Could you take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work? Do you have a fixed schedule? How do music and other aspects of your life feed back into each other - do you separate them or instead try to make them blend seamlessly?
I personally love slow mornings, with a coffee and a cuddle with my cat. Then a brisk walk in the forest before I have fired myself up to start working. It comes in chunks. The closer to a deadline I am the more hectic things get. As for a fixed schedule - sometimes I am a night person and work the best between 7 pm up until 2 in the morning. I think living out here in the wildernesses is the best thing for me. Here I can work undisturbed and follow my own rhythm.
There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you? What supports this ideal state of mind and what are distractions? Are there strategies to enter into this state more easily?
I know from my past being kind of sad and depressed opens up a lot of emotions. You are hurting and therefore more vulnerable. The music can sometimes reflect that. Nowadays I'm a very happy guy and so the music finds me in a good mood, yet still eager to explore. Working with Jade Ell on "What Have You Done" really inspired me in a new kind of way. She is a very emotional woman and so that energy rubs off on me. Hence how that song came about.
How is playing live and writing music in the studio connected? What do you achieve and draw from each experience personally? How do you see the relationship between improvisation and composition in this regard?
I find them both to be equally challenging and exciting but two completely different entities. In the live situation I have learned from making mistakes, learned my stage craft by watching YouTube clips of me singing with Steve Hackett. Some bits needed to go, while others could actually be elaborated on. I'm not a great improviser, I leave that to others. In the studio - composing, arranging and producing are my fortes apart from singing of course.
How do you see the relationship between the 'sound' aspects of music and the 'composition' aspects? From your experience, what are some of the most inspiring overlaps between different senses - and what do they tell us about the way our senses work? What happens to sound at its outermost borders?
I guess you are talking about hearing music, right? A beautiful haunting melody and mood can make you cry, whereas other musical elements may conjure anger or joy. Music is a common barrier less language that we all can understand. So I guess, being in a crowd of thousands of music lovers at a show, knowing they love and understand the same music as you do, stretches the borders of empathy and love. We are all in the same frame of mind with all our senses linked together. It's a beautiful thing.
Art can be a purpose in its own right, but it can also directly feed back into everyday life, take on a social and political role and lead to more engagement. Can you describe your approach to art and being an artist?
It's 100 % heart and complete honesty. I want to convey to others what I love about music and to move them, in all kinds of ways. I'd still be a songwriter even without any success, like it was for me for more than 40 years. Music chose me, I didn’t choose it myself.
It is remarkable, in a way, that we have arrived in the 21st century with the basic concept of music still intact. Do you have a vision of music, an idea of what music could be beyond its current form?
On my next album I would like to explore the unknown, and to be adamant about it. That idea excites me more than anything right now. What have I not done before, and how far am I willing to go without venturing too much of my artistic identity. Let's wait and find out in 2018!