|Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy|
Will Oldham, June 6, 2009
|Birth name||William Oldham|
|Also known as||Palace Brothers
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
|Born||(1970-12-24) December 24, 1970
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Origin||Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.|
|Labels||Drag City, Domino, Spunk|
|Associated acts||Dawn McCarthy, The Cairo Gang, Matt Sweeney, Mick Turner, Tortoise, Trembling Bells, Harem Scarem, The Picket Line, Alex Neilson, BjÃ¶rk|
I figure it’s okay to make certain rules, whether or not people despise you for it at the time.
I’d like my records to reach as many people as possible, but I’m also thinking in terms of how I can keep from getting jaded or unhappy with the process.
As it turns out, as an adult I can have a very unpleasant, fierce and unforgiving temper at times. But I don’t think I had that when I was a kid.
I don’t think that word – the word pirate – has any real meaning. Or it’s something that’s had meaning imposed on it.
It’s nice to be able to backtrack and not be embarrassed by the music you used to listen to.
I do not want a personal relationship with my fans. Or to do anything that encourages them to think they have one with me. They can have a personal relationship with my songs. That’s fine, but they don’t know me.
I don’t like the idea of being surrounded by hidden things; people you can’t see in buildings and cars.
I write a song to be recorded. And to some extent to be performed, but definitely more to be recorded than performed, because the recording will last longer than a performance.
Whenever I see something that looks like it could be good – whether it’s on vinyl, CD or cassette – if it’s not too expensive, I’ll take a chance.
I don’t like going to cities. I don’t mind maybe being in a city sometimes for a few hours, but I pretty much don’t like cities. I don’t even like passing through them.
I need to go someplace faraway that doesn’t have telephones and doesn’t have a record player and doesn’t have movie theaters and people walking down the street in order to not do anything.
When I was a kid, I always thought that acting was going to be the way to go.
There’s very little admirable about being a pirate. There’s very little functional about a pirate. There’s very little real about a pirate.
I think everybody works from a defensive position, for the most part, in the film industry.
I have more respect for somebody who points at his ideal – in this case, the ideal of the pirate – and then becomes something that’s more radical, more exciting, more subversive than a pirate could ever be.
Too much emphasis is put on American roots music when people try and place me. You know, I grew up listening to punk.
I think that what trips up a lot of great musicians is that they become involved with too many things that aren’t where their strengths lie.
I think that America in general is piratical. Every time we accept a paycheck for doing almost nothing, allowing us to live above the poverty line, we’re engaging in piracy.
Sometimes we need to tell ourselves that we’re not going to do certain things, just in order to stay sane.
Writing songs is a profession; so it’s not an attempt to take things from my interactions with other people and for some reason give them to a total stranger to listen to. I find it offensive to hear other people do that.
I think records and music are more appropriate and more respectful of the human soul than the churches are. And more respectful of the needs of humans to communicate with the aspects of themselves that are neglected by language.
What is normally called religion is what I would tend to call music – participating in music, listening to music, making records and singing.
I make the songs and part of making them is singing them. But what you hear is not me. It’s the song. It’s through me.