I'm not trying to be romantic. I think you can tell when people are trying to be sexy onstage. When I was doing 'All the Way,' I was really thinking about my wife. People don't know my personal experience, but they can tell it's an honest interpretation.
A lot of the music that you listen to now is because of the things that the Meters did, the Neville Brothers did, and they're there, the guys who invented those beats that the guys sample today. Such an enormous opportunity.
When I did the album for 'When Harry Met Sally,' I found myself out there in front of this big band, which I had no idea how to do, and they wiped the floor with me. It's a very specific skill, and I didn't know how to do it.
Singers, like Frank Sinatra and myself, we interpret the songs that we like. Not unlike a Shakespearean actor that goes back to the greatest words ever written, we go back to the greatest songs and bring about my interpretation of them.
My mom and I were super tight. I think she really wanted me to be an artist, you know? She used to like to tell people she wanted to be Beethoven's mother. That was her thing. She wanted to be the mother of this person.
Live theater is just an incredibly powerful medium, and I think anyone who goes, whether they know about it or not, if they see something that sort of fits with them, it's kind of hard to deny that they had a good time.
You have to read scripts and audition and develop relationships. It takes a long time to develop a body of work but over the last 25 years I guess I've done that many movies. In hindsight it may seem effortless, but there's a lot of work that goes into it.
I was raised in the environment where it really wasn't about sittin' around dreaming all the time, it was about practicing and workin' really hard and if a dream ever came to you, you'd be prepared for that opportunity.
I'm sure that there are reasonable people that had some reasonable projections about the future of New Orleans, but none of those could include not trying to rebuild the city and make it better than it was before.
The whole 'American Idol' way of looking at things is the antithesis of what I grew up with. There are a whole lot of kids wanting to be famous now, whereas if I'd even mentioned that word to one of my teachers, I would have got into a whole load of trouble.
I mean these people who work on Broadway, in my opinion, are the most gifted of everyone. I mean they really know how to dance. They really know how to act. They really know how to sing. They know how to perform.
It is jazz music that called me to be a musician and I have always sang the songs that moved me the most. Singers, like Frank Sinatra and myself, we interpret the songs that we like. Not unlike a Shakespearean actor that goes back to the greatest words ever written, we go back to the greatest songs.
I'm a natural piano player. So all the practicing I do at this point is in my head. If I don't play for a year, my chops aren't going to get any worse. I've spent my time playing scales, and I don't necessarily want to play any faster than I play. So everything I do at this point is more philosophical.
Before I had kids I'd go out on the road for months and months at a time, but now I don't think I'd want to do that anymore, because I'd miss too much time at home, so it's just a matter of monitoring how much work that I do and how much time I'm on the road.