A few years ago I put out an album called "Hotel." I've made a lot of records, but to be honest, '"Hotel" is not one of my favorites. I think it went wrong when I tried to produce it in a big outside studio, and in so doing I tried to make it as big and professional and slick and polished as possible. Unfortunately I ended up with a record that while professionally produced, didn't have any of the atmosphere or idiosyncracies or mistakes that I love in other people's records. So, after "Hotel", I vowed to make records at home that were less polished.
To that end: in a few weeks I'm putting out a new album, "Wait for me.'" Rather than go into a big, fancy studio and try to craft a big, fancy, polished record I wrote and recorded "Wait for me", in my bedroom in my apartment on the Lower East Side. It's a record filled with imperfections, because over time I've realized that I don't really like perfect art or music. My favorite records, whether they be Nick Drake, Joy Division, the Clash, Bon Iver, the New York Dolls or Lou Reed, tend to be filled with the beautiful imperfections that make people and art interesting.
A lot of contemporary musicians worry about making technically perfect records that will sound great on radio. Unfortunately technically perfect records that sound great on radio tend to sound fake and bombastic when you listen to them in your apartment at 10 a.m on a Sunday morning. Technically perfect records are sort of like the musical equivalent of a man who wears too much cologne and always speaks just a bit too loudly.
The process of making "Wait for Me" and giving myself the license to make a record in my bedroom that I loved, was about 100 times more enjoyable than working on some of the records I've made in the past. A part of the inspiration for the album was a conversation I had with David Lynch, wherein he talked about art being judged for it's integrity and it's content, and not for it's earnings potential. The marriage of art and commerce can, of course, yield interesting results, but only when the art comes before the commerce. When art or music is created solely for it's viability in the marketplace, things invariably go very, very wrong.