Why do we sing about it? It’s about finding yourself in the moment—you know, “it is what it is.” I think that’s the main theme of this. There’s a huge, huge difference between when we walk on a stage, and when we’re talking to you. You can’t do both at the same time. [Laughs.] It’s like, “Where am I?”
AVC: You’ve recently talked about the importance of the song, and what it means to you in a broader sense. I think with this song, what’s especially interesting for you is this dichotomy of your own relationship with your art. At the end of the day, it’s a song that’s all about your art. You can’t take it lightly, or you’re not even aware of yourself as an artist. And then, you can’t take it seriously, or you aren’t even aware of yourself as an artist, or something really big happens. So, is there always that dichotomy of these feelings of artfulness versus non-artfulness?
JB: Oh, yeah, that’s the thing about the waltz. It’s the thing that I was most embarrassed at in my life. It was so embarrassing. There were moments in my young life where I was too proud to let anybody see what I was making. And now I have this incredible responsibility for others, and I want to be the kind of person I feel like I am, and I don’t want anybody else seeing what I’m doing. Because there isn’t any other one. It’s one of those things that’s very challenging, and yet very freeing, and it’s very joyful and very powerful. And it does teach you things, really. It teaches you that you can love someone or be loved by someone in any way you want to love them—it’s just that different. But it does teach you the meaning of that freedom. It would be a really sad day if the Beatles were really gone, and I have to choose. But that’s why the waltz is a gift to me. That you can make peace.
You look at the words. You read the book. You put it into your own hands. If that doesn’t leave you a little more confident about your existence, then don’t let it go. So many people have to make that choice that I’m not going to do that, and for those who are going to make that choice, it should be empowering.
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