Profiling a Hostage Killer, Part I

Part I of my interview with HOSTAGEKILLER: art, writing, films, culture.

Hussy’s work is sharp, brutal and would be ‘controversial’ if we had any use left for the word. He’s mostly known for posting on Twitter, but there’s a lot more to the enigmatic Hussy than 280-character fever nightmares: as well as streaming video games (freestyles included), he’s got an extensive history in the visual arts. His tweets are what he’s most known for — and understandably, as they are consistently funny, surreal, sometimes Joycean riffs on the inherent absurdities and contradictions of the modern world and internet culture, among other things — but his background is in painting.

Hussy is an artist to be reckoned with, and that can be seen in his upcoming short film, which is a short, surreal jolt of bleak satire that fuses ironic detachment with an impassioned and honest sense of humanity. Although it’s still a while off release, I decided to pester him on Twitter to see if I could, perhaps, paint the portrait of a hussy.

We spoke for almost three hours on a multitude of topics; Hussy’s style of speech, as you’ll know if you’ve ever heard him speak on stream, is a free-flowing form of “ADHD-addled rant.” Due to the amount of ‘content’ gleaned from our conversation, and to allow his affect to shine, I’ve made very few edits in the text, instead allowing Hussy to portray Hussy as Hussy should be portrayed: which is, to say, Hussy. The interview will be split into several segments; this is part one. Part two will be released soon, and the rest will follow once the short film leaves the festival circuit.

Who is Hussy?

One: I’m a man. Alright? Everybody out there wondering, I’m a man, with a dick and balls. Regular man. Two: not only am I a man, I’m just some guy. Alright? I’m just some guy. I feel like most people who write stupid shit on the internet are just some guy, even influential people — and I’m not saying I’m one of those, that would be egotistical of me, if someone out there wants to say it that’s cool, but I’m just some fucking idiot — I’m just some fucking retard; whoops, I’m just some r-slur on the internet slinging words. I don’t know. I don’t know what else there is to me, I don’t really have a more existential answer.

What about your pseudonyms?

‘HOSTAGEKILLER’ is from a dril tweet. Which I thought was funny. But it’s also more directly tied to — the first PC game I ever played was Counter Strike: Source, there’s two major maps in CS: Source, there’s de_dust2, classic, classic sandy Afghanistani-Pakistani region, bunch of boxes inexplicably, impeccable map design, on par with Blood Gulch from Halo 1 or 2, just perfect. Then there’s cs_office, which is a hostage map, de_dust is a bomb defusal map, standard competitive map, but the hostage maps are stupid, they’re nonsense, you have to lead these AI out of a building, but as a kid I would load up a bot lobby — I was probably about 8 or something — when Steam games still came in a box — but I would boot up cs_office, go to the hostages, and I thought it was fucking hilarious to shoot them in the head. Because everyone gets upset, there’s radio in the game if you’re a terrorist or counter-terrorist, both sides you’re not supposed to kill hostages, like in real life. Like when the cops went after that Fed-Ex truck or whatever, UPS truck, and there was a hostage in it and they just fuckin’ gunned down the entire truck, killed the people who stole it, killed the hostage, it’s the biggest failure to communicate possible. The proper military term for it would be FUBAR. So my name just means FUBAR; if you’re a hostage killer, not only are you a shit-disturber, and a fucking moron, you’re a chaotic entity. ‘Hussy’ is a shortened version of HOSTAGEKILLER. Most people would be like, ‘Hoss’, but there’s always a female slant to how I am for some reason, not as much in real life, but on the internet — so ‘hussy’ is what you call a harlot, maybe a street walker, or maybe just a woman who’s particularly lascivious, gives up the goods, but it’s not necessarily like a whore, a hussy is not a whore, a hussy knows what they got, if a pimp called you a hussy it’s a bit of a compliment, if a pimp calls you a whore, I mean — that’s just your job, that’s your title. So Hussy is a shortening of HOSTAGEKILLER; what else could it be shortened to? It can’t just be ‘Killer’, I’m not a pitbull.

What is an average day like for Hussy?

Alright, this is the ideal day: I wake up around 10 – 11am, I draw for six to eight hours, I read for three hours, get some exercise in there hopefully, maybe shoot out some banger posts online, I watch a movie, I go to bed. Usually the half-ideal day is simply I wake up, I draw for six to eight hours, I read for three hours, I go to bed around 2am – 3am, a reasonable time, not a god-forsaken time, I wake up, I do it again. But I’ve been incorporating more movies, which I make it sound like a chore, but I have severe ADHD so these things have to be part of a schedule, otherwise I won’t do them, as I’ve learned from the rest of my life. The least ideal day: I wake up at 2pm – 3pm, I draw for three to six hours, I read for three hours, I go to bed. Mostly it’s just that I wake up later. I’ve been consistent for at least two years, three years with this kind of routine.

What kind of films are you into?

I like talkies; I like ones where they talk a lot, but the dialogue has to be good. Not a fan of slow pacing. No — you know what, a movie can be paced slowly, but paced well — like Stalker is paced really slowly, but it’s paced really well, whereas other movies are just fucking gruelling and that’s what kills me. I found a new favourite movie just two days ago, it’s called La Promesse by Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne. It’s, I guess, French neo-realism? is what it’d be called I suppose, and it’s also social realism. I’ve only watched two of their films but I’m planning on watching the rest of their films throughout the week. La Promesse is basically about this kid named Igor who’s fifteen, and his dad who’s a slumlord, who trafficks illegal immigrants in, and he makes them work on his apartments and shit, and you know he gives them “safe passage” into the country, lets them stay somewhere without papers, and the entire movie is filmed in this over-the-shoulder style — Rosetta is filmed like that too, that’s another of their films; not a lot of cuts, it cuts when it needs to. It’s immersive, it’s raw (hence the neo-realism) — I think I like very raw films. My top four Letterboxd faves are raw — except my number one, so I’ll read them out and get to one because it’s funny — Buffalo ’66 by Vincent Gallo, which is a kind-of rough and tumble love story between two morons, set in Buffalo. Next is Julien Donkey-Boy by Harmony Korine, which is basically a schizophrenic breakdown shot on video in a very degraded manner, everything looks degraded, the lights are so — something about filming on digital, something about Julien Donkey-Boy, it’s like filmed in an impressionistic manner, like Monet would be the most obvious comparison. It’s great. Then last there’s The Reflecting Skin, by Philip Ridley, which is kind of like a Malick film, I hate to compare filmmakers like that because it degrades them, but it’s a bit like Malick. Shots of open fields, golden hour, the way they speak has a Southern poeticism to it, but — number one, and all these movies are raw, but number one is raw in a different way — number one is Lost in Translation, which sounds out-of-character, I feel like people probably hear that and — and it’s also James Healey’s favourite movie, and that guy is a fucking idiot. Don’t tell him I said that, but that guy is a goofball, he’s a blockhead. Anyways, Lost in Translation, I don’t know why it’s my favourite film but there’s something — there’s a rawness to it — I’m starting to rant, but I guess that’s good, since it’s an interview — there’s a rawness to it, in so far as it is such an alienated piece of cinema. Every facet of it: where it’s set, the acting itself — Bill Murray is a perfect pick, Scarlet Johannsen is not, they could have cast someone else, but she does a good job — it’s a shoegazey film, it’s the shoegazer’s film, lots of people would pick a film by Wong Kar-wai, I like Wong Kar-wai, I don’t think he’s amazing, I think it’s a bit hokey — Lost in Translation scratched that shoegaze itch for me, supremely. It’s just this completely alienated, disconnected love story set in Tokyo, people who meet and then they’re gone, it has that early 2000s aspect to it — it came out in 2003 — but yeah there has to be that element of rawness in films, for me. Grainy, punchy, about “real problems”, and a poeticism inside of it, but I don’t like pretentious art necessarily.

Is your art influenced by any particular films?

When I started the account, my primary engagement with art was paintings, visual art — and music, a lot of music. I listened to a lot of fucking music back in the day, from 16 – 21 I listened to a lot of music; but I don’t know shit about music or musicians, other than listening to it. I’ve got like… let’s see… 1043 albums. Not that bad. Not a high score or anything. I don’t know what it is with music. Okay, I guess I’ll become sincere. I’ll shed the bit. I had sleeping issues — idiopathic hypersomnia, and basically, the etymology of that term is “we don’t know why the fuck you’re sleeping so much, we don’t know why the fuck you present as a narcoleptic, what the fuck is wrong with you.” So I had that, I had severe undiagnosed bipolar II. I had severe undiagnosed ADHD. So you can imagine it was hard to engage with art that demands attention, in a certain way — narrative attention. But music is like a Dionysian attention. It flows. There is a narrative to most music, it’s hard to make a non-narrative piece of art in general, unless you’re like, Rothko. But narratives don’t have to be ultra-literal. Music, music, music — so when it comes to films affecting what I do, I’d say definitely, yes. There’s definitely films that have influenced how I operate. I rewatched Freddie Got Fingered yesterday with my girlfriend, she absolutely loved it. But that film is basically — if HOSTAGEKILLER was a dumber guy, I’m going to talk about myself in third person, he would go “Oh, Freddie Got Fingered is a Dadaist masterpiece,” — no. Shut up. It’s fucking stupid. I guess it evokes Dada but it’s not that, it’s just a stupid fucking movie, and it’s executed perfectly by Tom Green. He emanates stupidity perfectly, as a somewhat-clever man. He’s also from Ontario, as I am, so there’s something about Canadians… there’s something wrong with them. There’s something fucked up with Canadians. Especially if you’re from Ontario, you’re a fucking idot. Fucking Kenny and Spenny are from Ontario. I used to live right next to where they used to live. Let’s see, another film that inspired me. Recently it’s been Cassavetes. Something about his dialogue. I used to do advanced drama in high school — because I’m a homosexual — so I do like films with a play-like manner. Cassavetes is really clever, the narratives are interesting. Lines bleed into the next, and there’s not much going on plot-wise, really; kind of it’s just bumbling people falling into each other’s grasps. I don’t think you need much for a plot, patchwork narratives can work. I watched Minnie and Moskowitz recently, that’s a film about love, and it perfectly encapsulates the meaning, how love is basically a series of miscommunications and bumbling idiocy. A Woman Under the Influence is my favourite of his. His films aren’t shot in a painterly manner, but the way people speak feels painterly to me. To come back to the impressionism, there’s a kind of free-flowing dialogue which I appreciate. I could go on all day, but the four films I mentioned inspired me, for sure. I don’t know how films interact with my writing, necessarily. They definitely do, but music maybe has, or had a stronger hold.

How does music figure into your creative process?

The funny part is that I do think writing and music are fundamentally opposed to each other. Some might disagree with me. I used to play music all the time; recently, because I’ve become enamoured with film and literature and now that my ADHD has been tamed to some extent, less so — I used to listen to music while I drew, and I’d walk around Toronto for like six hours at a time listening to albums, especially in university. Walking around staring at my shoes, looking around. I’m often going for a feeling when I write, more so than I’m going for a specific message, so it’s a set of tonalities, and it sounds kind of absurd saying this in the context of stupid posts on the internet, but I did publish something recently (Backwater J-Sesh). Hopefully I’ll have something published in a zine some point soon, shout out to them. But music tends towards going for tonalities more, it’s more pure expression — and the thing with me is that I don’t care that much about lyrics, they’re more a vessel for the voice to become another instrument. I find most lyrics are sophomoric, and I don’t feel most musicians can even write worth half a shit regardless. It should be sophomoric, it works as a vessel. I’m going all over the place.

What is your general perspective on your writing, and how it works into the larger context of your art — how do they connect?

In relation to my writing and my visual art, I don’t even know how I connect them, you can kind of see it in the animations, I think there is a divide in myself between the writing and the art. With music giving me a basis for how I interact with art, there is a free-flow process that reflects more in the visual art than the writing, or perhaps it’s easier to understand for me and other people. Music is so ephemeral, it’s like liquid — listening to anyone talk about music is so funny, it’s pure incompetency, and that’s good, we should have that realm that can’t quite be fully described. Anyways — honestly, I don’t even think they are fully connected, I think I’m only just starting to connect them partially now. For a while, I just happened to incidentally be a funny guy, and I say funny things, my ADHD or brain chemistry or whatever compels me to be a clown and make a fool of myself, and I have a natural tendency towards being good with language and the construction of language, and I also wanted to draw funny pictures when I was a kid, teenager, adult — and I flew more into it in a manic frenzy as a late-stage teenager, and the two sides feel split to me even now.

Part two will be out soon.

Punk, the Internet, and Ballroom Dancing: The Steve Albini Interview

“When I became aware of punk it had no specific style associated with it, all the music was rock music and aggressive, or if not aggressive, at least kind of unschooled. But there were many, many different individual styles of music that bands were playing, and one of the things that particularly invigorated me was that every band had their own quite distinct style and voice and presentation and subject matter…”

Two years ago, on the 20th of November, 2016, I interviewed one of my heroes – Steve Albini, famed and infamous recording engineer known for his work with the Pixies, Nirvana, PJ Harvey, the Jesus Lizard, mclusky, Slint, the Breeders, etc. (and that’s one hell of an etc.), as well as for his own music in Big Black, Shellac. and another band with a very naughty name. I was scouting around for ideas for a university project I was working on, and I ended up emailing and messaging a whole bunch of people in the slight hope of scoring an interview. Among other, I messaged Sean Bonnette from Andrew Jackson Jihad, Ian MacKaye of Dischord Records (plus Minor Threat, Fugazi, The Evens, etc.), and British rock band Savages. Of all of the people I contacted, I least of all expected Steve Albini to get back to me with his direct email and phone number. But hey, it happened, and we organised a day to speak. Then… it actually happened. He gave me an hour of his time, through which I nervously stumbled through ill-conceived questions and occasional bouts of fanboying (2021 update: make that fangirling). He was kind, curt, considerate, clever and cool as fuck. With his permission, I now publish the contents of that interview, slightly edited for clarity, here.

Punk, the Internet, and Ballroom Dancing: The Steve Albini Interview

Artoria: What does the term ‘punk’ mean to you? Do you just think it’s like a musical style, or is it something more than that?

Steve Albini: When I became aware of punk it had no specific style associated with it, all the music was rock music and aggressive, or if not aggressive, at least kind of unschooled. But there were many, many different individual styles of music that bands were playing, and one of the things that particularly invigorated me was that every band had their own quite distinct style and voice and presentation and subject matter. And I felt like it was an almost boundless concept that, you know, people who were enthusiasts were making music without being ordained by an existing music power structure, and I thought that was incredibly liberating and exciting. So when I think of punk music I think of the moment when I became aware of punk, and when I realised what punk was about, and how that changed everything—it changed my perspective on the whole rest of the world.

A friend of mine described as like a really brilliant flash that was over very quickly—its initial inspirational moment was over very quickly—but the flash was really so brilliant that it burned long shadows into everything, and that’s the way I feel about it as well. If you saw that initial explosion of punk creativity, you couldn’t help but be dazzled by it, and then you couldn’t help but have your mind blown and your perspective on the rest of the world changed, and I may not have been there for the very nascent beginnings of it, but I was definitely warmed by that initial explosion, and if definitely changed my worldview, and I was definitely in awe of all of the things that were illuminated by that initial brilliant flash.

AJ: So you think it’s because of that initial flash, that it’s something that is just going to continue?

SA: Well, like I say, I see punk as a thing that happened, and it was a moment in time, a very brief period of extraordinary creativity that changed everyone’s perspective, and that happened a long time ago—people are still being influenced by it, but I think it would be a mistake to say that ‘punk’ as an identity—now—means as much as it did when the idea itself was new. In fact now I’m slightly suspicious of people who have adopted the term ‘punk’ because they tend to apply it to things that are antithetical, like you hear about somebody being a ‘punk rock stockbroker’ or the ‘punk rock lawyer’ or something like that—that sort of thing, and I find that to be depressing in the extreme, that something that was uniquely a counterculture identity has been normalised to the extent that it is an adjective to describing a style. And I have to admit that the music that is described as ‘punk music’ now—a lot of it seems formulaic and reiterative. The fundamental idea of punk rock was that you didn’t have to have your music sound like anybody else’s music, and that to me was the liberating aspect of punk rock, and that seems to be the part that people are most willing to discard in contemporary interpretations of the idea.

AJ: How do you think this whole idea of ‘punk’—usually when it’s being labelled as music—has changed since the turn of the millennium, up to the modern day? Obviously there was the huge ‘pop punk’ explosion, but that finally kind of died down towards the end of the 2000s, and a lot of bands now seem to be smaller.

SA: Yeah, I have to admit I remained blissfully ignorant to most of that, like my musical interests don’t coincide with that of people who were just discovering music in their formative years, and so when something that seems kind of transparently phony comes along, it’s meant for an audience that doesn’t have a perspective to dislike it, and I had a perspective to dislike it—I couldn’t help but dislike that music because it seemed like such a cheap simulacrum of some of the music that was an original statement. I was around when the Buzzcocks, the Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers, the Ramones and the Dead Boys were making music of that order—music of that sort of form—and I experienced that I got what I could out of it and I learned from it, and then they moved on and I moved on, so I’m not particularly moved by a slightly dumber rendering of the same form. I mean I like to be charitable and I like to give people credit for finding parallel paths to a good idea, but just as a music fan, as a listener, that stuff left me completely cold. So I had gotten off of the train of formulaic punk music long before then, so what happened to it after that I really don’t know.


AJ: You’ve recorded quite a lot of modern bands, you’re obviously still very active as a recording engineer—have you heard any bands lately that you think are like, not necessarily ‘carrying the torch’ to say, but coming from a similar mindset of doing something that’s completely different and new?

SA: Yeah—I mean, there is a very vibrant underground scene, and some people sort of stumble onto some similar themes and ideas, and I like to give them credit for having thought it up on their own, and some of these people are well-informed so aren’t doing it out of ignorance. There’s a band from Chicago called Fake Limbs, and I think they’re a terrific band and you would casually describe them as a punk band—there’s a band from Athens, Georgia called Motherfucker, who I think are an amazing band, a super fantastic driving and very distinctive rock band, and casually might describe them as a punk band as well. There was a kind of a hardcore band called G.L.O.S.S., Girls Living Outside of Society’s Shit, and all the stuff I heard from them was just ferocious, really invigorating to listen to, really ferocious and really ripping music, and much, much, much, much better than all of the bands they were compared to.


AJ: Yeah, they’re definitely making some waves at the moment, I’ve seen them around quite a lot—refusing Epitaph and stuff—


SA: They’ve broken up.

AJ: Oh, they’ve broken up now?

SA: Yeah, they broke up, they released this statement about sort of like, they were getting more attention than they could handle for the state they were in.

AJ: Well, they got that Epitaph offer, didn’t they?

SA: Yeah, I mean Epitaph could be considered one of the venues for the normalisation of punk that we were discussing previously, that kind of turned my stomach. So I don’t know how flattering it is to have that sort of vehicle approach you, but at very least it’s a sign that everyone, even people who aren’t necessarily the target audience, recognised how good they were.

AJ: Do you think that the audience for what can casually be referred to as punk music has changed since the dawn of the Internet—do you think that the Internet has opened up new audiences?

SA: Oh sure, yeah, one of the biggest things is that places where in the ‘70s and ‘80s there was essentially no punk scene—a lot emerging economies and countries that were cut off by language, now that those people are connected by the Internet, you see punk bands from those parts of the world can now find an audience, and they can find like-minded people even if they’re in different countries. We just had a band here in the studio (Albini’s recording studio Electrical Audio) from Honduras—Honduras is an incredibly poor economy, and it was all they could do to scrape together their lempiras (the currency of Honduras) to come here and make a record—and so I was really charmed by them, and their music seems to be an amalgam of all the different styles of music that have been identified as punk over the last thirty years. So yeah, I found that to be incredibly charming and I’m very glad I got a chance to meet them.

AJ: You did that Keynote address in 2014, where you said that the Internet has “solved the problem with music.” Do you think that this is going to stay like this for a while yet?

SA: Well, it’s very difficult to put genies back in the bottle in the internet era—it’s very difficult to make things that are available unavailable. There’s a possibility with a massive security crackdown that it could be done, but it would require a complete reinvention of the security state on an electronic level, and I think it would be difficult to implement worldwide, so even if it transpired in the U.S., it would not take over everywhere, and then it would be pretty easy to work around if activists wanted to, and they will want to. (laughs) So I think from a practical standpoint, the availability of music is going to remain quite high on the Internet, and I think that enthusiasts and fans are going to be able to find things that they like, and people that make music are going to be able to get it out to an audience. Now, I don’t know how much commerce is going to be involved in that, how much business is going to transact, but people will definitely be able to make music and get it out to an audience.

AJ: Yeah, I mean one of the things you said in the speech was—you were addressing that particular quote—“We need to figure out how to make internet distribution work for everyone”—the idea that these people who were part of the old industry want to gain control over it again. Do you think that they really have a chance with that?

SA: Like I said, it will require intervention on the part of governments into the very backbone of the structure of the Internet. Now, if you change the way the Internet works, so that the internet providers are allowed to know everything that you’re doing on your computer at home, they’re allowed to know every bit of information that crosses your desk, then you could oblige those internet service providers to prevent you from doing or sharing certain things, so it is possible that it could be parented, but at the moment the structure of the Internet allows for people to share things with each other, and I don’t see how that’s going to change.

AJ: I’ve spoken to a few other people about like what they think about how the Internet is affecting music, and generally it’s pretty positive—but this recurring thing is the idea of oversaturation, the idea that there’s so much of it out there that it’s hard to get noticed—do you agree with that, do you think there’s anything that can be done about that, or is that just the kind of thing you have to accept?

SA: I’ve heard that same argument every time there’s been a ground swell of interest in activity in music, I’ve heard that same argument from people, you know like, “oh yeah there’s no space to put flyers up anymore, there’s so many bands, and they’re covered all the phone poles”—you know? (laughs) It’s a familiar argument and I think it’s specious. There’s always room at the top, for a start—that is, if there’s a truly great band that resonates with people, they will find an audience, now that may take some time, and it might require more than one attempt on the part of the band, but the nice thing about the Internet is that it provides for saturation. Once something gets a ground swell of popularity, like once one of those adorable cat videos becomes somewhat popular, it becomes ubiquitous-popular. So I don’t think that there’s a problem with their being ‘too much’ interesting music to listen to. That doesn’t sound like a problem.

AJ: So you see that this whole situation with the Internet as quite positive for what can be called ‘punk’ music?

SA: Oh yeah, if you assume some fundamental things about punk music, meaning that if you assume that it is an inspiration for art forms of the working class and the underclass, then the Internet is great because it doesn’t require any money to gain access, you can shoot a video on your telephone and post it to a bulletin board, or a message board, or a website, or YouTube, and then in a matter of hours it can be spread around the world. So if you become adept at using the free tools that are available to you, then the economics of it are quite viable. You don’t need to make a lot of money to cover the costs of the show if that show has had no booking costs, and no costs of acquisition, if you don’t have to pay a manager to find you a venue, and you don’t have to advertise your show, if it doesn’t cost you anything to advertise your show and it doesn’t cost you anything to print tickets and anything like that—the economics of it can actually work in the favour of anyone who takes advantage of it.

So, I think the developments of the Internet have been great for working bands, and great for people of little means. What they’ve been bad for is the structured industry that exists to make a profit from transactions, because there aren’t as many transactions now. People aren’t buying physical objects as much. The good thing is that when they do buy a physical object, like a record or a cassette or a CD or a t-shirt, typically now they’re buying it directly from the band, so the band keeps all of the money, and that’s much, much more efficient as an operation than having to go through a retail outlet, and a wholesale outlet, and a manufacturer, and a record label, which then apportions shares of the profit toward recoupable expenses, and then eventually some of the money trickles down to the band.

AJ: So it’s pretty much one of the best periods that has ever existed for independent music, really?

SA: As far as I’m concerned, yeah. If I had to choose between being in an underground independent band now, or being in an underground independent band in the 1970s, now is way easier.

AJ: So lastly, I was wondering if you had any advice yourself for any aspiring bands, or anyone who might be a bit anxious about whether to do it or not, and if it’s viable?

SA: The important thing is that you can do it regardless, you don’t need to make it your career in order to do it, I’ve been in bands since I was seventeen—or sixteen—I’ve been in bands now for about thirty-eight years, and at no point in that stretch did I ever consider being in a band my career. I’ve always had some kind of a job, as a livelihood. But because being in a band was important to me, I’ve been able to maintain it for all of that period, and it has given me incredible experiences. And, you know, once it became viable it did become a reasonable second income. But it’s never been my livelihood. So if you think of playing music as something, like ice skating, or playing chess, or ballroom dancing, or something like that, you get something out of it just by doing it.

But there are very, very, very few people who get to make a living doing nothing else, so you have to appreciate the place of music in society—and that place for music is much closer to something like ballroom dancing, or figure skating, or playing chess—it’s much closer to something like that than it is to being a plumber, or being an architect, or a pharmacist. People die without medicine, people freeze to death without homes, people shit in the streets without plumbing, right? Nothing bad happens to them without music, so society is never going to value music the way it values things that make society function normally.

In the general sense, there is always going to be some interest and some support for the arts in general, and music will be a fraction of that, but the important thing about being in a band is that it’s fucking awesome, you know? It’s a fantastic thing that you get to do. So you should do it because it’s awesome, and because it’s an incredibly satisfying thing to do, and occasionally there will be periods where you’ll be able to make it pay for itself or turn a profit—but you can do it forever. I expect myself to be playing music my whole life.