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Instagram live: October 2017

From hotel while on tour in Brazil



The Paramore song "Forgiveness" is so good because it breathes, pitch-wise. Like, it moves around. And that doesn't make someone a bad singer, it makes someone a great singer. I need you to understand that if somebody sings and they're not all autotuned, and the notes move a little bit, that's like a tree swaying in the wind. That's a beautiful thing. Imagine going out for a walk and none of the trees moved at all. That's the sonic equivalent of what autotune sounds like. Things have to sway. Things have to sway. And that song sways beautiful.

Listen to Aretha Franklin, one of the best singers of all time. The bends are purposely and perfectly just—[makes noise indicating meticulous bend]. Hayley's incredible. Hayley's incredible. Hayley's on the short list of people I'm just like, "hello, goodbye." Like, frightening. Very few people am I like, let's just say hello and just leave. [Nervously] "Matters what she thinks. Matters what she thinks." And that's freakin' great. Because we all need people like that. We all need people we can hear sing and be like, [nervously] "um, okay, hi." Want to make a good impression. Want to keep a good impression. That comes from pure respect, man. And I love that. I love that there are people that still scare me a little bit. And she's so good I get a little scared. I go like [meekly] "okay, bye." Like, I'd rather just have zero batting average on any conversation about anything, because I can't take someone who I think is that good thinking anything negative about me.

That's what happens in my brain when I find someone really, really great. I'm like, they can't not like me. So therefore I can't give them any reason whatsoever-—Eddie Vedder's the same way. Can't not like me, therefore I can have nothing to do with them. And that's great. We need scary heroes.



Anybody have the Nintendo Switch? I gotta tell you. I'm high-minded. I try to be a high-minded guy. I bring books with me on tour. I bring the Kindle, bring an iPad, I tell myself I'm gonna do all sorts of highfalutin things. Nothing is more exciting to me than a Nintendo Switch right now.

There's a rhyme in there, I'm not gonna do it, because many people look at my Instagram. I'm never one to run from a pun, but I'm—"never one to run from a pun." I wish Logic was here to see that. But I love my Nintento Switch. Love my Nintendo Switch. And of all the games now, like—I got the Tetris game. And now I'm playing Tetris. I am back in Tetris. Tetris is one of the best games ever made ever. Nothing feels like the original Gameboy Tetris. But I'll take any Tetris over most any game.

I was on the plane last night playing Tetris and I didn't even know we landed. I'm a very bullish Tetris player. Do we have any bullish Tetris players [watching]? By that I mean, you just keep delaying the long stick, so you can get as many Tetrises as possible. Do we have any daredevil Tetris players in the room? If you're like me, you'll know what I'm talking about. You will risk losing the game completely, to only get Tetri. Tetri? I don't know. I'm a hell of a player.

Doctor Mario? Yep, I remember that. Daredevil Tetris player.

I'm gonna tell you a story nobody knows about the making of Heavier Things, my second album. Does anybody remember a Gameboy Advance game called WarioWare? Does anybody know WarioWare? WarioWare was a game that was all mini-games. So WarioWare comes out, and Jamie Muhoberac, great keyboard player who was on Heavier Things, introduces me to WarioWare one night at a restaurant. And it blew my mind. The mini-games don't explain what the rules are. Part of the game is figuring out what the objective of the game is. I made the entirety of Heavier Things, or at least the entirety of the second half of making Heavier Things, playing WarioWare. I listened back to every possible moment that I wasn't recording, playing WarioWare. And that's one hell of a game that I wish they would bring back.


Mario Brothers? Always. I had a Nintendo back in 1985. Crash Bandicoot? Just after my time.

Playing Metroid? One of the great feminist moments in my life was when I found out that Samus Aran was actually a woman! I thought that was, to me, a real primer on living a modern integrated life. That was huge for kids, to find out that Metroid's protagonist, Samus Aran, was female.

Yeah, Samus is a woman. Which is awesome. And if you look at the year, 1987? That's progressive.

[Reading questions from Instagram users]

Am I a feminist? Yes. To the extent that the word has a universal definition, yes.

I'm right-handed. But also I do understand that these things are flipped [on camera].


"Do I smoke big doinks?" Gosh, I really hope that that's a marijuana thing. But either way, actually, I happen not to. Happen not to. At this point in my life I am not smoking big doinks. One thing I learned in life, though, is, never forecast the rest of your life based on the life you've lived so far. So I can't tell you for sure that big doinks aren't in my future. Whatever that means. I'm open to doinks, you know? I'm doink-friendly, is what I'm trying to tell you.

"What's your favorite meme?" I have to think about it. I like the perennial tweet that comes out every year: "if I'm gonna pay forty dollars for a haunted house, I better die." I think that's the best tweet ever written. I think it's the best.

I don't drink, as I referenced a couple of days ago, which was interesting, man. It was interesting to put that out into the world and feel what happened to it. There's a lot of thought around drinking. There's a lot of individualized thought around drinking. There's a lot of personal feeling about drinking. I certainly didn't explain everything about how I feel about it, but it was interesting to see it trigger a lot of people's thoughts and emotions. I would be lying if I said that I didn't feel some sense of comfort in seeing so many other people say that they had stopped drinking as well. I think I have, probably, a resistance to some of the vocabulary around it. I like the idea that it's a break. For me, personally, I just have my own way through it in my mind. If I even explained it, I think other people would say, that makes no sense. It's just so personal. I look at it again, like, I just happen not to be drinking at this point in my life.

Here's the thing. For me, and I'm lucky that I don't have the gene of alcoholism. Which, really, that's the first thing you have to be grateful for, if you're lucky enough not to have the gene. What you need to understand is, so much of drinking is a socially-applied thing. Drinking gets a lot of its life from everybody pushing from every direction at the same time. If everybody stopped pushing from every direction at the same time, then people would be a lot more willing to be like, "I don't feel like drinking tonight." But it gets so much constant unidirectional support from everybody, that the truth is, it's not 365 days—for me, again, this is super personal for each person—but it's not like 365 days of the same effort. The effort I felt was in the first two weeks of not drinking at all the places I used to drink. That's hard. Like, no bullshit, that's hard. It's really hard to stop drinking when you go to the places that you normally drink in. Once you canvass those places, like every restaurant where you drank, and you stop drinking, it gets much easier.

I noticed that when I told people how long it was I hadn't been drinking for—and I wasn't counting by the day, I just knew my life was better and I didn't really count as a goal. I certainly started counting when I was, like, three weeks out from a year. But people would ask me how long I hadn't been drinking for, and I would tell them, and their reaction would be as if that was an endurance thing. And the truth about it is that, once you get out of the centrifuge, then you're just out. You don't feel the pull every day, you know. So I'm lucky. For whatever my mental wiring is, it agreed with stopping. Some people aren't that lucky, and it takes a lot more effort, and that doesn't make them weaker. It just means they have to move around their own mental wiring a little bit more to hold something still. But I was really lucky. As soon as I got out of that loop where I stopped drinking at all the places I used to like drinking, it was a really easy equation.

One of the point-proving things here about it being really personal to people is, people immediately offer up, like [defensively] well, they don't really drink that much. It's so hard to talk about how you don't drink in front of people who drink, because it sounds like an indictment on people who drink. Like, you can drink a bottle of scotch in front of me, and I don't want it any more because you're drinking a bottle of scotch in front of me. It doesn't make you a bad friend. It doesn't make you a bad influence.

Do I miss it? Sometimes. That's a great question. And I have the answer. Honestly, yes. But the amount of time I've missed it—and I'm giving you a real number, this is not a poetic answer. I think if you put all the time together in the year when I thought, hm, I really want an old-fashioned because I want—and I wasn't, like, I want to get drink. It's like, I want that old-fashioned, and I want to pick the rye, or the bourbon, and I want to have two or three, and I want to get out in the world and do that kind of damage you want to do to the world cosmically when you get out in the world after two or three drinks. If you add all that time up that I felt like I was a little bit shackled, I swear to God it's eighteen minutes. That's my best guess, is that it's eighteen minutes. Out of 365 days. So. Anyway. Everyone's gotta do their own thing. Everyone's gotta do their own thing.

Has it changed my songwriting? To be honest, I quit after I had written the last song for the record. So, we'll see. And everything changes your songwriting. Everything. Time changes your songwriting. Everything you do, everyone you love, every song you hear changes your songwriting. Every person you meet, and fall in love with, every child you have.

Healthy alternative that makes you feel the same "take on the world" feeling? Well, be honest, that "take on the world" feeling is usually between the hours of 11pm and 2 in the morning. So, what you end up doing is going home and doing other stuff. You get stuff done. I'm gonna get off this topic, because it's a bit of a nebulous thing. But if you're twenty-four and you don't have a problem? Fuckin' have fun. This is very endemic to being forty, and at the time being thirty-nine, and going, you know what, there's just not room. There's just not room. That's all.

That's the thing with drugs, too. I thought when I got older I would be anti-drug from some moralistic standpoint. But I'm anti-drug because I don't have the time. I don't have the time to pay the piper! I just don't. That's why when you're younger I feel like people do it more, because like, if you're twenty-four, you just have more everything to spare. I didn't start drinking until I was twenty-six or seven. In my life, really. So I had, like, a ten-year run of those moments. And a lot of those moments are unforgettable. But at this point, like, if you were gonna give me something that was gonna make me have a fuckin' great night tonight, but have a week's worth of feeling the heebie-jeebies? I don't have the time for a week's worth of heebie-jeebies, man. I just don't. So that's where you realize, like, it's just a practicality issue. Which is better in some ways than it being a philosophical issue, you know.

"Do I think drugs have become more commonplace than I would have expected when I was a teenager?" There's no way to tell, because you have to ask yourself, every year you get older, is the world changing? Or am I changing, and I'm just seeing more of the world? So I don't know. It's a real chicken-egg thing. I don't know.

"Ain't nobody got time for them heebie-jeebies!" That's right. Well, you do have time for the heebie-jeebies if you can fart them away when you're 22.

Is a hot dog a sandwich? Yes. It's a sandwich. It's a grinder, really.


My first tattoo was SRV, for Stevie Ray Vaughan, on my arm.


Favorite Shawn Mendes song? I really like "Ruin." I like the feel of that. I like the very first one. Like, when I heard "Stitches," I played that for everybody. I give myself one quick pat on the back, with an index finger, because I played that song, I was like: [high voice] that's a great song! And that was before Shawn was, like, the star that he is now, and rightfully so, damn it. But I remember playing it for people, going, like, [high voice] this song is a good song! It's a good song!

And now I feel like Shawn's in that zone where, he's what we call, ages nine to ninety-nine. Because if there's one way you want to keep your Instagram Live relevant, talk about a young pop star.