Famous Quotes & Sayings

John Darnielle Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by John Darnielle.

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John Darnielle Quotes 259947

People will complain that they don't want to wait around for lightning to strike, but why not? If you invest yourself in chance, the potential for disappointment is pretty low. — John Darnielle

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I pretty much just focus on making the records - unless I'm self-releasing them; then I do my own thing. But at some point, you have to stop worrying about chains of distribution, or it takes out of your time to write. — John Darnielle

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Wrestlers give their bodies to their work. I don't know if I like the word 'crazy' here. What I would say is there are people who have a different relationship to their bodies than most people. — John Darnielle

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Who knows the secrets of anybody's heart. — John Darnielle

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To me, the only good reason to be touring is if you still have something good to share instead of just revisiting past glories. — John Darnielle

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It's just being who you want to be, even if you are a poor kid making loud music
about being unhappy! — John Darnielle

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The reality of having a kid involves day-to-day practicality - not broader philosophical outlooks. — John Darnielle

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People were always saying how ugly Southern California was, especially when they came back from their summer vacations. They said it looked plastic or fake or whatever, and talked about all the cool things they saw in Ohio, where their grandparents lived. Or in Pennsylvania. The wall behind the arcade was made of giant sparkling white bricks, just like all the other buildings connected to it. There was graffiti on it, indecipherable gang writing. It was dark now and getting a little cold and then the super-bright lights they have behind stores to keep bums from sleeping by the dumpsters came on, and I thought, people who don't think Southern California is the most beautiful place in the world are idiots and I hope they choke on their tongues. — John Darnielle

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I don't even want to be rich I just want to be alone. — John Darnielle

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One or two people have named their children after characters in my songs. That's pretty intense. — John Darnielle

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I come from Chino, so all your threats are empty. — John Darnielle

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I do have a romantic interest in outlasting everybody else. There's a sort of sad machismo to singer-songwriters, I think. — John Darnielle

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I know the Bible pretty well. I'm not one of those guys who can immediately start quoting every book, but usually I know where to look to find certain themes. — John Darnielle

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I used to break three or four strings a night, and the show would be over because I didn't know how to change the strings. — John Darnielle

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I think all writing is necessarily autobiographical to a greater or lesser extent, and the less it tries to be confessional, the more likely it is that you're somehow sneaking the things you need to say in there. — John Darnielle

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What you were supposed to hear when the record played backwards was the phrase wolf in white van. Nobody had a very firm idea of what that was supposed to mean, but they all agreed about what they were hearing: that it was a hellish picture to paint, and for young people to hear. Paul did ask what, exactly, it meant, and the guest talked about the symbol of the wolf in ancient cultures, but nothing got much clearer. It was a dark smudge of an idea shared among believers. — John Darnielle

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Sometimes I'll write without the guitar or the piano, but most of the time I'll be playing and just improvising some words. And when I get something that sounds good, a line with a story in it, I'll try and tease it out and figure out where the story is going. — John Darnielle

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Life is entirely unthinkable without any of the creative arts, and they're all a continuum - the force in question is creativity, not its mode of expression. — John Darnielle

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Books are like rocks. You hold one in your hand and look at it in various lights to get a sense of it, and then when you get a good angle, you throw it through a window to see what happens. — John Darnielle

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I write stuff down. I have a chalkboard in the kitchen where I will scrawl stuff down if I have a faint outline of an idea. And I'll go into my office or whatever. But that goes from format to format. — John Darnielle

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To the left, just past the painting, on the other side of the hall, is the bathroom, the sort of open door that if cameras found it as they passed through the house in a horror movie would trigger a blast of synthesizers. — John Darnielle

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When anger rears up in me I have a trick I do where I picture it as a freshly uncoiled snake dropping down from the jungle canopy and heading for my neck. If I look at it directly it'll disappear, but I have to do it while the snake's still dropping or it will strike. This sounds like something they'd teach you in therapy at the hospital or something, but it's not. It's just a trick I found somewhere by myself. Once you've looked at a deadly thing and seen it disappear, what more is there to do? Walk on through the empty jungle toward the city past the clearing. — John Darnielle

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Who doesn't want to rise above the obstacles in his pathway? Who wouldn't want to go down in flames? — John Darnielle

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Everybody experiences reality in a way that's only true for them. — John Darnielle

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To me, creative work is labor, like any other kind of labor. It's got value, and it takes your time, and it's useful to people, depending. — John Darnielle

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You could hear, in the questions they asked and how they asked them, that there were right answers, things they wanted to hear. — John Darnielle

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Life is hard, you're tired, and there's disease. The strategy that works for children is to be delighted by the things that delight you. — John Darnielle

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I always worry that I'm a dilettante: I know something about lots of things but don't have exhaustive knowledge of much. — John Darnielle

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I get nostalgic about having lived in Ames, Iowa, even though being a vegetarian in Iowa is not fun. But I really love Durham more than any place I've ever been; some small towns can be really provincial and strangling, but Durham is the best city in the world. — John Darnielle

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When you punish a person for dreaming his dream
Don't expect him to thank or forgive you. — John Darnielle

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The moment where you know the thing you want is ridiculous and pompous and a terrible thing to want anyway. The direction in which you're headed is not the direction you want to go, yet you're going to head that way a while longer cause that's just the kind of person you are. — John Darnielle

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I am at a place in my life where the more like a cave I can make my surroundings, the happier I am. — John Darnielle

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They don't know they have expectations, but I show them by counterexample what their expectations were. — John Darnielle

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I take the knife and stab myself in the neck. I bleed out on top of the fortune-teller's grave and then I'm dead and that's my game. I am OK and I'll be OK but this is the end and this is my story. CH. — John Darnielle

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I think, taking too long to work on a record, you sort of lose some of the feeling, so I write as fast as I can; it's just this manic phase where I'm by myself and or on tour, and I write, and I write. — John Darnielle

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Do every stupid thing that makes you feel alive. — John Darnielle

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People think of me as a nice person because, I think, I have grown into a nice person. — John Darnielle

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If I go see a band, and they play, like, zero from any of their old albums, I'm very happy about that. I do not want to see the bands of my youth playing the songs of my youth. I hate that. — John Darnielle

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Either inventing internal worlds or having no world at all to inhabit, — John Darnielle

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Most of my interests in terms of writing are dark, so it's discordant how much I try to lock into the vibe of wherever I'm at. Inhabiting the life of the imagination is the nature of survival strategy - you build yourself little worlds to enjoy. — John Darnielle

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People say friends don't destroy one another - what do they know about friends? — John Darnielle

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People talk about songwriting or comedy as creative expression, but life is creative expression. Table-making, even nursing, is extraordinarily creative. — John Darnielle

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One way you can get really close to God is to sin as hard as you can. — John Darnielle

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I got a promo of 'Nichts Muss' in what would have been 2002 or 2003 and fell totally in love with it after listening to it on an airplane that took me to Australia via Taipei and Kuala Lumpur. — John Darnielle

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The way the vocal folds work is that they can get inflamed and in pain, but actual tears in the folds are somewhat rare. I've never torn anything. Been too strained plenty of times. — John Darnielle

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And then I went back into my room, locked into a sequence as perfect as a pattern, and I sat down on my great rock throne, invisible to the outside world but palpable beneath me, and from how my face felt I thought maybe I was crying, either because I didn't want to do this or because I did, it was hard to tell and anyway I never would, who would believe me in either case and who would be there to believe me in all cases, it was a puzzle, I had yet to learn the way of the jigsaw, and so I positioned the rifle beneath my chin, it feels cold, like an actual thing in the actual present physical world, OK, there it is, I am here now, and then I lay down on my belly and listened to the rising squall beyond the door. — John Darnielle

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To me, everything is always new. People involved in my personal life make fun of me a lot for not being jaded. — John Darnielle

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What's funny is that people think, "Well there has to be something more than wrestling, because wrestling has such an absurd quality to it." But if you tell a love story, people don't ask what else is in there. They say, "Oh, it's just a love story." All stories have many levels, but these ones show their hand and say, "You might want to look a little deeper." — John Darnielle

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The most remarkable thing about you standing in the doorway is that it's you, and that you're standing in the doorway. — John Darnielle

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I wish they'd conduct a national poll to find out who feels out of place and who doesn't. Just to get the numbers, you know? To get a feel for how many of us there are. — John Darnielle

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There are only two stories: either you go forward or you die. — John Darnielle

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Take dance music: I like enough of it and its history to be able to say a word or two about this or that record, but I'm nobody's authority. — John Darnielle

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Back in the '90s, if you did mail order in music, you could make a good living doing it if you could hustle. — John Darnielle

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If you show up to work five days in a row, nobody's going to pat you on the back - everyone does that. Well, do that with your writing. Just show up. Be there for it. When you get an idea, write it down somewhere and then be a steward of that idea. — John Darnielle

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Anger is preverbal, so, by the time you're using words to express an angry feeling, you're already imposing loads of structure on that primal experience. — John Darnielle

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As an idea occurs to me, I'll either follow it or not, but I'm more instinctive than master-planner about stuff. — John Darnielle

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There's no such thing as mental illness. We're all mentally ill and we're all haunted by something, and some people manage to find a way to ride it out so that they don't wind up needing extra help. So I think that "mental illness," as a term, is garbage. Everybody is in various states of needing to transcend something. — John Darnielle

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Music is a permanent art, it will always go through phases where you like it and are in tune with it, but saying that music "got bad" is infantile. The same is true with your life. — John Darnielle

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When all my friends insisted that they were feeling jaded, it struck me as an affected pose. To me, everything is always new. — John Darnielle

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When I was kid, they always used to tell me to keep notebooks. I look at my shelves now and it's just nothing but notebooks. And if I haven't gotten an idea but I have time to work, I'll pull one out and I bet there will be five or six sentences that will kick me off. — John Darnielle

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I am heavy in his arms, and I feel safe there, but I am lost, and I need constantly to be shoring up the wall that holds my emotions at bay, or I will feel something too great to contain. — John Darnielle

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I try not to write songs in which men glamorize their own need for approval from women. That's kinda a bogus way to go out. But I try to do this quietly. I'm not about to go around telling people how they should or shouldn't think. My feminism is for me. — John Darnielle

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Maybe every other band in the world has more brains and deeper meaning, but only Black Sabbath sounds like exactly what my friends and I might have done if we'd had the equipment. — John Darnielle

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I let the barren-void melody of his voice lilt its way through the inattentive chambers of my brain. — John Darnielle

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Everybody is in various states of needing to transcend something. I believe in mental health care, but when we call people "crazy," we exclude them from our circle. — John Darnielle

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When I'm writing a song, I'm just making stuff up as I go along. — John Darnielle

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The wind comes across the plains not howling but singing. It's the difference between this wind and its big-city cousins: the full-throated wind of the plains has leeway to seek out the hidden registers of its voice. Where immigrant farmers planted windbreaks a hundred and fifty years ago. it keens in protest; where the young corn shoots up, it whispers as it passes, crossing field after field in its own time, following eastward trends but in no hurry to find open water. You can't usually see it in paintings, but it's an important part of the scenery. — John Darnielle

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I crave music that'll sort of hurtle me into space and release me up there. — John Darnielle

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I think it's a misconception that metal's about anger, obviously. — John Darnielle

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Anything that is within you is a gift. To be able to take possession of that and say, "Whatever it is, I am bigger than it," is to learn to cherish even the hard and painful things. — John Darnielle

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A farmhouse has a way of feeling both timeless and impermanent without ever committing to either side. — John Darnielle

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In video games you sometimes run into what they call a side quest, and if you don't manage to figure it out you can usually just go back into the normal world of the game and continue on toward your objective. I felt like I couldn't find my way back to the world now: like I was somebody locked in a meaningless side quest, in a stuck screen. — John Darnielle

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Readings are more like weaving a tapestry. Possibly people are getting a cathartic release - but music is physical. Music pummels you. It's got a beat; it's loud. Whereas this is more cerebral. — John Darnielle

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I'll keep making records until I don't have more ideas for records. — John Darnielle

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In wrestling, people just throw each other around, possibly actually bleed, and are still friends in the locker room afterwards. But there's a real glee - a feeling goes up in the arena, especially on non-TV days. If it's just people in a room and somebody starts to bleed, that's very exciting. — John Darnielle

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Trying to explain the feeling I had is like trying to describe what you see when your eyes are bandaged: it's not impossible, but it's different from describing something you can actually look at, something you might see in the course of a normal day. It is trying to describe something at which you are unable to look directly. — John Darnielle

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The only people who are afraid of file sharing are the people whose albums are so dull presentation-wise that nobody cares about owning the actual finished product, and the people who have so little connection to their listeners that said listeners have no reason to care whether the artists they like are getting reimbursed for their efforts. — John Darnielle

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No way of counting my blessings. No way for anyone to count that high. — John Darnielle

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My strongest hope is for a cameo as a band playing in a club visited by the detectives on 'Law & Order: SVU' during the course of an investigation, maybe during sound check, or something, so they can force us to stop playing while they question the sound guy. — John Darnielle

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I want to make sure people know I don't think I have any magic powers. I just have a story that I share. — John Darnielle

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There is something fierce and starved about first ideas. — John Darnielle

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Not everybody wants to get out and see the world. Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you just want to figure out how to fit yourself into the world you already know. — John Darnielle

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My father would tell me if I wasn't writing in meter verse, it wasn't poetry. — John Darnielle

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I watched 'Fame,' and I just love the choreography. It just gives me a place to be in another zone. — John Darnielle

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I'm not really a goal-oriented guy. I started doing the Mountain Goats just for the sheer hell of it. — John Darnielle

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In a movie version of this scene the driver wheels his glance abruptly to the window where a misshapen man stands watching it all unfold, and fixes me with a threatening look. That didn't happen. — John Darnielle

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My parents' room is an uncataloged planet, a night sky presence unknown to scientists but feared by the secret faithful who trade rumors of its mystery. — John Darnielle

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It is hard to leave home, and sometimes it takes a long time. * — John Darnielle

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For years, I've written narrators who aren't gender-identified. When I do autobiographical stuff, that's different, obviously. But I've always tried to keep my songs as potentially not a man's thing. — John Darnielle

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You want the song to be at least at the same level of goodness throughout. Whereas with something you're doing live, a song dips and rises and that can actually be worked to the song's benefit. — John Darnielle

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I knew she wanted to ask what I was doing, but I had the advantage. Nobody liked to see me speak. — John Darnielle

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It's hard to overstate how deep the need can get for things to make sense. — John Darnielle

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I write for a lot of places, so I'm on a lot of promo lists. — John Darnielle

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This is why improvisational music and comedy is so inspiring: You are seeing something being born, and that energy, there is no substitute for. These songs, most of them, are about a minute old when you hear them. — John Darnielle

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People bring you books, cheap paperbacks, when you're in the hospital: this was how I found out that I hate mystery novels. — John Darnielle

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Dark, primitive magic. Swords Against Death. — John Darnielle

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I imagined a quiet future in an imaginary world where nothing ever really happened but everything seemed charged with life. — John Darnielle

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I've written a lot about southern California, but I don't use the same characters. Leave the people in the songs in the songs, is my philosophy. — John Darnielle

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I'm kind of a hermit. Left to my own devices, I won't submerge myself in anything further afield than the driveway. — John Darnielle

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I'm so disconnected from an indie-rock community that I am the hermit people used to guess I was. — John Darnielle