What piece of art changed your life? How did it affect you?
In 1964, Paolo Pasolini made a black and white film, called The Gospel According to St. Matthew, with amateur actors in a southern Italian town. He brought in one semi-professional actor who read from the gospel of St. Matthew. It was just the text from the Bible and lots of silence. The film changed my thinking about the gospel—I’m not a Christian, but it almost converted me. It was made and presented in such a direct way, which showed me not to over-elaborate on things and to, instead, see things as they are. And there’s one song in the movie, “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” by Odetta. Listening to her voice was one of those moments that I’ll never forget. It was so genuine. It made me realize that that’s what I want to convey when I’m performing.
Paul de Jong and Nick Zammuto record and perform as The Books. They make smart electronic music that appeals to the head and heart, and their new CD, The Way Out, comes highly recommended. The Books play a rare area show at Rams Head Live! tomorrow night.