, but it has the opposite effect of isolating us.
I'm never sure if I'll ever write another song, what the song will be about and if what initially sparked the beginning of a song might complete it.
I found myself in the middle of a race riot when I was about 14 years old, and I found someone pointing a gun at me and telling me to run or they'd shoot me.
Now love's the only thing that's free /We must take it where it's found /Pretty soon it may be costly
When you feel like you've had a good show, you go backstage and you talk to yourself about it, and if you have a bad show you talk to yourself about it.
I often write either really early in the morning, or really late at night.
Growing up in Cleveland, I learned about singing from my mother, who had once sung professionally and who admired Mahalia Jackson and Aretha Franklin.
I never assumed I would have that commercial success, so it was a total surprise. And honestly, I never assumed that it would ever happen again.
I'm not sure if the next song I write is going to be about love or a song about a tree.
I really love playing music with other people. It's more fun to be on the road with others. It's kind of lonely out there when you play on your own!
Love's a recurring theme through my work.
A lot of kids spent more time out of school than in, but I always loved school and thought it was my way out of Cleveland, and out of poverty.
My old man's got a problem, he lives with the bottle.
Everyone is looking for connections between the songs. I don't usually approach a record as a concept. There's no overriding theme I'm trying to represent. It's all about the individual songs.
I dressed up as a veterinarian for a Halloween costume party. I had the lab coat. I got a couple of stuffed animals for patients and put bandages on them.
Men are able to sustain a career into their 50s and 60s and still present themselves as sex symbols. With women, on the other hand, people say, 'Why doesn't she retire?'
Who took away the part so essential to the whole Left you a hollow body Skin and bone.
My older sister encouraged me from early on and bought me one of the first guitars I had. She listened to all of the crappy songs that I wrote when I was 8 years old and encouraged me to keep doing it.
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