Did you expect all to stop,
At the waive of your hand?
Like the suns just gonna drop,
If its night, you demand.
Well, in the dark were just air,
So the house might dissolve.
Once were gone, whos gonna care
If we were ever here at all?
Well, summers gonna come.
Its gonna cloud our eyes again.
No need to focus when theres
Nothing left worth seeing.
So we trade for liquor for blood,
In an attempt to tip the scales.
I think you lost what you loved
In that mess of details.
They seemed so important at the time
Now you cant even recall
Any names, faces, or lines;
Its more the feeling of it all.
Well, winters gonna end,
Im gonna clean these veins again.
So close to dying that I finally can start living.
Interviewer: Hi, were back. This is Radio ---X.
Were here with Conor Oberst of the band Bright Eyes.
How are you doing, Conor?
Conor: Fine, thanks. Just a little wet.
Interviewer: Oh, its still coming down out there.
Conor: Yeah, I sorta had to run from the car.
Interviewer: Well, we are glad you made it.
Now, your new album, Fevers and Mirrors, tell us a little bit about the title.
Ive noticed there is a good deal of repeated imagery in the lyrics
fevers, mirrors, scales, clocks. Could you discuss some of this?
Conor: Sure, lets see. The fever is
Interviewer: First, first, let me say that this is a brilliant record, man.
Were really into it here at the station. We get a lot of calls.
Its really good stuff.
Conor: Thanks. Thanks a lot.
Interviewer: So, talk a little bit about some of the symbolism.
Conor: The fever?
Conor: Well, the fever is basically whatever ails you or oppresses you.
It can be anything. In my case its my neurosis, my depression
but I dont want to be limited to that.
Its certainly different for different people.
Its whatever keeps you up at night.
Interviewer: I see.
Conor: And theand the mirror is, as you might have guessed,
self examination or reflection in whatever form.
This could be vanity or self-loathing. I know Im guilty of both.
Interviewer: Thats interesting. Uh, how bout the scale?
Conor: The scale is essentially our attempt to solve our problems quantitatively,
through logic or rationalization.
In my opinion, its often fruitless, but alwaysah, not always
And the clocks and calendars, its just time, our little measurements.
Its always chasing after us.
Interviewer: It is, it is. Uh, how bout this Arienette?
How does she fit into all of this?
Conor: I prefer not to talk about it, in case shes listening.
Interviewer: Oh, Im sorry, I didnt realize shes a real person.
Conor: Shes not. I made her up.
Interviewer: Oh, so shes not real.
Conor: Just as real as you or I.
Interviewer: I dont think I understand.
Conor: Neither do I, but after I grow upI will,
I meana lota lot of things are really unclear for me right now.
Interviewer: Thats interesting. Now, you mentioned your depression.
Conor: No I didnt.
Interviewer: Youre from Nebraska, right?
Conor: Yeah, so.
Interviewer: Now let me know if Im getting too personal,
but it seems to me that theres a pretty dark past back there somewhere.
What was it like for you growing up?
Conor: Dark. Not really. Actually, I had a great childhood.
My parents were wonderful, I went to Catholic school.
They had money. It was all easy.
But basically, I had everything I wanted.
Interviewer: Really. So some of the references like babies in bathtubs
are not biographical?
Conor: Well, I did have a brother that died in a bathtub.
Drowned. Actually, I had five brothers that died that way.
Conor: No, Im serious. My mother drowned one every year
for five consecutive years. They were all named Padraic,
so they all got one song.
Its kind of like walking out a door and discovering its a window.
Interviewer: But your music is certainly very personal.
Conor: Of course. I put a lot of myself into what I do.
But its like, being an author, you have to free yourself to use symbolism
and allegory to reach your goal. And a part of that is compassion,
empathy for other people, and understanding their situations.
So much of what I sing about comes from other peoples experiences
as well as my own. It shouldnt matter.
The message is intended to be universal.
Interviewer: I see what you mean.
Conor: Can you make that sound stop please?
Interviewer: Yes. And your goal?
Conor: I dont know. Uh, create feelings, I guess.
A song it never ends up the way you plan it.
Interviewer: Thats funny you would say that. Do you think that
Conor: Do you ever hear things that arent really there?
Interviewer: Im sorry, what?
Conor: Nevermind. How long have you worked at this station?
Interviewer: Oh, just a few minutes.
Now, you mentioned empathy for others.
Would you say that that is what motivates you to make the music
Conor: No, not really. Its really just a need for sympathy.
I want people to feel sorry for me.
I like to feel the burn of the audiences eyes on me
when Im whispering all my darkest secrets into the microphone.
(From the side, two teenage thugs start swearing about the music,
talking over the conversation.)
Conor: When I was a kid I used to carry around this safety pin
everywhere I went in my pocket
and when people werent paying enough attention to me
Id dig it into my arm until I started crying.
Everyone would stop what they were doing
and ask me what was the matter. I guess I kind of liked that.
Interviewer: Really youre telling me youre doing all this for attention?
Conor: No, I hate it when people look at me. I get nauseas.
In fact, I could care less what people think about me.
Do you feel alright? Do you wanna dance?
Interviewer: No, Im feeling sick.
Conor: I really just want to be warm yellow light that pours over everyone
Interviewer: So, uh, youre going to play something for us now.
Is this a new song?
Conor: Yeah, but I havent written it yet.
Its one Ive been meaning to write, called, A Song to Pass the Time.
Interviewer: Oh, thats a nice title.
Conor: You should write your own scripts.
Interviewer: Yeah, I know.
(Conor says from the side, I kept singing todayIt would be eeeeeeasy )