NT: I want to ask about your new record first off—I’m sure you’ve answered this question a million times, so please forgive me, but I was curious… from what I’ve read, it seems you were inspired by a motorcycle accident? Can you elaborate a bit on what impact that had on the record, and also your personal life, a little bit?
GLJ: I think it’s a big misconception that it was a big inspiration for the record. I didn’t have a press release out yet and my manager had asked me to write something about the record, and the emphasis was more about the fact that I love making records, and I love being around on earth, making records at this time. That was just a moment where my life was challenged, I guess, and I got lucky. It was actually a long time ago—like, 6 years ago, the motorcycle accident—it was just a way of me expressing my desire to be doing what I’m doing, and my appreciation for the opportunity… and the opportunity comes from my fans, in a way: their desire to buy into my vision. That’s what I was trying to express there.
CB: You haven’t shied away from motorcycle riding, then? I think you did the stunts in the video for 5 seconds?
GlJ: Yeah, I do. (laugh) Believe me, there’s people doing way more impressive things with motorcycles than I can, but I have an adventurous spirit. I like riding motorcycles, I like fucking around—I think it’s an important thing to do with your life. Just take some risks sometimes. Yeah, it scared me a bit when I had the accident, but it didn’t scare me away. You know, every day you hear really sad stories about people dying on motorcycles, and I hope to God that’s not my fate.
CB: Is it a good thing to go out when you’re having a writing blockage, to get out on your bike?
GLJ: It is in a way only because it’s something that really clears your mind. It lets your mind dream up a lot of things—it has this power to just open your mind to a lot of things, so I like doing it. Everyone has an activity that lets them clear their mind, and get ideas, and that one just works really well for me.
CB: On your last record you worked with Chris Taylor on the album “Forget’… he put the album out on his label, but your new album is pretty much self-produced. Was it a big challenge for you to do all this yourself?
GLJ: It certainly was a challenge, but I’ve learned so much in the last couple of years it’s crazy. It wasn’t like I said “oh God, I don’t know if I can do this”… I was just like, “I can do this now. Why don’t I do it?” I like a challenge, and I continue to try to challenge myself in that aspect; it’s just kind of a fun thing to do, and it’s your music, and it’s the most important thing for me, and I felt it was time to take care of it all on my own… which might change, I don’t know. I might go in the totally opposite direction on the next record, I’m not sure.
I went headfirst into the first record: I didn’t know anything about it, at first, but I went in headfirst and came out with what I did and I’ve learned a lot more since, and that’s how it’s been. I’m a lover of technology, but it’s funny, I don’t even know how to sign into my own Facebook page, so it comes twofold in a way.
CB: It’s pretty heady, playing and mixing and laying down tracks like that… it takes a certain level of concentration, right?
GLJ: Yeah, it’s a level of commitment, you know? It’s kind of a mundane thing half the time: you don’t have to learn how to plug in a microphone—you can get somebody else to do it, and there’s certainly a lot of people who would love to get paid to do that, so why not pay them? I just get frustrated with people being slow around me so I’d rather just do it myself.
CB: Have you been writing on guitar lately?
GLJ: It’s mostly piano now, but recently I’ve been going back to the guitar.
CB: You use it moreso than sitting down at the computer?
GLJ: You know, I’ll make a beat or something but I’ll never write at the computer first—it always comes from the keyboard first.
CB: What can we expect from the show? Is it a rawer sounding show? Is there a lot of technology involved?
GLJ: Yeah, it’s a rawer show, but there’s a lot more equipment onstage—the keyboard player has a lot going on, and I’m probably going to be playing some keyboards for the first time. I’m trying to play less guitar these days. I don’t know, we’ll see… we’ll see what happens.
CB: You’ve lived in a few different places—you grew up in Florida, you lived in New York, Germany, what’s been the most inspiring city to write in, and why?
GLJ: I don’t know. I don’t know anymore, ‘cause I don’t have a city that I think I’d really love to write in. I’d love to go to Poland and write a record, or I’d love to go to London and write a record. So we’ll see.
CB: Back to motorcycles again—what would be your dream motorcycle ride? Where would you like to go?
TS: Well, probably the Pacific Coast Highway… I haven’t gone up and down that yet, so I think I can do that. It’s a dream I think I can realise pretty easily.
NT: Sounds like it would be a nice ride.
TS: There’s tons of drives I’d like to do, but I’m not the guy who wants to just spend long distances on my motorcycle. I like just having it in the city, driving it through the city at night. I don’t need to drive it through deserts and canyons and all that beautiful stuff. I’m a city kid.