When I`m singing I try not be a singer with a capital S. I just try to get it out so I feel comfortable with it.
There are singers that I have enjoyed, from Nina Simone and Ray Charles onward. But the music that made music the number one thing for me as a youth was jazz.
Anybody who thinks pop music`s easy should try to make a pop single and find out that it isn`t.
It was physically difficult, adjusting to wheelchair life, but I remember a great relief and happiness that I was finally getting somewhere, finding musicians to work with that were sympathetic.
I`m not, by nature, a collaborator. My biggest influences were people like painters and poets. These are solitary workers.
In the past, so many of my records, really, have been sketches for records that never really got made.
There are people I would like to work with. It`s a bit harder, because I live out in the sticks anyway, and plus being in a wheelchair means that I can`t really circulate. So I tend to stick to my own thing.
I would like to think that the singer is the butterfly, and the drummer was just the little grub in the ground, working to become a caterpillar.
Being big and famous doesn`t get you more freedom, it gets you less.
I don`t know how many thoughts we have a second, but it`s quite an amazing number, and just to pin down the appropriate sequence of those, all you really need is a pencil and a piece of paper.
When there is a voice in a piece of music, we tend to focus on the voice. That is probably something from when we were babies and we depended on hearing our mother`s voice.
I`m just a very primitive, infantile folk singer.
My heroes are people like Picasso and Miro and people who at last really reach something in their old age, which they absolutely couldn`t ever have done in their youth.
I think that pop, and to some extent rock, are like sport and fashion industry in that they`re about the exuberance of youth. That`s the sort of subliminal ideology.
I play music a lot but on my own mostly, so it was nice to be around other people. There was a certain sense a relief in the physical act of just playing and being with other musicians.
I prefer the mystic clouds of nostalgia to the real thing, to be honest.
On the whole, I tend not to listen to my peers.
Those nations of artists, finding their own individualism, and kind of standing against the world: to me that`s the ultimate nightmare. I want to get lost and diffused in the world.
What keeps me going is a constant sense of disappointment with what I`ve already done.
This constant pressure from record companies to come up with a hit single or something like that, I find completely tiresome.
I`ve always liked pop music. There was a bit of a misunderstanding with the avant-garde rock scene, because I think I was sort of swimming the wrong way, really.
I have never felt in tune with the whole rock industry.
We did not get any money from the early records. It was all taken by crooked managers. It is just a gangster`s paradise.
I think the people who did well, or are happy, in a youth industry, they define themselves out of the business after a decade or so.
I really liked them, not just Syd, but all of them. Roger was very important, I thought, his contribution. And so was Rick`s organ playing. It was a good band. It became something else completely, obviously.
When I lost the use of my hi-hat and bass drum legs, I became basically a singer. I was a drummer who did a bit of singing, and then I became a singer who did a bit of percussion.
If you`ve never felt that you quite got a hold of it, you just feel that before you die, you`ve got to try and get it right once. And hope that the experience you have makes up for the some of the diminishing energy.
Love is blind. My politics has been, too. I think you can fall in love with ideas, and you can fall in love with people. It`s a very subjective experience. And I`m loyal to that experience.
I only choose musicians who I think will emerge, can emerge, with their own character, while still going along with the tune in question.
People are quite shocked when you remind them that Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra never wrote a song that they recorded in their lives, as far as I know.
I don`t find the business easy. The moment you start talking about the business, you start sounding like someone in Spinal Tap.
I`m not full of malice, but I do dislike Neil Diamond a lot, and I`m sorry that I`ve done a Neil Diamond song.
I know people who grow old and bitter. I want to keep making a fresh start. I don`t want them to defeat me. That would be suicidal.
People say, oh it`s a shame, you`re not nostalgic about the `60s. Well actually, it`s quite good, when you think of it. Wouldn`t it be sad if I was sitting here wishing it back?
I find writing songs hard, because it does not come naturally to me. I never set out to be a songwriter or a singer.
The most effective instruments do have a vocal quality.
In theory, I`d like to work in a group. But the group I`d like to work in, all the musicians in them are long since dead.
I don`t do live things.
I find it hard to take rock groups very seriously or treat them with respect. There is something absurd about these gloomy young men getting together and banging away.
Even if you`re specific about the character of the song, it`s more exciting to place them, juxtapose them in such a way as to make an adventure out of the sequence of the songs.
There`s no field of music which doesn`t have good ideas.
It just doesn`t mean anything to me, the high-profile, big money side of things. I just want enough to live on, and to be able to get on with what I do, and hang around my friends.
The things that I draw on, and the world that I feel part of, aren`t particularly youth culture.
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