Bob Schneider Interview
He’s Good Now
Bob Schneider is an Austin-based singer-songwriter. His latest release is “I’m Good Now,” out now on Vanguard Records. Schneider fills his songs with abstract imagery and covers topics ranging from drug addiction to religion. Bob recently discussed everything from life and death, to Tom Waits.
After reading your bio, you seem to be very philosophical about life and death. What has influenced your viewpoint on life and death?
Being alive, just being on the Earth, and not having any idea why I’m here. It’s what life is about; I was aware that I was alive, and I didn’t have any answers to that question.
How do you envision your funeral?
I don’t know, I’ve never thought about it…I’d hope that everybody would be real unhappy. That’s what I’m shooting for.
Several of your songs deal with drug use. How have drugs had an impact on your life?
I think drugs have given me a different perspective on life. It allowed me to be more open minded. It honestly makes you experience a different perspective instead of postulating on a different perspective. Once you know that there’s more than one way looking at things, that’s a really positive evolutionary experience.
Do drugs aid you in songwriting?
Definitely. I think once you’ve done them once or twice, you really stop learning anything after that. Then, you are probably taking them to escape, escape from who you are and life. I don’t think that they [drugs] are helpful after that. Now I don’t do drugs at all. I find that I learn more by being clearheaded.
What is the most personal song on “I’m Good Now?”
It’s hard to say, none of them are autobiographical. They are all different narrators, they are all different personas, [The personas] are all little bits of me.
Where do you get the inspiration for these narrators?
I don’t know where that comes from. I just write down whatever comes into my head. It just kind of flows.
Do you have a certain method to your songwriting?
Not really, I do it lots of different ways. Sometimes I start with the lyrics, sometimes I start with the music, sometimes I pick up the guitar…there’s no real method to the madness.
If you could tour with any artist, who would it be?
Probably Tom Waits.
What do you like about his music?
I love his songwriting. He’s a great poet and a gifted writer. I like the fact that his songs can take you to far off places. I just feel like I get plucked out of where I’m at and get taken to little environments which are really cool…like on a fucking pirate ship or Mars somewhere or some fucked up, weird family reunion.
Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
I don’t think any of the music sucks that I like.
Do you have a philosophy that you live by?
The golden rule. I try to treat people with the respect that I’d like to be treated with.
You are known for your live shows, what’s been your craziest gig?
It ’s hard to say. Any night in Austin gets pretty crazy, they [the fans in Austin] tend to be a little wild
Would you mind describing yourself in three words?
intimate, raunchy and preferential. I’d go with those.
For more info on Bob Scheider, check out his website: www.bobschneider.com