Q – I have a professor that believes in osmosis – while studying a particular author, you begin to write like one.  (Obviously by the length and asides of that sentence, I have been reading too much Henry James).  Has that ever happened to you?  Have different authors influenced different songs and/or albums?
Thanks- akm

A – Most young artists worry about that sort of thing, I certainly did, but now I’m a great believer in copying your heroes. If you have any originality at all it will always dominate your ‘influences’.. and if you don’t then you shouldn’t be doing it..
I tried very hard , in my early songs, to write like Joan Didion, but looking back I took much more from Springsteen and Dylan. They, for me, spoke American (the mother tongue of popular music) and so when I tried to write and sing I guess that I used that same language, on account of listening to too much ‘Blonde on Blonde’ and ‘Born to Run’.. Let’s not get into the second album and Raymond Carver..

Publication date: 1/5/2000