Jon Sebastian (far right) provides the answers…
1. Why play music?
Writing a song is very satisfying. It gives you a chance to show people a side of yourself that they would otherwise never know about, and to bring them into your world a little bit. Performing music just feels good. I always feel a sort of satisfied exhaustion afterward that is unique to playing shows.
2. Who are your influences?
Guided by Voices, Paul Simon, Failure, Nirvana, Cat Power, Throwing Muses, The Beatles, The Promise Ring, Spoon, Low and Smashing Pumpkins to name a few.
3. What is success?
For me, as it pertains to music, there are two types of success: artistic and financial. I feel like I’ve had a lot of artistic success, in the sense that I have a pretty nice-sized body of work that I’m happy with. When it comes to financial success, I’ve done extremely shitty. I want to quit my day job.
4. Why should people buy your music?
Because I know they’ll like it.
5. Who do you love?
My wife, my family, my friends.
6. What do you hope to achieve with your music?
I don’t have an agenda with my music, as far as trying to relay a certain message or change people’s minds. I’m more interested in having people connect with it on a personal level, wherever they’re at in their lives. I think music should be interpreted on an individual basis. As a listener, a song should mean whatever you want it to mean at any given moment. This is what most people do anyway, regardless of how direct or indirect a song’s message may be. As long as they can connect with it somehow, I’m happy.
7. Who comes to your gigs?
Our friends, and people with nothing better to do.
8. What is your favorite album?
Tough to say. Probably Limbo by Throwing Muses. It changed the way I look at rock music completely. It’s simultaneously pretty & ugly, mellow & manic, soft & hard, dreamy & nightmarish. Kristin Hersh actually wrote the last song on it in a dream. The production is phenomenal, and every song on it is amazing.
9. What is your favorite song?
Impossible to say.
10. How did you get here?
Paper the Operator’s Solemn Boyz EP is out now.