Category Archives: Bill Callahan

I used to be an artist

I have long begged off the question of my albums reflecting where I am “at” personally. There is more inaccuracy in that approach than accuracy. I tend to hope people will meet me halfway. The “halfway” point is, “here’s some music, forget about the particulars of the feller before you, let’s listen to it and see what happens.”
   But there is the half that gets left off, the half that never gets told. There has definitely been a transition of some sort, an upheaval, which started three or so years ago. You’ve come at an unfortunate time in that I am still trying to sort it all out. I cannot tell you exactly what is going on now. I look at my hands and I don’t know what they wrought in the past. Are they the hands of a bad man? I used to be an artist. I don’t think I am right now. I don’t know if I ever will be again. I am something else. I was a student of personal strife. I ran with the wrong crowd early on. I tortured myself for a song. I thought it was the way. These things changed many years ago, but those stubborn barnacles remained buttoned to my cape. In shrugging off the cape of Smog and running — I am still in the giddy and running stage, where you can’t believe how easy it was to shrug off. I figure I will be giddy and running for another album or so. I’ve got six different sketches for albums that lay ahead of me. Usually how it works is something will come in to usurp all of those plans at the last minute.

Bill Callahan