"I don't find hip-hop particularly adventurous. It's more adventurous than pop music or country. But honestly, I don't listen to it a lot. I really don't listen to much pop music. I listened to Harry Partch once I got interested in Harry Partch. I listened to Clap Clap's music once I got into it. I listen to yMusic albums when they come out. I listen to Nico Muhly's music. I listen to Philip Glass. I listen to old '50s music all the time. I listen to old country music."
On Donald Trump and America's Anger 'Addiction'
"I'll say this about Trump: Anger is an addiction. We like it. The brain likes it. And now you've got a country full of addicts. And the media and certain politicians are the dealers. So everybody's angry all the time, and they're all juiced up. I'm not saying there's nothing to be angry about. What I'm saying is, you can't make a calm decision when somebody's got you in a rage. The political game has become very different now. A lot of people recognize it and are exploiting it."
On Working in the Studio
"I have my own little studio. It's not that different from a laptop -- a little bit more elaborate. I'm using the digital advantages that Pro Tools provides to let me follow some instinct. You know: Slow it down. Change the key, run it backward, flip it over. I might be like, "What key is that in? Oh, that's the wrong key. It's in D. I want it to be in B flat." Or I might say: "That doesn't sound good played forward. Flip it over and play it backward." There are plenty of days where I leave the studio and I'm really not in a particularly good mood, because I didn't get anything I liked."
On the Mystery of Songwriting
"It's a mystery, writing songs. I think that is why I've been doing it for all this time. I like that mystery: 'How come I feel this way? Why do I hear this thing in my head, but can't quite get it to come alive?' On those occasions that you do get it right, when you say what you want to say with music and words -- the dopamine floods through your brain, and whoa! You're hooked. You could spend years trying again, because you want that dopamine fix."