Alexis Marshall, Daughters
“There is a thin line, and I’m talking papyrus thin, between writing selfishly and writing honestly. If I am too honest, I’ll feel far too self-conscious, and in turn, fear I am giving too much of my own self away. If I am overly selfish, I endanger the enlargement of my ego and being not simply misunderstood, but appearing as a pretentious asshole. I have spent many years writing music, poetry and so on, that I find the process simple—so long as I am true to whichever form I am placing myself in. Not writing for the reader or myself, but for the betterment of my contribution to the greater artistic/emotional universe I’m likely stealing from.
Ambiguity is important. As a reader myself, I do not want a poem or lyric to tell me how to feel about the work, at least, not something that will truly resonate with me. I mean, the Clash are great, but the lyrical content does not stir anything within me on a deep emotional level. If I am able to satisfy my own needs through writing, to say something I feel any kind of important or passing desire to say, without making the reader feel the experience being writing about exclusive to me, then I am doing my job.
There are truly phenomenal storytellers in music, and lyricists like Tom Waits, Nick Cave and others are in my heart, but if I want to read another’s words and find a way to make them mine, I always have writers like Neko Case and Leonard Cohen to crush me with beauty and poetry.”