Sexism; "You can’t be sexy and intelligent. It’s not allowed. Nothing has changed. I mean, it’s fine if you just wanna go out there and twerk, but the landscape is limited. If you try to embody too many different human aspects in your work, or if you have too many references, people get confused. I see a lot of people getting really pissed off at Miley because she kind of just acts like a dude—but if she were a dude, no one would say anything."
Nostalgia; "It feels like the right time to look back. You know, I got to hang out with William Burroughs. It’s crazy. I got to meet some amazing people, and those kinds of characters—that kind of art—just don’t exist anymore. Well, I’m sure it does, but it just doesn’t seem to be a part of youth culture. When I think about popular culture now, I can’t help but think that we’re living in the age of loneliness. There’s this illusion that we all have instant access to each other, but we actually have no real connection. You’re just…
Pitchfork: …alone at home staring at your phone.
M: Yes! Just think about a time when you actually had to leave your house and go get on the train and see somebody in person to interact with them. You had to go to their studio. You had these visceral experiences with people that actually involved a certain amount of planning and physical interaction, and those interactions have so much to do with the building of one’s character. I fear that we are getting further and further away from that. Also, I have teenaged children and I’m really seeing the world through their eyes. I’m thinking, “What a drag that they don’t really get to experience that.”
Singing personal songs; "Hm. I think 'scary' is probably the wrong word. You just have to be ready. You know, I just don’t ever want to sound like a victim, or like a person that is feeling sorry for themselves. However, I did want to share some aspects of my life experiences that were painful that I think people can relate to—especially in this age of social media where people can hide behind the Internet to say a lot of disparaging, hateful, discriminatory things to other people. It’s not that people got crazier or more hateful, it’s just that now people have the courage to say stuff without any fear. As much good as it does, social media can also encourage stupidity and degradation.
Do you know [‘60s poet] Anne Sexton? I worship her. She came up in a tough time, and she definitely wasn’t encouraged to be a poet or to speak her mind or reveal anything personal. When I made Truth or Dare, I got so much shit from people for everything, for allowing cameras to follow me around all the time. Can you imagine, in this day and age?"
Pop music; "To be honest, pop music isn’t exciting me too much right now. I mean, do you consider James Blake pop music? I love his music, some of his songs just kill me. He’s a great songwriter. It’s the kind of thing that makes me jealous, like, 'Oh! I wish I’d made that!'"
Being on stage; "I like coming up with these spectacular extravaganzas that will, hopefully, totally blow people away. But I also like the intimacy of stopping it all and sitting at the edge of the stage and connecting with individual people in the audience. Actually, I quite like the idea doing a different kind of tour—and don’t get any ideas because this is not gonna happen right now—where I would sing songs and play guitar and just have maybe one other musician out there with me; it’s just me and a guitar and a good bottle of wine. I could talk in between each song and tell stories, or do some of my stand-up comedy, which I’m actually quite good at. I love it when I see a stand-up comedian have some amazing back-and-forth dealing with a heckler in the audience. I could really have a field day with something like that. I don’t think you understand how funny I am—I mean, maybe not right now, but in general. I do some of my best stand-up comedy during sound checks."
Read the entire interview here.