Will Welch’s in-studio interview with Jeff Tweedy for GQ doesn’t reveal much we didn’t already know. It’s still a pleasure to read, though, precisely because of what we already knew: Jeff Tweedy is both more honest and more modest than your average rock star, and he’s got a lot going on upstairs. A few highlights:
Tweedy on sartorial decisions:
I just did my first-ever overdub wearing shorts. You really shouldn’t be rocking in any way—at all—if you’re in shorts. Unless you’re Angus Young.
Tweedy on Wilco’s new album:
There’s a song called “Bull Black Nova” that feels like it might be a centerpiece. There’s a certain urgency and anxiety to it—it kind of sounds like there’s a phone off the hook somewhere. There’s a precise wildness to it.
Tweedy on his widely acknowledged addiction to painkillers:
I find it strange that people are more uncomfortable talking about mental-health issues than they are addiction. I think it’s a control thing. It’s more appealing and romantic if people destroy themselves. But mental illness just happens to you. … Whether it’s true or not, people have the belief that the addict can just stop. … There’s some truth to that, but there are a lot of misunderstood qualities about that notion.
Tweedy on opening for Neil Young:
The first thing that comes to mind is the really delicious catering. The first show we did, in Halifax, they had some sort of local dessert called maple pudding. There’s a certain grittiness to it that I like.
Funny — that’s kind of how we’ve always felt about Neil Young.