Q #x0026;; A Jeff Tweedy

By John Carucci

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Shutting down file-sharing is like closing a library.

That's according to Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, who's on a solo acoustic tour after the band's recent release of the live double CD "Kicking Television." Tweedy spoke after a recent performance about songwriting, performing live and when it's good to steal music.

At what point did you realize that music was something you could create?


I don't really remember when music became the most important thing in my life. My mother claims that I would stand and point at the stereo when I first learned how to walk, before I learned how to talk.

What was your first instrument?


The first song you ever wrote?

I wrote a song with a guy that lived in my home town for his band when I was 15, 16 called "Your Little World," and they made a single out of it, but it was a local release.

Do you remember what you were thinking when you wrote it?

It was just a pop song about a girl.

What's the first thing you do after you've written a song?


I tend to have a lot of things working at once. Like works in progress. But if I get the main idea of a song together I usually play it for my wife, or my kids, and see how they react to it. Eventually, I play it for my bandmates to see how they react to it. And if things keep going with some sense of encouragement, we record it and finish it.

You've said that you don't see music file sharing as a threat, mainly because of quality issues?

That's just part of it. I don't think that the quality is the same. But I don't see it as a threat because I don't feel that it's a threat to have people more interested in music. I think what's happening with file sharing is that you have a lot more people hearing a lot more music, and I think more than anything else it has engendered an enthusiasm for music. It's a no-brainer that it should be embraced, that's kind the whole point of making music, to be heard. The only thing that stands in the way of making sense to most people is greed. File sharing sites don't just have new material, they have archival material, they have spoken word, they tons of material that I never had access to growing up. At their fingertips, people have all this amazing stuff, and I'd like to see what's going to come out of that in the future. If you shut that down, it's like closing a library.

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