You know, it's really easy to support someone who is doing horrible. How can you give any sympathy to someone who is supposedly doing well
Well, in Japan, I have got a group of musicians that I have worked with a lot, that concentrate just on the hardcore stuff, say, that Naked City has been working on. We have like a repertoire of sixty songs now.
The idealists will always be in society, and we will survive.
That was my challenge as a composer. Like with anything, to keep yourself interested in doing what you do, you set yourself challenges. So I said, Okay, I'll try to write a hundred tunes in a year.
One of the reasons I started Tzadik, which is my own label, is to keep things in print. I got tired of labels dropping things out of print when they don't sell.
It's a matter of keeping people on a spontaneous edge.
It breaks even. We lose ten, twenty grand every year. But then the people who are working say, Look, I'll kick this back in, I don't need to take this profit share. It's very cooperative.
I'm getting ready to write a piece now, and it's been six months thinking about it, changing the instrumentation, changing the name, doing more reading.
I see myself and many artists like me as the torchbearers through these dark ages.
I have wit in my work and a sense of humor, but I do not use irony in any way.
I have about two or three people, we don't have an office, we don't even have a dedicated phone line. We do it out of our own homes, and we make it work.
Great musicians accept everything that they hear and find something good. They take what they like and they throw away what they don't like.
And I try to be as diplomatic as I can, but it always ends up being a psychodrama up there on stage.
You know, when we were kids, we had to go to a theater to see a movie. And then television came in and you had to wait until midnight to see the one you wanted to see. Now, all you've got to do is go to a store and buy it and you can watch it whenever you want
That is a lot of the reason I do what I do, to really spread the word and spread information and turn people onto different things they may not be, y'know, aware of. That is what Naked City is certainly about.
You can't be idealistic in this world and not be crazy.
When I'm writing, sometimes it gets to that place where I feel like the piece is writing itself and I'm trying not to get in the way.
For about seven years. I really like it there. There are a lot of great musicians. The scene is very open. A lot of stuff going on. People's ears are really open, they are not closed. A lot of scenes here, people just get tunnel vision and are into one thing.
They're never sure who's going to take the first solo, or how long they're going to play. That gives the music itself a fresh, exciting quality.
All I really wanted to do with that series was to give good musicians a chance to explore what Jewish music is and could be for them.
It's a blast to watch. It's a lot more interesting live than it is on record. I mean, it really is a theatrical event. It's a sporting event Cause you never know what's gonna happen.
I run around, I listen to a lot of music, go to a lot of concerts. And when I see someone that gases me, I try to go out of my way to involve them somehow in what I'm doing or get involved in what they're doing.
Eye was a great discovery. He is one of the great vocalists of all time.
I don't control it at all. It's all up to the musicians in the group. They control it. They make all the cues, and they tell me what they want, and then I act like a mirroring device so that everyone can see what the cues are.
I put together the influences of my life in as clear a way as I possibly can, in the same way that Beethoven or Schoenberg or Bach put their influences together.