Here’s the message: we invented words so we could communicate with ourselves and each other. That’s all. Everything else we do with words comes back either to exercising that principle or complicating the hell out of it and getting into such ridiculous arguments that we no longer wish to communicate at all! So let’s all take a step back and reconsider why we love these little nuggets of meaning.
Words are like seedlings: an NPR interview with Iron and Wine‘s Sam Beam
On the similarities between songwriting and making films
“There are definitely a lot of narrative elements, but I’m not worried about people understanding exactly what’s happening. I treat it more like a poem, and if there’s a certain feeling or a certain wordplay or some kind of cognitive tension, I’ll go for that.”
On the physicality of lyrical wordplay
“I think it’s important — the way that [words fall] out of your mouth. I find that a lot of times I’ll come up with the seedlings of a song just by fooling around with the guitar or the piano and muttering nonsense, you know, just syllables at random. Sometimes you stumble upon a word or a phrase, and it’s like a coat hanger. All of a sudden, you have something to start hanging other phrases and stuff on. But they’re all different. Sometimes you have a clear idea of what you’re getting into when you start, and sometimes you’re just fishing.”