How do you want to challenge yourself musically on the next album?
Every album is its own special journey and its own wonderful challenge, you know. But I don’t know. I’ve tossed around a couple of ideas of doing something very raw and kind of simple and like, you know, Carole King-style, like just singer-songwriter style. I’ve tossed around doing something kind of interesting where it’s just me and one other person that’s different, just totally different, and we work on the majority of the album. You know, throwing around that White Stripes idea, something totally conceptualized like that and different, taking me out of my realm into another world. So there’s a lot of things, but you never know because music is music and it comes naturally and I definitely think that thought can be put into it to create different avenues, but I like it to just flow natural.
I saw your comments in Blender about how things are unequal in the world. Now that you’re an established superstar, are you feeling more comfortable about speaking out about the things you believe, like with your work for Keep a Child Alive?
I think that it’s something that comes with becoming more mature and obviously becoming more knowledgeable. I’m able to see firsthand, things with my own eyes then I draw my conclusions about that kind of thing. I’ve always been pretty vocal about thoughts and ideas and things like that. The only thing that I’m not very vocal about is my personal life, but other than that when it comes to things that are going on in the world, I’ve always definitely been that type of person that — people don’t just ask me ‘what’s your favorite lipstick color.’ I’ve always wanted to be the type of person who can have a great conversation.
I wanted to ask your position on your emerging acting career. What kind of challenges does acting present that in music and touring hadn’t occurred before?
Well, in many ways it’s different and in many ways it’s the same. I really like the focus and dedication and drive of it, that’s the same. You definitely have to want to give your best performance and have to have a certain amount of abandonment when giving it. That’s the same with music and on stage when I go up there, I’m not thinking about how to perform. I’m just giving it for better or for worse. However it happens. I just give it and the same kind of approach I think happens with acting. I think that for me it’s definitely about capturing an honest emotion that I can understand. And giving the truth as I know it so that it comes off that way to the people that see it. In that way it’s similar both on stage for music and for touring as well as on camera. It’s a little different because when I am doing the music thing, it’s really my vision and my music. It’s my lyrics, it’s my life, it’s my thoughts, it’s my pains and my joys. And with film you definitely portray another life and it has traces of me in it but it’s not a hundred percent me and also it’s so many other people that go along with making it good. So I do my part and I do it the best I can possibly do it, and then I let it be how it’s meant to be because there are so many pieces that make it what it is. And the other big difference is the time. Music is always so late. Everything’s late, you’re working holidays, weekends, New Years, Christmas. And film’s totally different. Everything’s super early. You gotta be there at four in the morning, you get off on the weekends, everyone takes off for Christmas. I mean it’s totally more regimented. It’s interesting. When I do films, I’m like ‘Y’all got it good. I wish I had a weekend!’ So it’s cool, I love them both and they’re both different, but I can pull some similarities from both of them too.