You could say I did City Life because I drove a cab in San Francisco, I don’t know how true that would be. I’m a native New Yorker, as you can probably tell. I think all music comes from a time and place. The Beatles come from ‘60s England, Kurt Weill comes from Weimar Republic in Germany. Bach comes from Eastern Germany. I come from New York and the West Coast in the 1960s and ‘70s. The composers we know and love give honest expression to that. Not by trying to write the great American piece, but just by being who you are. And if you’re honest about who you are, then that music will bear evidence to the honesty of your situation, no matter what it is. What you guys are doing right now is evidence of what’s going on in the world. How well you do it will determine how long and how much interest there is in it. Musical quality doesn’t change. There was this story about George Gershwin meeting Alban Berg, who was a friend of Schoenberg’s. Gershwin was a bit nervous and Berg could tell that, so he said: “Mr Gershwin, music is music.” That’s the kind of truth that stays the case.
London, 2010 (via leadingtone)