Story and Interview by Miwa Sakamoto
I'm winging it. Might go record later this evening...
Well, the master plan is to write and sing and play forever, no matter what. Last year I went to a songwriters’ colony on Nantucket. It gifted me some great friends and collaborators and it also gave me vision as to what my record will be sounding like.
I can, but you never know... It has a will of its own. I try my best to stay open and keep a welcoming inner climate to foster it.
I try to get out of town about once a month.
I lived in Treasure Island, Florida, until I was four and from there, we moved to Malibu where I was raised.
I had a recurring wave dream as a kid. But I don't think that's what you are asking... The earliest dream I can remember is wanting to make and play music (also, I think I wanted to be a gymnast for about five minutes after I watched the Olympics)
Funny you should ask- that wave dream followed me everywhere. The first few incarnations of it were always nightmares- running from a tidal wave is never fun...But a few years ago the dream changed. I met someone inside of the dream and they told me not to be afraid, they said I could survive the wave if I swam deeply… and so I did, and lo and behold the dream has never come back as a nightmare since.
I've had a thing with cutting my own hair since I was about 7 years old… but the first time I cut off all my hair was on the anniversary of a friends passing.
I've heard that trimming your hair on a new moon makes it grow. Nowadays I see a haircut as a constructive destruction, almost like pruning roses to make way for new blooms…
I always sang as a little kid, but when I was about 11 years old I started writing songs and playing in a band with my dad...
Playing in a band with my dad as an adolescent was life changing. I felt free and supported - I certainly wasn't afraid to make a mistake in front of him which enabled me to discover my voice.
Any musician that plays or sings from their heart is a huge inspiration to me. I love Beach House, Patti Smith, Neil young, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Radiohead, The Kinks, and Miriam Makeba, to name more than a few. (There are way too many to list!!) but going back to the very beginning, I would say that my father has been a huge musical influence... as far back as I can remember, he always had a guitar in his hands.
The book "Women Who Run With The Wolves" has been a companion for over 10 years. It's a life changer. I can't seem to keep a copy of it because it's one of those books that longs to be given away... Any movie or book that has mystical or other worldly qualities instantly has my attention.
The first thought that comes to mind is that singing sets me free...The second thought that comes to mind, is that I sing for the love of it. The third and final thought that comes to mind is that Martha Graham answered this question better than I ever will, so, here's this quote of hers that has completely changed my life more than once:
"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching..."
Good question... To me, the relationship between creativity and perfection is a paradoxical one. In a sense they are the best of enemies. Personally, the very thought of perfection can extinguish my creativity before it even starts...To be perfect, something must be complete. And to create, something must be wholly incomplete. But at a greater distance, both creativity and perfection are to be found walking together like the best of friends within the changing of the seasons, or the cycle of life and death or in the beauty of the rose, ever blooming, ever dying and ever blooming again. Ultimately, I don't know the answer to your question.
I think I would like go everywhere and see it all.
Flamin' hot Cheetos.