I don't know any artists that are really emotionally well adjusted. In fact, I think we're all pretty much insane.

The music comes from within and outside. Within is the big mystery of life; we've all got it.

I just want to be a guy with a guitar.

Thinking so hard on her soft eyes and memories of the signs that it's over. It's over.

I resent the fact that a parental warning sticker has to be included on an album as cover art. To me that's censorship.

The words come from here. From memories, from dreams, from people I've known. I'm always writing and reflecting on life. I want to suck it all in.

All these people that want to make me out as part of Generation X had better watch out, or they're going to get X'd out themselves.

Grace is what matters in anything - especially life, especially growth, tragedy, pain, love, death. That's a quality that I admire very greatly. It keeps you from reaching out for the gun too quickly. It keeps you from destroying things too foolishly. It sort of keeps you alive.

I disoriented myself from everything about being a human being and just played and played and played and sang and sang and sang.

More than any other place, New York is where I felt I belonged. I prefer the Lower East Side to any place on the planet. I can be who I am there, and I couldn't do that anywhere I lived as a child. I never fit in when I lived in California, even though that's where my roots are.

I'm not 'Grace.' That album is like a brick onto itself. It's like a coffin that I put certain feelings and observations in so that they can be capsulized forever. I wanted to put them there so I would be free to move on.

My personal aesthetic is to be affected directly by everything about what you're seeing... I don't mind being dashed on the rocks... My most base act of defiance is to live a long time and still rock.

I've already created my own thing.

If you're going to write, then write a novel with a Haitian woman in it and try and describe her accurately. When you can do that, you can write about people.

In my early shows, I wanted to put myself through a new childhood, disintegrating my whole identity to let the real one emerge. I became a human jukebox, learning all these songs I'd always known, discovering the basics of what I do. The cathartic part was in the essential act of singing.

Maybe I'm not a good enough artist that people just think of me. Maybe in the future, I'll bloom into something that will just make people look at me for what I am.

What I'm trying to do is just sing what comes to my body in the context of the song. And if you go by the emotion of the song, it's almost like stepping into a city. Cities have certain customs and rules and laws you can break, and that's what I was doing.

I'm sick of all these labels and these manufactured subdivisions of music that don't even exist. And even though I'm pierced myself, I'm sick of everyone equating body piercing with musical courage. If you ask me, it takes a lot more than that.

A tune has to resonate with whatever is happening around it.

The music business is the most childish business in the world. Nobody knows what they're selling or why, but they sell it if it works.

Maybe someday, I'll just make, like, a complete on-demand record that everybody wants to hear. But that would be impossible and, also, I just changed my mind. I don't think I'll ever do that.

I've always felt that the quality of the voice is where the real content of a song lies. Words only suggest an experience, but the voice is that experience.

On my record cover, you can barely see my face. I still think I look really geeky.

I don't see people. I don't see men and women at all. When I see them, I see... their mothers and fathers. I see how old they are inside. Like when I look at the president, or anybody in a record company, or a store owner, I may see a little boy behind the counter with the face of an old man. And that's who I talk to.

Grace is a quality in people that I just enjoy. It's a very human quality.

I want to be ripped apart by music. I want it to be something that feeds and replenishes, or that totally sucks the life out of you. I want to be dashed against the rocks.

Life's too short and too complicated for people behind desks, people behind masks to be ruining othe

Kiss me out of desire, but not consolation.

I just think too much sometimes.

I'm concerned with the future. I'm concerned with my life, my present, my friends, people I love, people who love me. I have no intention of taking on a legacy that wasn't bestowed on me.

Music was like my first real toy. I was an only child for a while, and I was alone a lot of the time - and I liked it. I still like being alone.

The thing about a music career is that it ain't over until the fat lady sings. Look at all the times people threw in the towel on Dylan - or Neil Young. Remember when Young was doing things in the '80s like 'Trans' and the rockabilly album and being completely lambasted by critics who now think he is wonderful again?

The Smiths hasn't been equaled. That goes for the composition of the songs, the lyrics, and the performance.

All flowers in time bend towards the sun, I know you say there's no one for you, But here is one.

A song just doesn't have verse-chorus-verse. It could just be one line. There are Chinese love songs that you have to learn one melody for a three-minute thing, and nothing ever repeats. I like that.

I don't see myself in an ivory tower.

The most audacious thing I could possibly state in this day and age is that life is worth living. It's worth being bashed against. It's worth getting scarred by. It's worth pouring yourself over every one of its coals.

Certain emotions just take you to the notes - being furious, heroic, sad, erotic, when rain comes.

Sensitivity isn't being wimpy. It's about being so painfully aware that a flea landing on a dog is like a sonic boom. I enjoy a lot of mystery.

I do like structure, and I'd love to be better at it.

Words are beautiful but restricted. They're very masculine, with a compact frame. But voice is over the dark, the place where there's nothing to hang on: it comes from a part of yourself that simply knows, expresses itself, and is.

I am very observant of people's character.

I'm convinced part of the reason I got signed is because of who I am, and it makes me sad.

When I sing, my face changes shape. It feels like my skull changes shape... the bones bend.

The people who raised me musically are my mother, who is a classically trained pianist, and my stepfather.

When I was a kid. I started writing when I was 13. I got my first electric guitar when I was 13, but I'd always been singing. I had my first little acoustic when I was six. But I started being in bands when I was 13. Crappy rock bands, avant-garde things where we'd, like, 'wanna go against the norm, man.'

I once tried to sing jazz for real. But jazz didn't do it for me. You can't have jazz without a jazz world, which doesn't exist anymore.

I don't choose the songs; the songs choose me.

You can't be, like, smashing guitars against Marshall stacks all the time. As a matter of fact, after a while, it just looks like posing - it never really gets down to any message or any real expression.