I'm not a writer where I feel particularly blessed by great inspiration every day. I don't. I have to work really hard at it to try and say the things I'm concerned with.
I decide immediately if I like a person and if I do, then I'm myself, and if I don't, then I give nothing.
People like Howlin' Wolf, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, John Lee Hooker, Nina Simone, Captain Beefheart - all of these artists were what I grew up listening to every day of my life. And there's a very healthy music scene in the west country of England, where I grew up.
I've always felt that I'm affected by the world, by the way we treat each other, by the way different countries treat each other.
People have a tendency to see country life through rose-colored glasses.
With songs I almost see the images, see the action, and then all I have to do is describe it. It's almost like watching a scene from a film, and that's what I go about trying to catch in a song.
I did photography, painting, and drawing, but I prefer sculpture. I like it because it's very physical.
I firmly disbelieve that one has to be a tortured soul to write good music.
I'm a Libra. That means that I can make a decision, but only after much thought.
Maybe I'm just purely lucky. If I've come up against obstacles I've always found another way around it.
I didn't know folk music growing up, no. It's something I've come to study, really, because I think there's so much to learn from traditional music in the sense of the way music began as a way of communication, the traveling storyteller, the bard, the minstrels.
I think that's always very valuable: to keep the mind open to receiving all sorts of information, which can then be used in my work, but also just as a human being.
I work on words, mostly, toward them being poetry or short stories, and then some of those become songs. They all find their place in the world, but they all start off in the same place. I'm always painting and drawing as well, and it's an ongoing creative assignment.
It's so much in me to want to keep experimenting all the time. It's just inherent. Therefore I keep reaching for instruments I don't particularly know how to play, and then I become excited.
My father is actually a quarry man - he deals in stone. He also at one point had a lot of sheep, he owned a sheep farm, but primarily the family business was in stone.
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