Father John Misty explores the relationship between total destruction and complete metamorphosis
Josh Tillman speaks out about the current musical zeitgeist, Twitter, his once-certain destruction, and his plans for another record
- Emma Garr
Father John Misty has often been referred to as a Fleet Fox gone solo. While he was, in fact, the drummer for the cavernous folk harmonizers, comparisons to his former group just about end there. Josh Tillman, the man behind the new moniker’s psych-laced tunes, has immersed himself in songwriting and showmanship that’s satirical and absurd, yet honest. More importantly, Tillman’s creative sea change shines a light on his humanity, more so than ever before.
During our lengthy conversation, Tillman spoke about Father John Misty as well as a variety of other topics — including his thoughts on the current musical zeitgeist, Twitter, his once-certain destruction, and his plans for another record.
Father John Misty. $13-$15. 9 p.m. Thurs., October 18, Terminal West.
Do you keep up with a lot of what people write about you and your music?
This is kind of like a new experience. I haven’t really had much written about me in the past, you know ... My attitude about music writing, in general, is like consumer reports are useful is you’re buying a car. If you’re buying a car, you want to read a consumer report about the performance of the car, there’s empirical data, there’s shit that’s demonstrably true. If you want a safe mind, that’s a very useful medium.
The critique of music — I think the pretense that most people know is not true at the core of it, which is that music needs to be explained to the public to prevent them from spending their hard-earned money on some defective music. I think to get people to keep coming back to read your thing, you have to sort of engender that attitude, even if just a little bit. I think that the main response from music criticism when that assessment of music criticism is brought up is that people kind of defer to the altruistic side of it, which is like, “well how are people supposed to find new music?”
All of this is an interesting conversation, but one I have only really entered because I get fiery about what I do. I’m very passionate about what I do musically. I also don’t like to be misrepresented. It’s all very irrational and not worth it ... I don’t think it should be any mystery that I get a little bent out of shape about my own press. I think why it’s of note is because I will say funny shit on the Internet about it. I’d rather just leave it at that.