Did you have them all written?
A lot of them were written and some I had recorded a while ago that I was itching to release, that was about five songs. A lot of it was just newly written stuff.
Do you take raw ideas to the studio and it grows into this giant production?
A lot of this has to do with Marius deVries (producer). We just had this large, symbiotic relationship from the get-go. Maybe it was my WASPy background and his British background and became these imperialists. We became these conquistadors in the studio. The times were pretty intense. I went in the studio a few weeks before the Iraq war and our engineer was really a conspiracy theorist. I didnt think I could make this record because of the worldly climate. The tenor of the time was to get it out while I could.
I was reading the bio about the two records being different, was it one styles-
No we didnt record them like that. I didnt want Want Two to knock Want One down. There is a 9 minute song and a Latin song on Want Two, its the weirder stuff. I want the first one to at least land in Wal-Mart.
Want One flows.
There was that element. The next record, Im not as concerned with the flow. Each piece is a record in itself. I wanted this one to be, I wanted to kill a lot of birds, well see if I kill them or not. I want the first one to be seamless.
Its striking from the first track until the end. I didnt even know there was a Want Two until this morning, so what is left I wasnt sure of the plan.
I do believe in a divine plan and I think the ones I left off belong together. The best thing about this record was that not much thought went into it. It came really off the cuff and whatever worked at the time. I think that is the key to a great record.
The tracks really build and build and takes time to climax, that seems really against the grain because today everyone seems to want to hit the chorus within 30 seconds. What is the construction of a song like for you?
They want to hit you with the chorus right away and continue to rape you. (Laughs) I have a different musical sensibility. I like to withhold the evidence.
Are you always working on songs?
I always have three or four songs on the burner. I think as a songwriter you have to be working on songs, and you do need time off, with the intention of going back. Thats how I approach it. Im really happy that Im on my third record and that this one is two albums. I think we really have to get the music out there. Time is of the essence. People need to hear music. I would like to make some kind of rally call. We are musically constipated.
Have you seen anyone lately that you liked?
Ween was amazing. I saw my friend Beth Orton and Radiohead. But I have this on going addiction to classical chords. Im a chord addict. You people really like how these songs sound solo and acoustic. I think this record production enhances the songs a lot. I wrote them with a lot of production in mind. I didnt have a piano or guitar part and just song them to a guitar player. I think this record is more precise. I think they are songs that stand up on their own. There was a real wedding between the production and song.
Is the production experimental or well planned?
Experimental. Ill get a classical attack, but this time around Marius was all for it. Sometimes it worked and other times it wouldnt. With past producers it would be a battle to get something on it. There was never any disbelief in my vision.