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On one of the episodes of The Making of Synthetica on YouTube you said you once wanted to be a rock star, but now you just want to become “a totally androgynous badass writer.” Can you elaborate?
[Laughs] It was my good fortune that I grew up in a different time. There was no American Idol or The Voice and all that stuff, putting all these kids in front of people and making a kind of a mockery of their genuine ambition and emotion. There was nothing like that for me. I was in a small town and was obsessed with Michael Jackson, writing letters to him, sending him songs, being sure that he would want me to be in his band. As my career evolved, I never saw myself in any special category. I just really liked to play music with my friends, in no special genre category. But then this new genre emerged, the super-manufactured pop star, and whatever part of me that found that entertaining, I now feel it draining away from me. I feel maybe it is about time to make it clear that what I really like to do is writing. I love to perform in front of 10,000 people, but my most important role for my generation and for my time is to be a songwriter. It’s kind of a recent revelation.

So what should be expect from you and the band as performers in San Antonio? Last I saw you was at Austin City Limits last year, and it was wonderful. But is this Jack Daniel’s gig one of those “short set” deals?
Not at all. We’ll give you a full set, hour and a half. New songs? I don’t know. There’s been a lot of writing going on, but we’ll see. Our set has really evolved since Synthetica came out in June. We’re always integrating elements from our past and ideas for the future, and we improvise a lot. It’ll be a great night. Can’t wait.

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