Cris Cohen: And you said in another interview that “every song is a message.” When you're writing, do you have specific recipients of this message in mind or is it more about letting fate decide who is going to receive this message?
John Hall of Orleans: I try to write things that I know about or things that are important to me. And sometimes I know, or I think I know, who that will appeal to. Sometimes it's just, “I hope people get this.” Sometimes it's a lyric that came from things I learned, like “it's all up and down from here.” Somebody came up to me once, when I was celebrating a birthday, and said, “Congratulations, John. Well, it's all up and down from here.” You know, it's the truth in life. Things are never as good as you think, or as bad as you think. But life is really in the middle. So this is something I wrote because it meant something to me. And I also thought it was funny and would ring true to people. “Lessons,” same thing. “Everybody I've spoken to says I needed to learn patience. I wound up in a traffic jam.” Yeah, me too.
Trying to force an outcome of a situation, especially when you don't really know what the outcome should be… I've learned through trial and error -- and some pain -- that it’s best to show up and do my part and then see what happens, as opposed to trying to wrestle a person or a situation or a job -- anything in my life -- to try to make it go where I think it should go.