Quotes by Conor Oberst

No lies, just love.
- Conor Oberst
It's human nature to wonder.
- Conor Oberst
Love's an excuse to get hurt.
- Conor Oberst
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I believe that vinyl will outlast CDs.
- Conor Oberst
I always embrace the worst-case scenario.
- Conor Oberst
When everything is lonely I can be my best friend.
- Conor Oberst
To finish a song is the best feeling in the world.
- Conor Oberst
We must memorize nine numbers and deny we have a soul.
- Conor Oberst
The only thing major labels can really offer is money.
- Conor Oberst
I like ideas, but I don't like being preached to.
- Conor Oberst
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There's all body types, but there's just one size.
- Conor Oberst
The worst thing you can do as an artist is to repeat yourself.
- Conor Oberst
When I would first come to New York on tour, I hated the place.
- Conor Oberst
Screaming is bad for the voice, but it's good for the heart.
- Conor Oberst
You can do a lot to shape the feeling of a song by the way you record it.
- Conor Oberst
Why are you scared to dream of god when it's salvation that you want?
- Conor Oberst
I really just want to be warm yellow light that pours over everyone I love.
- Conor Oberst
Considering our history, I can think of nothing more American than an immigrant.
- Conor Oberst
I enjoy recording and performing, but it's the songwriting that I love most.
- Conor Oberst
We've all seen the power music has to spread messages of solidarity and hope.
- Conor Oberst
There's a lot of optimism in changing scenery, in seeing what's down the road.
- Conor Oberst
If there's a song that stops meaning anything to me, then I'll quit playing it.
- Conor Oberst
I was raised Catholic, and I have an aversion to anyone who takes religion to the extreme.
- Conor Oberst
Let the poets cry themselves to sleep, and all their tearful words will turn back into steam.
- Conor Oberst
The way my life's structured, I don't stay in a place for more than a couple months.
- Conor Oberst
There's a very fine line between one person's reality and another person's fantasy.
- Conor Oberst
Life is always surprising to me. When you think it's going to get dull, it never really does.
- Conor Oberst
When you look at what people consider success in the music industry, it's just terrible music.
- Conor Oberst
I have a terrible memory in general, but one thing I've always been able to remember is my songs.
- Conor Oberst
I keep my eyes closed a lot when I'm singing because sometimes it's distracting to see people.
- Conor Oberst
I didn't used to think about politics much, or social issues. I was a teenager, writing about girls.
- Conor Oberst
My family is Catholic. I went to a Catholic school, that kind of thing, so that was my childhood for sure.
- Conor Oberst
I would prefer to be a little nervous, because when you stop being nervous is kind of when you stop caring.
- Conor Oberst
So much of listening to lyrically driven music is projecting your own feelings and experiences into the music.
- Conor Oberst
I'm very interested in writing - it just takes so much discipline, whether it's short stories or novels.
- Conor Oberst
I think in a lot of ways unconditional love is a myth. My mom's the only reason I know it's a real thing.
- Conor Oberst
It seems like everything I do musically I tend to lose a few fans and gain a few fans, and it all kind of evens out.
- Conor Oberst
My main thing is just to keep writing. I've been doing some songwriting that's for my own record, I suppose.
- Conor Oberst
I like to feel the burn of the audience's eyes when I'm whispering all my darkest secrets into the microphone.
- Conor Oberst
I find that moving keeps me optimistic, the idea of what's going to be down the road a bit or around the next bend.
- Conor Oberst
I kind of go in waves with reading. Sometimes I read all the time, and sometimes I can't get settled enough to focus.
- Conor Oberst
Movement has been one of the few constants in my life, and I always feel a great sense of optimism when I set off to a new place.
- Conor Oberst
I like the Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park. I love how it's been rained on forever and looks worn down by time.
- Conor Oberst
One of my favorite modern American authors is Denis Johnson. I'm deeply inspired by all of his work - I rip him off constantly.
- Conor Oberst
I'm proud that with 'Bright Eyes' we've always experimented and tried to make a different record every time out.
- Conor Oberst
If the world could remain within a frame like a painting on the wall, I think we'd see the beauty then and stand staring in awe.
- Conor Oberst
Art is essentially communication. It doesn't exist in a vacuum. That's why people make art, so other people can relate to it.
- Conor Oberst
I went right from wunderkind to washed up. Old. Been around too long. That's just the way I feel. That's my internal dialogue.
- Conor Oberst
A boycott is, inherently, a blunt instrument. It is an imperfect weapon, a carpet bomb, when all involved would prefer a surgical strike.
- Conor Oberst
I've cried, and you'd think I'd be better for it, but the sadness just sleeps, and it stays in my spine the rest of my life.
- Conor Oberst
I think there's a danger, for me at least, in retreating and going inward and depression. I have to stay diligent against that tendency.
- Conor Oberst
They say it's better to bury your sadness in a graveyard or garden that waits for the spring to wake from its sleep and burst into green.
- Conor Oberst
Sometimes I daydream about having a farm and a wife and some babies and watching the grass grow, but you have to meet the right person for that.
- Conor Oberst
When I started writing songs, I was doing it for myself and a small circle of friends. And gradually, over the years, an audience became involved.
- Conor Oberst
I think there's so much about Rasta culture that's interesting. Just the idea of preaching one-ness, that we're all in this together.
- Conor Oberst
Pronouns really don't matter in a song - 'I' or 'he' or 'she' or even subscribing a lyric to an inanimate object.
- Conor Oberst
If you think about the concept of reincarnation, it's essentially uploading yourself and your spirit into a new form, a new hard drive as it were.
- Conor Oberst
When you write a song, the goal is not to convey the details of your life. You should write a memoir or something if that's what you're going to do.
- Conor Oberst
I try to make all my songs good. I don't ever write one to finish one. A lot of protest songs end up that way, driven by some kind of emotional response.
- Conor Oberst
I've always been slightly preoccupied with death or whatever those kind of silly big questions people will tell you to not spend your time worrying about.
- Conor Oberst
The best feeling I ever get is when I finish a song, and it exists, and it didn't exist before, and now it's there, and it makes me feel a certain way.
- Conor Oberst
Now I believe that lovers should be draped in flowers and laid entwined together on a bed of clover and left there to sleep, left there to dream of their happiness.
- Conor Oberst
Music is unique because you can get behind enemy lines a little bit, get into people's houses and into their heads, on their stereos, and win hearts and minds.
- Conor Oberst
I've been part of running a label since I was a kid, so I understand how it works. But the more and more I learn about it, the less and less interested I am in it.
- Conor Oberst
I've given up trying to understand what people think about me. It seems like a lot of people don't like the music we make and don't know me, or something.
- Conor Oberst
If you think about Protestant and Catholic or Shiite and Sunni, they are basically the same thing... one eats with their left hand, the other eats with their right hand.
- Conor Oberst
There's a small amount of super-wealthy people that want to maintain their billions and billions of dollars. Those are the people who are really making the decisions.
- Conor Oberst
I have a car in Nebraska. When I bought it, they gave me a satellite radio, and there's an 'indie-rock' station. It's just nothing I'm interested in.
- Conor Oberst
I think that, with anything creative, you should have the freedom to experiment, and that experimentation means not feeling totally responsible for how other people perceive it.
- Conor Oberst
I read the newspaper online. Mostly 'The New York Times.' I'll still buy papers if I'm getting on an airplane or the tour bus, though. I like physical things.
- Conor Oberst
I have a lot of friends that take that position of extreme cynicism, and I just can't let myself go to that place. It's just too easy, and it's just too defeatist.
- Conor Oberst
I never camped as a kid, but I really got into camping and sleeping outdoors. I've also done some amazing river floats in New Mexico and Idaho. It's peaceful and awesome.
- Conor Oberst
I used to work at a school as a teacher's assistant, and my mom is a principal at an elementary school. I don't know, I think that's a pretty good life, teaching kids.
- Conor Oberst
Although Omaha is my birthplace and the place I grew up, I don't see myself spending extended amounts of time there. I feel almost more comfortable and more at peace in New York.
- Conor Oberst
I'm a real music fan, so I listen to all kinds of music all the time. I listen to a lot of what my friends or people I know are listening to. I'm always checking out new bands.
- Conor Oberst
I'll write about myself, or people I know, or archetypal characters, but the goal is to get at some truth, not to necessarily convey my own experience as an individual to the world.
- Conor Oberst
If there's a criticism of 'Cassadaga' that I agreed with, it's that we left things in the oven too long, that songs were overstuffed, with too many ideas competing for space.
- Conor Oberst
It's dangerous to buy into praise and criticism for what you do when you're trying to present your music to people. I don't ignore it completely, but I don't dwell on it too much.
- Conor Oberst
I know a girl who cries when she practices violin because each note sounds so pure it just cuts into her, and then the melody comes pouring out her eyes. Now, to me, everything else just sounds like a lie.
- Conor Oberst
I remember having to quit school and quit my job. I just sort of moved all my stuff into other people's places. Within, like, six months, I was able to earn enough money from touring to rent a place again.
- Conor Oberst
The fact that anytime you think you really know something, you're going to find out you're wrong - that is the rule. The moments where you think you have something figured out, those are the exceptions.
- Conor Oberst
When I try to explain to people the big influences in my life, or at least when I first started, the most important ones were my friends who were also writing songs and were typically four or five years older than me.
- Conor Oberst
There's a major underlying idea as you grow up that you need to just save your money and get that affordable housing at the edge of town where you're away from the city where all the crime happens or whatever.
- Conor Oberst
I think we should be pushing for amnesty and a path to citizenship for every undocumented person residing in the United States who has not committed a violent crime, with a special emphasis on keeping families together.
- Conor Oberst
I have many friends who are both Mexican and Mexican-American and others who, I guess you would say, are somewhere in between. The ironic thing is that all three of those categories often exist inside of the same family.
- Conor Oberst
When you're 16 or 17, I think like most people that age, the first time you experience certain things in life, whether it's heartbreak or death or love, obviously it's going to seem like a much bigger deal.
- Conor Oberst
In many ways Bright Eyes is really a studio project. We form bands to tour, but it really is - you know, we take the songs and we figure out how to decorate them and it's all in the studio; we build the songs that way.
- Conor Oberst
I try to keep the idea that there's an audience in as little space in my mind as possible, but you can't erase it entirely, the idea that when you're sitting down to write a song, people are going to hear it.
- Conor Oberst
I think there are some songs that stand the test of time better than others for sure. I think some songs go out of favour; I'll get sick of a song for a while, and I won't play it; then it'll make a comeback.
- Conor Oberst
People resist change; if they like something, then they want you to keep doing it over and over - but I think if you like what a particular band or artist does, then you should want to see what they're going to do next.
- Conor Oberst
One of my best friends, Mike, had a kid. Just seeing him go through it all was inspiring. It would be so nice to care about someone more than yourself. And Mike is a total delinquent, so if he can do it, I figure I can, too.
- Conor Oberst
I prefer career artists that have spent time honing their craft, as opposed to, 'I won a karaoke contest on a reality show and now I have a record.' That's such a drag. The music that comes out of it is so poor.
- Conor Oberst
You can't manufacture inspiration, so a lot of it is still a waiting game for me. There's still a lot of mystery to songwriting. I don't have a method that I can go back to - they either come or they don't.
- Conor Oberst
When I was younger, I was somewhat of an idealist. I guess I'm a little bit more of a realist now. I think there's a lot that can be done to make the world a better place, but it's more about choosing your battles.
- Conor Oberst
I don't feel real confident expressing myself except when I'm writing. I feel kind of scatterbrained. I can see everything from both sides and that makes it hard to reach conclusions. Writing enables me to clarify things.
- Conor Oberst
In theory, I always think I should totally go back to school, because I don't want to start sinking slowly... I want to learn, blah blah blah. Then I think about actually going and sitting in classes and, man, it sounds terrible.
- Conor Oberst
The first music I ever got into was the '80s alternative bands that my brother listened to, like The Cure and The Smiths and R.E.M. and Fugazi. I can remember specifically saying The Cure was my favorite band back in second grade.
- Conor Oberst
I really believe in the way the energy can consolidate in certain geographical spots. You can find it in a lot of different places, beautiful natural spots, or if you look at Islam or Judaism or Christianity, these ideas of holy places.
- Conor Oberst
Joe Arpaio needs no help from me getting attention. For years he has been a beacon of bigotry and intolerance for all the world to see. The list of human and civil-rights abuses he's committed in Maricopa County is long and well documented.
- Conor Oberst
Art is basically communication, and I think everyone who's a music lover has had that experience where a record or a recording has kept you company when no one else is around. And I think that is what I'm hoping that people get out of my music.
- Conor Oberst
On every Bright Eyes record, there's some kind of sound collage that begins it. Some of them have dialogue, some don't. I like it because it can kind of slow down the attention span a bit. It's a way to draw you in to the rest of the record.
- Conor Oberst
To me, a political song is also a personal song. Most political activism has been driven by empathy for other people and the desire for a world that's less divisive. Even if songs aren't overtly political, they can make a listener more empathetic.
- Conor Oberst
I've thought about the idea of, 'Can happiness and creativity co-exist?' So much of what I've done, I think, has been based on being dissatisfied or incomplete or lonely. The answer is, 'There isn't an answer, necessarily.'
- Conor Oberst
On good days, I can see the inherent goodness in people, and that human beings have a high capacity to learn and adapt. But things like the environment, nuclear weapons and ideas like peak oil - if you think about them too much, they can really freak you out.
- Conor Oberst
The idea of forever is kind of ridiculous, which is unfortunate because it's kind of a nice thing to say, you know. I think it softens the blow of mortality and having to say goodbye to everything you know and everyone you love and all that kind of thing.
- Conor Oberst
With science and reason throughout history, what people believed turned out to be false. So I like to keep an open mind to all perspectives and learn and become more fully realised as a person. I just feel we're never going to know what the full picture is.
- Conor Oberst
Once you realize that everyone is in the same boat, that everyone is just as insecure and childlike as everyone else, that all these jokers in D.C. ruining our world are just greedy kids grabbing for marbles - I think that realization means you're an adult.
- Conor Oberst

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