The following is an interview that took place between me and Spencer Tweedy. He is an extremely talented artist. I recommend you all check out his blog here. Special thanks to Spencer and his patience with his time.
1. When was the point in your life where you realized you wanted to blog?
I started blogging when I was about twelve years old, because I was super into technology and just thought it might be fun.
2. What kind of support did you receive when you started out blogging?
The only people that knew about it were my family, but eventually, fans of my dad’s band, Wilco, started to discover it.
3. At what age did you begin to play music?
I began playing music when I was very, very young. I think there are pictures of me playing drums when I was about two years old!
4. What were some of the hardships you experienced when you were getting your blog off the ground?
Well, it’s really difficult to find a readership. But the most you can do is just try to satisfy yourself… By writing about things you care about. I also had a lot of fun experimenting with web design because of my blog.
5. How important do you think music is at a young age?
I think it’s extremely important. Having an outlet in music—or any form of art—is a really healthy thing for people to have, especially when they’re young and still learning how to articulate what they feel. I think that if more people played music, the world would be a lot better.
6. Do you have a specific place in Chicago you like to go for inspiration?
Not really! I spend most of my time at home.
7. What’s your favorite restaurant in Chicago (*cough cough* Gibson’s Steakhouse)?
My favorite restaurant in Chicago is Superdawg. Best hot dogs in the city!
8. How do you handle the haters?
Well… I think empathy goes a long way with the people you disagree with. I think that a lot of times—not every time, but a lot of times—you can neutralize a vicious person by imagining why they might have an anger and just speaking to them with rationality. It’s a lot harder for people to attack you when you show them you care.
9. Is there a specific album or song you go to when thinking of a post or a new riff?
I love jangly music from the 1960s.
10. How are you able to balance out your music, blog, and school?
I graduated school last year, so that has taken a big portion of my workload off! But while I was in school, I just tried to make routines of finishing my homework that allowed me enough time to work on the other stuff I wanted to do, like music and writing. Sometimes it’s not possible; sometimes it is.
11. Do you plan on continuing your work in film?
I don’t think so. I like visual art, but I think I only plan on doing photography or film when it’s convenient or to document my life.
12. What advice could you give to those bloggers out there who are just starting out?
Don’t focus on building popularity. I spent a lot of time pointlessly worrying about my visitor/pageview count but that doesn’t really matter! I know it’s exciting to watch it grow—it’s really cool to think that other people are seeing your work—and there’s nothing wrong with wanting attention for it. But don’t let it get in the way of just making stuff.
13. What’s one thing you love about Chicago?
I love that it has a great music scene, it’s on Lake Michigan, it’s in the Midwest. Oops, that’s three things.
14. What’s one thing you don’t really like about Chicago?
The deep winter is brutal.
15. What is your favorite film?
Maybe Inglorious Basterds, or Paper Moon.
16. Who is your favorite musician?
My favorite musicians are the Davies brothers of the band The Kinks.
17. What do you think is in store for Mr. Tweedy? (That’s you)
I’ll be going to college, and I hope to make some more music!