BY Ross von Metzke
March 22 2010 6:50 PM ET
Do you think it would be harder for you if you were trying to market yourself like the Jonas Brothers?
Well, I think I missed the age cut offfor that [laughs]. I got asked to be in a boy band when I was 22 ... I didn’t do it because I was a hippie then and didn’t want to. But yeah, it's been hard for me regardless, because in the industry, people are like, “What are you? You’re not pop, you’re not jazz. You’re kind of Broadwayish ... ” But then, that’s most of the people I like. What is Feist? What is Rufus? But yeah ... it’s been a challenge for me from many levels.
What would you say is your proudest accomplishment?
Well there’s this old song ... it says, “the sweetest sounds I’ll ever hear are still inside my head.” It’s hard to say, because I’m so excited about the things I’m going to do. Being an advocate. Any way I can bring people together. Any show I’ve done where you have older, staunch Republicans sitting next to 18-year-old raver kids. If I can encourage anything that creates community ... even if I’ve gotten two people in my entire lifetime to change their views and have a more humanistic view and include people, my life would be a success.
Why did you call the album Vagabond? I get the sense from you that you’re always traveling, never staying in one place for long. Is that it?
Well, for me, it’s a musical journey ... I was trying on a lot of musical outfits. And, you’re right, that’s kind of been my life. I’m so grateful for my life and to be able to do what I do, but it’s not without its challenges. For years I was just sort of running — I lived in New York, then I lived in San Francisco, then I lived in New York again ... then I lived in my car for a few weeks. I’m just waiting for someone to tell me to stay ... maybe something to tell me, “You can stop now.”
Where do you feel most at home?
I don’t even know. Los Angeles ... I’ve lived in Topanga for the last year, which has been wonderful. San Francisco is where most of my friends are, and New York has my heart. I’m in a threesome.
Where do you find that your music is most appreciated?
I’m constantly surprised where it’s appreciated because it’s been in places I wouldn’t think. [Laughs] I’m surprised just period. I did a show in Palm Springs and there were like 1,100, 1,200 people and I’m just like, “Really?” To me, it’s still this amazing game.