Things musicians say

The outlaw

“I would think that the need for outlaws will never end. I think, as long as there is a music business there should be music outlaws trying to do the music the way they hear it and you're always going to have to fight the bottom line, the guy who puts up the money, and you might as well get used to that.”

 - Willie Nelson

The fisherman

“It's kind of a lonely work because you just have to keep your pole in the water. I always had a little routine of going into whatever room I was using at the time to write in, and just staying in there till I felt like I got a bite. I compare [songwriting] to fishing: There's either a fish in the boat or there’s not. Sometimes you come home and you didn't catch anything and sometimes you caught a huge fish.”

 - Tom Petty
(From his final interview in 2017)

The songwriter

“What do you mean male songwriters? Why do you make that distinction, male songwriters? What about my stuff? Don't you characterize my stuff in the same league as Bob and Leonard Cohen?”

 - Joni Mitchell
(As recounted by Larry Sloman in "Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story")

Constantly in a state of becoming

“An artist has got to be careful never to really arrive at a place where he thinks he’s at somewhere. You also have to realize that you’re constantly in a state of becoming, you know, and as long as you can stay in that realm, you’d sort of be all right.”

 - Bob Dylan
(From "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan")

Even the seasoned pros have it tough sometimes

“We know what songs you like. We can tell which songs you like because you know, if we do an old Beatles song, the whole place lights up with your phones. It's like a galaxy of stars. And if we do a new song, it's like a black hole. But we don't care. We're gonna do 'em anyway.”

 - Paul McCartney
(Petco Park,‎ San Diego, June 22, 2019)

It isn't supposed to be perfect

“You know music isn't really supposed to be perfect. It's all about people relating to each other and doing something that's really from the soul. You know, it must come from the soul.”

 - Tom Petty
(From the documentary "Sound City" by Dave Grohl)

Three tracks

“I wanna go in and do like three tracks. I think an EP is enough now.”

 - Ringo Starr
(From Morning Joe interview, November 11, 2019)

The goal

“When creating you want to try to make; the goal is to make something that is going to last forever.”

 - Jay-Z
(From My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, April 6, 2018)

Everybody starts out somewhere

“ one could sing like that, so I said, ‘okay, I'll sing until we find a singer’ ... It felt too challenging for me to do, but I pushed through it, and I got a lot of support, and a lot of people said, ‘You know, this is cool. You don't need a frontman running around, you know. Why don't you do that?’ And then it kind of stuck. So, people around me gave me the confidence to grow in that.”

 - James Hetfield
(From Fireside chat at the Petersen Automotive Museum, February 1, 2020)