Thursday, June 08, 2006

Speaking words of wisdom

From time to time I will be posting collections of John's quotes on various subjects. Today, here is what he had to say about music:

  • Theory is for the critic or the audience. The experience is for the artist and for the audience that isn't theorising about it. That's what is valid. For me criticism doesn't exist. It affects me if you say what a terrible song I've written in the way it would if you say you don't like my suit. I think one note is as complex as anything, but I can't spend my whole life explaining that to critics who want complex musical harmonies, tonal cadences and all that crap.
  • My music is about love and peace. But what's wrong with the people in the world? Are they all bloody deaf?
  • I couldn't sit down with Paul in some sort of working situation, like in an office job. If I was told the two of us had to sit at a table until we finished our next song, the job would never get done. I have to grab bits of inspiration when they fly by. I should have a recording machine taped to my back or I should carry a guitar. I never know when ideas will come. It's worse with individual words. I wait ages for the right rhyme and then it comes and goes before I am able to get it down. Once it's lost, the whole process has to begin again.
  • Paul has a special gift when it comes to making up tunes. I find myself using tunes which already exist and fitting my words to them. I have to back off and begin again all the time. I realized I'm pinching an old American hit. With me, I have a theme, which gets me started on the poetry side of the thing. Then I have to put a tune to it, but that's the part of the job I enjoy least. Words come easier.
  • Why do I have to explain what sound is? I mean, we all sit by the sea and listen to it. But do we say, 'This sea is good because it's reminiscent of childhood experience when we were at the seaside' or 'It's like your mother's water' or anything like that? People just lie in fields and listen to birds and nobody says a thing.

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