Willy Mason: The Real Deal
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than Bush. He probably would have brought a couple things to a smoother resolve. But I try not to get too tied up into any one party or any one--you know, I voted for Kerry and I wanted him to win but I think, in the end, there could be a positive outcome to Bush being elected. And I know that sounds scary as fuck but--what he's really doing is stirring people up and making people think. And I think any one who wins any fucking election--shits gonna get a lot worse before it gets better. We just have to believe its gonna lead to a better end. For me right now, the most important thing is to set up an environment to live in where I don't have to rely on things or industries that I don't have a clean consciousness about supporting. And I don't know exactly how I am gonna do it yet. It takes trial and error. But that's my focus.
Bill: So are you finding a positive, sustainable environment on Team Love?
Willy: I mean--I'm getting there, yea. I mean, that's kinda an on-going thing. I mean, the balance between my career and my personal life. They are definitely facilitating that journey really well with the amount of freedom they leave me.
Bill: I was gonna ask about that--right now, the biggest folk rock singer/lyricist out there Is Conor Oberst. He's in the process of redefining an era of Indie music. First, if you could, explain how that relationship with Conor and with Team Love came about, how did it foster?
Willy: I met Conor through a mutual friend that heard me on the island radio station when I went on my friend's Dad's Sunday night show. So this mutual friend invited me out to North Hampton to see Conor play. We met that night and I played for him backstage. Then we went back to a bar--woke up the next morning on a tour bus in Vermont. That night--got really wasted and Conor called me up on-stage without warning. That was my first gig off island. Then we hung out. I crashed at his place here in New York when I needed a place. We got to be friends.
Bill: So that friendship with him helped bring about the relationship with Team Love?
Willy: Well, I was doing my thing, getting ready to make a record. He was doing his thing, getting ready to get the label started. It just fit together so we went for it. I have a huge amount of respect for him and I look up to him a lot. To tell the truth, before I met Conor, I hadn't heard his music.
Bill: Well, that being said, where do you think you're going next?
Willy: I don't know. Taking a road trip.
Bill: Now, do you still live in your van?
Willy: I do except its broken down in Death Valley right now.
Bill: Yea, I just read that on your webpage. That's funny--you're on Conor Oberst's record label yet you're living in a van.
Willy: Yea, well, it's not cash up-front. And the other thing, even if it was, I didn't go out seeking the music industry to support me, you know. I went out seeking a way to support myself. Ands that's where the van comes in and that's everything--I want freedom and that's the only way I can see to get it.
--William Wallace, Tim Rogan
Friday, 21 January 2005
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