Vic Chesnutt – HuffPost 9.17.09

[Note: This was a nice exchange that revealed a little about this physically challenged artist’s creative process that might inspire others.]

Mike Ragogna: “Flirted With You All My Life” seems to be an ode to “death.”

Vic Chesnutt: Yes, it is.

MR: When you’re writing songs like this, are you coming at them as a catharsis?

VC: “Flirted With You All My Life” was inspired totally by the singer Exuma. He blew my mind. I’d discovered him from Howard Bilerman, the guy who engineered this record. He turned me on to him just before we made it, and I was obsessed with Exuma. He sings about zombies and s**t ’cause he’s from the Caribbean. I was like, “What can I sing about with conviction? I can’t sing about zombies, so what can I sing about?” Then it occurred to me that I can sing a love song to death because, it’s no secret, I’ve suicided several times. I suck at it, it didn’t work. But it’s a song about a man who discovers he wants to live. It’s like a breakup song with death.

MR: During “When The Bottom Fell Out” your dog joins you, there’s outside noise and things are creaking…it’s like you’re performing with the ambience. It totally loaded it up with personality.

VC: While recording that song, I really wanted Guy (Picciotto) and Jessica (Moss, violinist) to play on it with me. I said, “Okay, I’ll lay it down, then I’m going to leave a place for you to play,” and then after I did this take, I said, “…you guys go in there and play.” They were like, “Heeeell no! We ain’t playin’ on this, no way!” I got screwed, but there turned out to be something magical about it.

Love it? Share it?