John Vanderslice has been releasing solo albums for the past decade, as well as producing albums for such bands as Spoon and the Mountain Goats. He writes clean, clever music that often tackles the dark and the political while still offering sweet melodies and a warm analog sound. His 2009 release, Emerald City, is filled with beautiful hooks and is rightfully considered Vanderslice’s best work so far.
– Anna-Lynne Williams
1. What’s the first piece of music you listened to today?
Prokofiev, piano concerto #5
2. What are your vices?
Worrying, pornography, laziness, sugar
3. What is one of your prejudices?
I’m a food snob. I’m not crazy about computer recordings.
4. In what way do you think music has the ability to change
the way people live their lives?
Music can change your brain chemistry very easily. I feel it everyday.
5. At what age did you first feel distrust?
6, when I found my dad cheating on my mom.
6. Do you think that your name is appropriate for you?
(If not, what name would be more appropriate?)
At first no, but now, for sure.
7. What is the best piece of music you’ve ever created,
in your opinion?
Well, I’m proud of a lot of it, but right now let’s say the top of the second
verse in "Kookaburra": "lightening shot from the sky…" [drums and piano return to song] that part.
8. Right now, how are you trying to change yourself?
I want to be a better friend, less guarded and isolated.
9. If you had the time, what else would you do?
Extensive travel in SE Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali, China, India.
10. What social cause do you feel the most strongly about
(negative or positive)?
I am rabidly anti-war and anti-military.
11. What are your fears?
That I’ll fall into major depression again.
12. Who is your favorite author?
13. What is your favorite movie?
There are a thousand of those, but I just saw Lars von Trier’s Europa, which I loved.
14. Favorite album(s) from the last few years?
Joanna Newsom, Have One On Me
15. What would you like to know more about?
16. What is one thing you would like to do/see/accomplish
before you die?
Live off the grid with my wife.
Photo by Autumn de Wilde