We’re all experiencing basically the same thing, which is: try to stay in as much as you can, try to be safe, try to wear your mask and don’t throw any big huge parties. At the end of February, we were starting to go like, “Wow, can this really be like the pandemic in 1918, when in Twilight Edward was made into a vampire?” That’s what I think of, right? Like, “Oh my god! That’s when he became Edward Cullen.” So we’re all in the same boat in a lot of ways.
For March, April and May we were in total lockdown. And I draw, I’m an artist, [so I thought] I can do that, and I can go to my other house and write songs. And you know, I didn’t do any of that. All I did was watch TV. And that’s what everybody else has told me, that they did the same thing. Even the most creative people that I know -- of which I am, by the way, one of them -- not a thing.
So for me, when I figured out I was going to go to Chicago to work on the movie, it was a total breath of fresh air. We stayed in a really cool house and we went into the studio every single day, literally seven days a week, because we weren’t staying longer than a month because we needed to turn the film in, so we just worked solid. And that was great, because I felt like I was me again. But when we came back [to L.A.], it was like, “Well, here we are.”
I wanted to release “Show Them The Way” before the election -- because I want it to help, I want it to be calming for everybody, no matter who you’re voting for. I want it to wrap its arms around everyone in a musical hug. I worked with Greg Kurstin, who was in Hawaii with his family and had been ever since March, and then Dave Grohl, who was out in the Valley somewhere, and Dave Stewart who was in Nashville, and I had the girls come -- I had hardly seen my two background singers -- so we all were able to finish the rock’n’roll version, because we already had the acoustic, piano, voice one.
We just kind of sped through it because we knew we didn’t have a lot of time; if we didn’t turn it in at the beginning of that month, it wouldn’t have come out until the 16th and I said, “No no, that is just way too late.” So we did everything we could do to get it out on [October] 9th, and we did it, we were successful. So that all made me feel like I was still alive, and that I was still able to be really creative and that it wasn’t my fault that I was feeling so uninspired for the first half of the year and so lazy and just so like… “Do you wanna get in the car and drive down to Malibu?” No. “Do you wanna do a craft night and we can all make dream catchers or something?” No. Like, “Wow, you picked a great person to go through this pandemic with, right?” So I felt that go away, and I felt the real me start to come back.
And now that the film and song are both out, how do you feel?
Now, I’m starting to feel like the other way again, because there’s nothing I can do. I can’t go out on the road and sing “Show Them the Way” on stage and knock everybody’s socks off. I can’t even go and see my own movie -- even though I have already seen it 300,000 times -- but I can’t chance it.
Because for me -- and I have said this in every interview and I’ll say it again -- I’m not getting this [virus]. I am never going to get something that could last for the rest of my life. And I don’t have 40 years. I have 10 or 15, maybe. And I want these next 10 or 15 years to be brilliant, creative, wonderful years. And I am not going to be dealing with the after-effects of COVID-19 because the people in power did not get a hold of this in March.