If you go to Japan, they're still buying vinyl, and they want the education. They know who's playing on what tracks from the '60s and the '70s - who the guitar player is, who the drummer is, who the producer was, what studio it was recorded in. That's how I grew up listening to music. We bought albums. We read the liner notes. It was important to know the whole history behind it.
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To let go of the illusion that I'm in control is an important lesson, because I tend to be a person who likes to be in control, not only of my art but of my life and things around me, and it can be healthy up to a certain point, but at the end of the day, we have to go on faith and learn to let go and ride the wave.
I think kids in Europe have developed a deeper knowledge of music and of black music in particular. You go to Europe, and these kids know about all this obscure funk and soul that kids over here wouldn't know. I think it's getting better in the States, though, with the age of the Internet.
At 10 o'clock in the morning I'd go right in the studio. It feels good to be there in the morning before the day starts to mess with you - I don't mean in a negative way, but before I'd speak to a lot of people or get into anything, I'd go in there and just see what I felt. A lot happens in the morning for me in the studio.
I was watching an interview with Martin Scorcese concerning Raging Bull, which is one of my favorite films, and he was talking about how he'd worked with a lot of guys who weren't quote-unquote "actors," like Joe Pesce and Frank Vincent. Scorcese was very smart in the way that he cast, because you don't know where you're going to find the right person who can carry a role and summon that emotion you're looking for.
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Life, the moment. Where the magic is. That's what really keeps me motivated, alive, hungry. I'm still as excited and motivated now as I was twenty-five years ago, and that's because I really live for those moments. And that's where the art comes from, that's where the music is born, that's where it all appears. I love it.
When I'm in the studio, I write the music, I play the different instruments, I produce it, I arrange it, and it's a self-indulgent exercise. It's the way I make my music. And when I'm acting, I get to leave myself behind, which is a relief. I get to collaborate with a director; I respect the director's medium and all the actors and actresses. So at the end of the day, it's about a character and it's about a director's vision. It's a really good balance for being so intense and alone in my personal process of making music.
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None of those material possessions do anything to make your life any better.... I know a lot of people who have a lot of everything, and they're absolutely the most miserable people in the world. So it won't do anything for you unless you're a happy person and can have peace with yourself.
I'll be quite frank with you "" I didn't know about Hunger Games "" so when I'm telling kids and they say, 'Who are you playing?' and I say Cinna, they go, 'Oh you're playing the gay guy.' That was an actual answer. I've never brought that up yet. That's how they perceived it. So I thought about it, and I read the book and I don't see that he is or isn't [gay]. He's a designer, he's a stylist, he has gold eyeliner""that doesn't mean anything either way.
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I'm very much about the environment, I'm very much about health, about being able to, at the very least, eat organic, whole foods that are healthy for us. And then, of course, everyone being able to eat and at least have a humane way to live. There's enough for everybody, but unfortunately, there's a lot of greed and a lot of ego.
I never sit down to write. When I'm moved, I do it. I just wait for it to come. You just hear it. I can't really describe writing. It's in my head. I don't think about the styles. I write whatever comes out and I use whatever kind of instrumentation works for those songs...A lot of people don't listen to the lyrics, really. A lot of people pretty much only listen to the chorus.