Published Oct 20, 2009While the internet is obviously a fertile breeding ground for thoughtless comments and misguided insults against any and every working musician, it's not too often that an attacked artist actually responds to their online critiques. Thankfully, The A.V. Club has rectified this with Wilco front-man Jeff Tweedy, who sat through a jarring set of hate and praise from various websites, and gave a response to each.
The interview is lengthy, and shows Tweedy keeping his cool and providing respectable perspective on each dose of hurt. One of the best answers comes in response to a comment that says, "What exactly do Wilco stand for, besides good MOR dad rock? Do they represent a band winding down and becoming less adventurous? It's very hard to see how whatever they are could be threatening in any fashion."
Here's Tweedy's even-keeled response:
Well, the goal of all art is to be threatening in some fashion. [Laughs] Obviously we've threatened this guy's view of whatever it is he's supposed to allow himself to like. If that's not threatening, I don't know what is, because he's obviously being challenged. People really think narrowly when it comes to those types of challenges, and the idea that something has to be aggressive or avant grade, or atonal, even, to be a challenge. I've found it to be the exact opposite. We literally put 15 minutes of noise on a record that did not raise an eyebrow but if you make a pop song with Feist on it, people are going to cry like the sky's falling. It's really going to hurt somebody. Our goal is to make some shit that we fucking like to play and feel good about, with the knowledge that that doesn't hurt anybody. You're basically doing something that you love to do, and you're not really hurting anybody.
For the whole interview, which discusses Tweedy's hair, songwriting,and "Jewishness," click here.