The singer, songwriter, producer, sometimes-Mark-Lanegan-duetter and ex-Belle and Sebastianer takes five from us.
1.) What’s your favorite Beatles song and why?
Oh my God, you can’t ask me that. That’s terrible. I can tell you my Dad’s favorite Beatles song. I can’t choose. You’ve really upset me now. [Laughter] I honestly don’t have one, but I can tell you one. Mine can just be “I’ve Just Seen a Face” from Help! It’s a sweet melody. I like the simplicity. But I don’t know. How can you do it? There’s “Taxman.” There’s “Good Day Sunshine.” There’s “Helter Skelter.” “Hey Jude.” How can you choose? It’s impossible. I like “Because” as well. I like that a lot.
2.) Who are three songwriters—living or dead—that you wish you could sit down and write a song with?
Well, Bob Dylan obviously. Obviously. Carole King. Lennon & McCartney. Yeah. I mean, I could just stay here all day and tell you. Jerry Garcia …
3.) If you had to pick one song that you’ve written that you really think sums you up as a songwriter, what would that be?
I think there’s more to come, because I’ve learnt so much more. I don’t know. I really like “Something to Believe.” And I really like “The Circus is Leaving Town.” I don’t know. What one should I choose?
4.) What’s the one song that you wish you could’ve written?
“Instant Karma!” [by John Lennon] There you go.
5.) Is there anything you’re listening to these days that you’re particularly digging?
Bob Dylan as always. We’ve got his complete discography and we’re going to play it on the four-day drive from L.A. to New York. [Laughter] That’ll be the first two and a half days. It’s not the bootlegs—it’s just the discography. I love him. He’s the man. Such great songs.