Conor Oberst appears on the latest episode of "WTF," a podcast by comedian Marc Maron.
You can listen to the episode at the link to the right. Fair warning: There is lots of explicit language in the show.
On the show, Oberst speaks about songwriting, being compared to Bob Dylan and the rape accusation that he dealt with last year. He also talks about his various bands - Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos and Monsters of Folk.
It's the longest and most open interview with Oberst that I'm really aware of, and it's a pretty great insight into Oberst's upbringing, feelings and career. He talks about pretty much everything you can think of, and shows a side of Oberst that he's normally been very protective about.
Oberst makes great mention of his early days in Omaha, which he called "an average Midwestern kind of town," including his early recordings that were made with the help of Ted Stevens. He also talks about his parents, growing up in Omaha, his first instruments, the Antiquarium and Simon Joyner.
For fans of Maron's podcast, it's also one of his best interviews.
At the end, Oberst performs an acoustic version of "Common Knowledge."
Some highlights from the interview:
• On the Dylan comparisons:
Maron: You get comparisons hung on you that can't be helpful in any way. The last thing anybody wants to be is compared to Bob Dylan.
Oberst: That was a tough one. In music journalist shorthand, that's code for, 'They have a lot of word in their songs. It's a weird voice. It's hard to get used to.' There's worse things to be called, I suppose.
• On songwriting:
They spilled out in very sloppy ways for a long time. I think just through trial and error and having written hundreds of songs at this point, I have decided things that i like. I have gotten to the point where I'm better at going back and revising. A lot of times nowadays, I'll write 10 verses to a song and the three that I like the most make it into the actual song.
• On the rape accusation:
It was a very surreal (situation). The blogosphere went crazy and did their thing. It was very painful. It was like the world was upside down for a little bit.
Eventually, we filed a libel lawsuit. Eventually, she recanted and said it was all a lie and it was a hoax. I've always sort of hated the kind of depravity of our current Internet culture, and the way that there's zero journalistic standards to anything.
It was really hard. At this point, I'm just kinda trying to put it in my rearview mirror.
• On marriage:
Definitely being married has made me a more patient, happier person. Less rushing around feeling manic. I was a workaholic for years and years and years. I breathed music all the time. I've gotten to the point where I've realized there's other as important things in the world.