NM: I can relate to that.
MM: He finally figured it out. He wrote the lyrics and knew about the idea‚ or had an intuitive sense of what it was about‚ but it took him ten years and many experiences to put his finger on it. And it's pretty heavy duty stuff.
NM: That used to happen to me more when I was younger and I think my writing habits have changed. I used to write a lot more stream of consciousness songs‚ where I wouldn't know what in the world I was talking about a lot of times‚ and later on I would meet that person I was singing about or something would happen where I'd sing it in a different context and it would all come together and make sense. It could be a pretty amazing feeling in a lot of ways. Sometimes it could even seem prophetic or clairvoyant‚ which is fun - real fun (laughs). I felt that way a lot more when I was younger‚ and it's not that I don't believe in it anymore‚ I just don't feel that way as much.
MM: It comes with the maturing songwriting process.
NM: I used to even think‚ with backup‚ that I would write songs from other people's hearts or minds that were close to me. I would write a song and I wouldn't know what it meant and then I would sing it to one of my housemates‚ and they would be like‚ "Man‚ how did you know that?" (Pause) But‚ yeah‚ I miss that feeling (laughter). Back then I would write songs that would mean something to one or two people tops.
MM: Yeah‚ like a situation or experience you shared together.
NM: Yeah. One last thought here; I love it when a line comes out when you're writing‚ and you don't necessarily know what it means‚ but you know it's the line. That's a cool feeling‚ it's like‚ "I don't get it‚ but it's right - that is the line." And you know it will make sense for you later. That's a cool feeling. There's some source‚ and I don't know how‚ what or why‚ but it provides that feeling - you're touching some source. And you trust it - you have some faith in it.
MM: That's heavy stuff.
NM: Yeah‚ it is.
MM: That's tough to explain to someone‚ isn't it?
NM: It is very tough. I think that little moment is the origin of my spirituality.
MM: I think music and the whole creative process lends itself to be very spiritual. Actually‚ in a lot of ways it can be a religious experience. The experience is communal‚ it involves ritual‚ and if you're open to it‚ it can be really spiritual. I think somewhere along the way I got that from music. But try explaining that to somebody who has never felt that; try explaining that to someone who doesn't know of that potential…
NM: Absolutely.
MM: It's awful...(laughs)
NM: You almost have to trust that on some level they have. They might not use the same words or get caught up in different things‚ but in some ways they have.
MM: Yeah...I think you're right.
NM: But‚ I know what you mean.
MM: Well‚ I think a lot of the things I talk about might not come across to your everyday person. It might sound flakey or…
NM: I remember when ThaMuseMeant was just starting to thrive and being down in New Mexico and basically we were playing for people who chose an alternative lifestyle; a life style of ideas about connectedness and oneness and all those classic ideas. Living in New Mexico we'd play for people who were living in tents and teepees. When we toured we'd play all the Boulders‚ Santa Cruzes‚ and all the cool towns. I'd go back home being a cheerleader for alternative lifestyles and be playing for people who lived the average way. What was a cheer for empowering people and applauding people in their choices all of sudden became a challenge to the people back home. A lot of it is that spiritual thing because it would get to the point where it was like church. And then you'd go to another place and it wouldn't be like church at all (laughs). That goes back to what I was saying before about entertainment and politics; it all sort of ties together. Once you felt that being in church feeling once‚ you want to create that everywhere you go. It's such a powerful feeling‚ like doing a sweat lodge‚ you come out feeling renewed. (Pause) You just sort of get it‚ without even having to talk about it‚ like going to a Greg Brown show; he doesn't talk like a preacher or anything‚ but you definitely feel renewed. It's just a way to get your cup into the well; it's just the source‚ however you want to do it. It happens. It's probably even weird for me to spend time thinking about it - I'll probably shoot myself in the foot to a certain extent just by trying to be it (laughs). It's just different from the fact that it's already true.
MM: Right‚ do mean because you feel like you're controlling it?
NM: Well...trying to.