Songwriting is something that happens if you let it. There is little correlation between writing prose and writing songs for me. A song is a bed sheet used as a sail, prose is a barquentine fully-rigged.
I’m not a poetry guy. I don’t understand most of it. I like the plain spoken stuff OK, like the “Land of the White Donkeys” guy. Is that Tate? His stuff is more along the lines of Mitch Hedburg though. Emily Dickinson I like. She was a rare seed with a rampant flaring core. I’m surprised no one has founded a religion in her honor. Or maybe they have. All these poetry readings attended by poets. But mostly I find that poetry doesn’t suit my speed. Mostly I cannot understand what is being said. I don’t want to be teased with feathers by someone tittering in a harlequin mask hiding behind a pillar—I want to be high-fived or hugged by a blinged out mothereffer. Hug a thug!
I remember as a small child thinking that the fiddle in bluegrass music was a baby crying and singing. So I liked it. I thought they just brought their baby on stage with them. Bluegrass was what I first saw as a three-dimensional music—the skeleton and the organs and the skin and face. That is the first thing I remember about music, that bluegrass is like a body with joints that move and smiles, stretches, etc.
(excerpted from an interview with Bill Callahan on The Rumpus)
I really love Bill Callahan but I also hate him, but I love him.