Tom Waits On … Kids, Religion And How To Play The Piano

Your kids are not your fans, they’re your kids. The trick is to have a career and have a family. It’s like having two dogs that hate each other and you have to take them for a walk every night.

Tom Waits on Tom Waits: Interviews and Encounters (p.361)

I always thought religion should be more visceral and that you should get beat up a little by it, you know?

Interviews And Encounters (p.432)

Jim Jarmusch once told me “Fast, cheap, and good . . . pick two. If it’s fast and cheap, it won’t be good. If it’s cheap and good, it won’t be fast. If it’s fast and good, it won’t be cheap.” Fast, cheap, and good . . . pick (two) words to live by.

Interviews And Encounters (p.446)

The recipe for making an album? You write two songs, you put ’em in a room and they have kids. Songs travel along the same line that jokes and stories do. They get written down, forgotten, and resurrected. You tear the wings off them for a while and they grow new ones. Songs are kind of like your memory of something, your homeland, or what you had for dinner last night; something for your kids. We all do it naturally, and kids do it better than any of us. So in a sense, it’s kind of like children’s work.

Interviews And Encounters (p.252)

Never have your wallet with you onstage. It’s bad luck. You shouldn’t play the piano with money in your pocket. Play like you need the money.

More Tom Waits wisdom here

(you can find a lot of the interviews online at

About mattblick

Songwriter/Singer from Nottingham, UK. My 2nd EP, Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky, is out now. I'm blogging (& podcasting) through the entire Beatles catalogue at Beatles Songwriting Academy. In my spare time I wish I had some spare time.
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