All Conor said was what he didn’t want to do—he didn’t want to make another alt-country, neo-folk record, or whatever they’re calling them these days. And he didn’t want to play acoustic guitar, so we gave him other things to play. We decided to make more of a rock record this time, but we also wanted to take a more experimental approach—to have some fun with it.
I didn’t want to come across as preachy. It’s kind of hypocritical, inasmuch as we’re criticizing what we’re still functioning within, but the record’s mostly about self-improvement and wanting to be better than you are.
Conor Oberst, talking about Read Music/Speak Spanish
Walking with you through the courtyard, where everything is marble and smooth. You said the idea of perfection was just fundamentally cruel. Talked about joining the circus maybe trading your face for a mask, oh I know you want to, I just don’t believe that you can