Not the needle, nor the thread, the lost decree.
Say nothing, that’s enough for me.
-Bon Iver, “Holocene”

The first time I heard that song, it sunk into me like it belonged there, and always had.  Beautiful words do that – they assume a position in your life as though they were quietly looming, but the timing wasn’t quite right.  Suddenly, there they are, and you can’t imagine your life before them.  I have no idea what the hell Justin Vernon is saying in “Holocene.”  It doesn’t matter; it speaks to me in a way that other songs don’t.

When I took on He Who Never and started recording music, I put my foot down and decided that I was fed up with artist secrecy.  I was frustrated by an evasive industry that presented itself when and how it wanted to, ostracizing personal connection for risk of a genuinely human appearance.  And I wanted to be utterly transparent, to approach my art with an uncommon, uninhibited candidness.  The idea was that I wouldn’t hide anything: my fans would always know me as a person, know where my songs came from, what necessitated them and what they said.

That’s starting to change, but not because of image – because of words.

Some of the most profound music I’ve ever listened to has also been the most metaphorical and unexplainable.  By being elusive and obscure, it has allowed me to impose my own experiences onto it, relate it to my life and form it to my needs.  To me, art that allows people to do that – to apply it and make it their own – is the art I want to produce.  If I write about the way it felt to leave London, and it gets you through a tough breakup, it’s not some betrayal of the song’s essence.  It’s how it should be.

My music is yours, and there’s more on the way.



~ by hewhonever on September 29, 2011.

2 Responses to “Interpretation”

  1. You are so good with your words anyway, so this only makes me more excited for the new stuff. I totally agree with you that the best songs are ones that you can make your own. The Ruse got me through some hard times and is a truly beautiful song – i’m still not really sure what it’s about though. Keep up the good work!

  2. this is so beautiful; the idea of words and music as a vehicle – something you built, but it moves us along with you. it’s a gift you give to your listeners; what we do with it is up to us, but we appreciate that it was a gift from you.

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