DW: So you’ve got a question for John I believe.
[Caller]: We do. So we know you’ve been pretty involved with NCIRE [Northern California Institute for Research and Education] and with veterans health research. So our question is, we were wondering how has your point of view changed since you wrote Waiting on the World to Change and Belief? If you think it’s been intensified, or changed by your work with veterans?
JM: You know, that’s a really good question. The work that I’ve done with veterans has really focused me on the task at hand. I think anybody who works with veterans, anyone who knows a military family or somebody who’s in the military or somebody who knows someone who’s in the military, there’s a certain sort of grace that is extended where you don’t really discuss the sort of large—not larger, I don’t wanna say larger—but, in a sense, more broad conversation about politics or the theory of it all. When working with NCIRE and working with veterans and meeting them, I don’t think that it changes my point of view on a song like "Belief" or "Waiting on the World To Change," because that’s sort of the way that I look at it as a songwriter, the way that I process it as a person. But in helping, or helping to help, veterans, you find that you don’t think about the politics. You don’t think about your point of view. So I would say that it’s very sobering in the sense that my point of view doesn’t matter at all. And nobody’s point of view matters at all. All that matters is the task at hand. Especially when something is now in the past. Nothing matters but the task at hand.
So I would say working with NCIRE has focused me on that. As a songwriter, time ages songs differently, time changes the meaning of songs. "Waiting on the World To Change" is very 2006. It’s very pre, sort of, Obama administration. But I remember that summer, working on that record, I remember the news just feeling very strange. I remember—that song was a time capsule. "Belief" is a lot more of a, you know, theoretical, kind of a discussion, that for me I don’t think changes with anything.