We talked to a broad array of people from many backgrounds and many regions of the creative spectrum, including musicians, of course, but also comedians, speechwriters, screenwriters, illustrators, painters, authors, directors, producers, and more than a few who maybe lean one way or another, but are ultimately pretty hard to categorize. It was fascinating and fun for us, but, done sporadically over the course of pretty much the entirety of 2018, it wasn’t until we looked back recently at the body of interviews we’d collected, that it seemed like something real, that made sense and hung together as a series.
He recorded 27 songs total, and there were three versions of The Hanged Man in play at various times. One leaned toward the punk and power-pop that represents “what people would traditionally think I do,” and one leaned toward the exploratory art ballads he used the studio to craft (or as he puts it, one that was “completely the slow, dark, weird stuff”). He settled on a happy medium between the two for the actual album. (His friend Aimee Mann, who’s heard the album, says it has a dash of “mad scientist” about it).
I probably had enough songs to complete an album a good five years ago, but a number of things – personal and financial – prevented me from doing it. And though it’s always been a constant source of low-level anxiety that so much time continues to pass by, I’ve also come to see that time as a boon. When I missed that first hurdle, that first deadline to PRODUCE SOMETHING, the world didn’t end. Time kept moving, and all of the expectations that I had for MYSELF morphed into a more compassionate and contemplative group of feelings that were more about incubating, honing, experimenting, learning, and rebuilding a certain amount of confidence that I think I’d lost in my stymied relationship with the cycles of releases and promotion and needing support (not just financial) from the label I was working for; and so I started to actually just allow myself that time.