I read a lot; fiction and non-fiction are the mediums I find most edifying and inspiring. I watch movies and listen to music and take lots and lots of walks. Nature is a nice reset button for me, it's how I get a lot of thinking done.
When my father came out to his mom, my grandmother said, 'You waited for your father to die; why couldn't you have waited for me to die?' I knew then that I never want to contribute to the corrosiveness of wanting someone to stay hidden.
I think music took hold of me and captured my imagination at such a formative age that I ascribe a mysteriousness to it, and I exalt it and take it seriously in a way that I think has just permeated my life ever since. And I'm less interested in music that is novelty or jokey or ironic.
It was writing about music for NPR - connecting with music fans and experiencing a sense of community - that made me want to write songs again. I began to feel I was in my head too much about music, too analytical.
I'm pretty horrible at relationships and haven't been in many long-term ones. Leaving and moving on - returning to a familiar sense of self-reliance and autonomy - is what I know; that feeling is as comfortable and comforting as it might be for a different kind of person to stay.
For film and television, it's interesting how fans feel that their particular ways of manifesting their affections are the correct ones. It's not just about being a fan, it's about how you perform your fandom. That's always been interesting to me.
With Portlandia, I don't think our intention is always to find something funny. Sometimes the humor comes from taking something really seriously. We're okay with making somebody feel uncomfortable or uneasy.
I'll admit that I'm not quite certain how to sum up an entire year in music anymore; not when music has become so temporal, so specific and personal, as if we each have our own weather system and what we listen to is our individual forecast.
With Rock Band, you can play along to Black Sabbath or Nirvana and possibly find new ways of appreciating their artistry by being allowed to perform parallel to it. Rock Band puts you inside the guts of a song.
From dancing around to Michael Jackson and Madonna as a kid to having my mind blown by the first sounds of punk and indie rock, to getting to play my own songs and have people listen, music is what got me through.
Meals and eating and that sort of ritual of gathering at a table is such a part of childhood, and that was such a strange moment. It made me nervous to watch my mom cook for us and then not engage in the act of eating with us.
I was always drawn to performing. I took improv and acting classes during the summers and was involved in middle and high school plays. But when I discovered indie and punk music in high school, those things sort of took over.
I don't think I realized right away that I was switching from being a fan into being a performer. I've always tried to maintain that duality, because I think fandom is a way of being porous and curious, but it did feel like a step forward.