Father John Misty talks self-medicated creativity, LSD & Taylor Swift

July 28th 2017


  • Father John Misty :: Interview with Tommy Codling


Ahead of his appearance at Splendour In The Grass and a sold out show at the Metro Theatre, Joshua Tillman – aka the man behind Father John Misty –  brought his sharp, satiric wit to Arvos, chatting “sexy club bangers”, self-medicated creativity and the banality of perfection with Tommy Codling.

“Listeners at home, if you knew. If you only knew how music was made. You’d vomit. Literally you’d vomit. You’d be sick.”

Not exactly the club record Father John Misty joked about, Pure Comedy is heavy on progress, technology and the mundane aspects of human life. Aware that we’re always chasing altered states of mind, “even something as innocuous as caffeine”, Father John pondered what it is about the human experience that we hate so much that we want to numb it. His third studio album asks these big questions:

“I don’t know if I was successful, I’m sure some people feel like some weird old man was screaming at them for 75 minutes. I wasn’t setting out to be like ‘Look idiots, this is the world. This is the way the world works. This is how we are.’ I’m like a scared, absurd, ignorant weird little person who has gone through my own experiences and has a warped perspective, and here it is.”

A creature of habit, Tillman’s previous work under FJM was written while drunk and eating pizza. This time he decided to put himself in a clearer state of mind and stop self-medicating his anxieties.

“I undertook this experiment in extreme sobriety, where I was not eating meat, smoking and just wanted to see what that was like. Turns out I don’t like that very much and wouldn’t recommend it. For me, much of that is about keeping anxiety at bay. When I removed that crutch, I was incredibly anxious and I think became anxious about the world.”

Naturally, he went on to nerd out with Tommy over using tape vs. ProTools and the abuse of music with digital. Interestingly, he’s also a fan of Taylor Swift. He hopes she gets out of that suitcase soon though, apparently she owes him some earrings.

Listen above to Father John Misty recount his favourite story about meeting her and how everything on acid is profound, “like The Greatful Dead. I hate The Greatful Dead.”



Read more from Maia Bilyk

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