Alan is at the board, we are mixing the last song, and I think it is going to be really hard to say 'this album is finished' and let it go out into the world. This record has been working it's way out of me for such a long time, sometimes in visible ways, often only inside of my own head, heart, and bedroom. So it will be difficult to put an end to this gestation... unfinished, a project has endless potential. Finish it, and you have to own exactly what you have accomplished, nothing more. And, on the upside, nothing less. I do think i am going to be proud and content with what I have done, but it will still be hard to let it go.
Because this is my favorite part - the very private, sensual, calculated process of recording, of creating, of being with the music and being the music, unobserved and unself-conscious - now comes the scary part... the part where art and commerce intersect; the part where I might wind up in as useless a situation as I was when I was 20 years old and on Virgin Records. But I do hope that people will embrace this music, and all I want to do is make it available to them. There are so many distasteful aspects to the record-selling business, all taken as par for the course - posturing, ass-kissing, self-promotion, it's just ugly. But I am interested in true connection, and I'll do what it takes to make that possible. If my records could mean to others what John Lennon and Elliott Smith and Pink Floyd and PJ Harvey records have meant to me, then it is worth it.
Ever since I left virgin, I promised myself that I would put my inspiration first, that I would make the hard decisions that would make me a better artist. I think I have been true to that promise, and that is what makes me feel really good about the work I am doing, but now will come the harder test, because now comes the harder decisions. Now I will have to keep coming back to that place in myself that knows that the most important thing to do is to deepen my songwriting, to be honest with myself, to challenge myself and make a better record next time.
So dramatic, huh? Really, it can all be fun.