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Joanna Newsom: People are talking about...

”Have One on Me,” her latest album is a three-disc epic

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Your new album is a triple CD. Why so long?
By the time I had all the material, it was clear I had too much for a standard-length album. I could have thrown away a number of songs — which I did seriously consider for a while — but I couldn’t do it. The second choice was to divide it into two or three freestanding albums with different titles and release dates, and that to me seemed almost violent, like a clumsy attempt at repackaging something that wasn’t supposed to be broken up.

You’re living a bit of a celeb life [she’s dating SNL‘s Andy Samberg]. Is that why there are references to drinking and debauchery?
A lot of the themes have to do with being away from home and being disassociated from the self in that kind of debauched life. There’s definitely a vein of hedonism running through the entire album.

What bands excite you at the moment?
I love the Dirty Projectors and Fleet Foxes, but I don’t listen to music when I’m writing. I’m always scared that something will insinuate itself into my brain. When I was mixing I discovered these horrible gossip websites. I would rather read something stupid about Jon and Kate than stumble onto a music blog.

So did Jon and Kate influence your album?
Oh my God, I hope not!

For a full version of this interview check out EW’s Music Mix Blog