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ISSUE 117 VOL 1 PUBLISHED 9/19/2003

To the tune of Mason

By Ian Anderson
Contributing Writer

Friday, September 19, 2003

Q: How do you feel about the new record?

A: I feel good about it. It was good to write a positive record -- it's not as dark as in the past. A lot of good things were going on.

Q: Like what?

A: Traveling, meeting nice people, life started looking up. I got married to a great woman.

Q: Century Spring seemed very natural and honest, was that your intention?

A: Well, I feel that it's pretty representational of where I'm at. I made it to be myself so people I meet through my music know me.

Q: What was the meaning behind the album?

A: Not really sure, it just kind of flowed out.

Q: What is your favorite song off of the album?

A: It's hard, like choosing between kids. My favorite song is whatever I'm writing at the moment, it's always changing.

Q: Are you working on any new material?

A: Yeah, we're going into the studio in the middle of October, the new album should be out the beginning of February.

Q: Tell me about Simple Life, why did you only release it on tour?

A: Century Spring was pretty polished, I wanted to balance that out. I also didn't want to forget about the old songs I wrote the first year I came to Minneapolis. I didn't want to tour on it, it's not current on how I am feeling.

Q: How's the tour going?

A: Really good, it's essential as a musician to get people to hear you. I meet people. It's fun.

Q: What has been your favorite place to play?

A: Minneapolis -- First Avenue, the 400 Bar, and the State Theatre.

Q: Why have you come back to St. Olaf?

A: I just liked it; Northfield was one of the first places I played actually. Olaf has always been nice to me, so it's always good to come back.

Q: Will you come back in the future?

A: Yeah, definitely.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of touring?

A: The shows, to get up there every night and play music.

Q: What do you plan play for a show?

A: Stuff from every record. Some solo songs and some with the band. Variety to keep it interesting -- and some new stuff.

Q: Are there any special songs that you always play?

A: Butterfly, we haven't missed that one for a while.

Q: How do you feel about your recent growth in popularity?

A: It's really nice. It allows me to do this for a living and that's about all I can ask for in this life.

Q: How do you feel about the comparisons between you and Bob Dylan?

A: It's good; it's really flattering because he's the king. I'm trying, but maybe one day I'll get there.

Q: What are your biggest influences?

A: Authors. Tim O'Brien and Ernest Hemingway. The way they set up sentences and expressions. Being able to convey emotional weight with the least amount of words.

Q: Lastly, what's the purpose behind your music?

A: To make people feel like they're not alone. To hit a nerve so people know that someone else is feeling, and has felt, the same thing.

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