I know you write a lot of material for yourself, you write a lot of material for other artists. How’s it different when you sit down to write your own material for your record, vs. writing for somebody else?
Everybody averages a record about every two years, and so I think for me, I have to be really sort of careful and I have to pay a lot of attention to what the next two years are going to be about, what do I want to talk about, what do I want to bring back up, what do I not want to talk about. And so writing for myself, this is the art that represents me for the next two years, and so it has to be sturdy, it has to have something to say that you can continue talking about not only for the next season, but possibly for the rest of your life if I prove to be a career artist, which we’re all kind of hoping.
So I think the difference with writing with other people is you’re trying to do the same for them. You’re trying to kind of give them something that hopefully does, if that’s their point. If not, sometimes they’re like “Man, I don’t care, I really want the music to be the big deal, or I want the lyrics to be good and the music’s not as important,” or whatever. And you have the liberty with yourself to say the things that you kind of can’t say for other people. I can be as weird and sort of esoteric as I want to be with my music, where with other people you want to make sure you’re serving the purpose that they want.
from this interview