This resulted in the anxious poetry, heightened self-awareness, and revealing confessionals that catalogued his doubts, demons, and nightmares. I don’t know if you know what Omaha is like in the winter, but it’s just paralyzing. Every night I was staying up late, making a point to play the new piano I had just bought and watching the snow fall outside the house.
Everybody would be asleep and I would just go into this one room, make a fire, and play all night.
I’m going to flip the record,” says Conor Oberst, rising from the sunken couch in his den to put on the second side of Willie Nelson’s The Sound in Your Mind.
“I’d only had it for two years, but I’m sure my technique isn’t very sophisticated.”Oberst has just stepped out from underneath the lights of a small shared studio at CBS Interactive in midtown Manhattan, where he and his guitar-playing cousin-in-law, Steve Bartolomei, have just finished performing two songs from his forthcoming solo LP, , for a video segment to air on
At 34, Oberst is an at times unsettling vision of himself at 20, the unlikely, porcelain-skinned pin-up that launched a thousand Live Journals.
He is still delicate in build, still armed with an inky mess of fantastically disheveled, famously sculpted hair.
The release of the album was financed by his brother Justin on what they called Lumberjack Records, the indie label that would become Saddle Creek Records, making them founders and present day executives of the label.
Shortly after his two solo recordings, Oberst began playing with four friends; they formed Commander Venus in mid-1995.