Q. If you could go back to 20 years ago, what advice would you give your younger self, knowing what you know now?
A. I probably would’ve ignored it. I don’t know what the butterfly effect on that would be. I think we’re a great band, but I know a lot of great bands. I know a lot great bands that nobody listens to and I don’t know why.
You can’t plan for the zeitgeist of the world to come together for you like that, there’s no way to know what does that. You just try to make good music all the time. But I don’t know what I would tell myself to do differently, because I’m sure I made lots of mistakes, but I don’t know which ones were the mistakes, really.
Plus the problems I had in my life had more to do with me than with anybody else. I had mental illness to deal with. That wasn’t easy. If I had one thing to tell myself when I was younger, I would tell myself to work harder to get a handle on that earlier because it has been really hard and it took really longer than I wanted to and it scuttled a lot of my life.
Q. Do you think that if you’d come out sooner with that, things would have been different?
A. I spoke publicly about that when I felt like I had a little better handle on it myself, and I could live with where I was. We were also making a record that was so brutally honest about that. “Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings” was a very brutal record about a time in my life where I thought I was at the end. I was losing my mind. And then I kind of didn’t, and I kind of got some of my (stuff) together. It was very much an album about what I was going through, and I felt capable of living my life in the public eye with people knowing that at that point. Before that, when I was more of a mess, I don’t think I would of wanted anyone to know because it becomes part of the circus.