"The songs on "Upside Down Mountain" were written over a pretty long period of time, 3 years. Which is a little different to my other records where the songs were written closer together and are more conceptual. Life in general was influencing me. The ups and downs and everything. To me songs are weird because a lot of times they don’t come directly like ‘I have an experience and now I write a song about it’. It’s a little more mysterious than that. I make observations all the time through life and collect little moments or little diamonds in my mind. Then I’m patient and wait for it to come back out through the mystery of creativity. It’s like a blender, all these things get mixed up in my subconscious. Some of them could be a direct experience or some of them could be a conversation I have with someone or a film I watched or a book I read. Sometimes I don’t even know what I am talking about or where it came from. Later I’m like ‘Oh maybe that’s why that is connected to that’. There is still a lot of mystery to it to me. If could sit down and write a perfect song every day, I would do that but it’s not like that at all. You have to be patient and wait for the lightening to strike. An example when I wrote a song and then wondered where it came from: there is a song on the new album called Enola Gay. That song was weird. I started writing it with one person in mind and when I finished it, I realized it is about this other real person I know. It has totally switched. In the back of my mind I must have been heading that direction. My goal is never to convey that this has happened to me and that this is my story. If I wanted to do that, I think writing memoirs would be a better choice. To me songwriting is getting some sort of universal… I mean universal truth sounds a bit profound. But you know some sort of universal something that can stand outside of me as a singer. And hopefully other people can relate to it. I also often forget which pronoun I used. A lot of times I’m singing ‘I’ because you got to sing something. But that’s the least important part of the lyric. The rest of the line is where the message is."
Conor Oberst on Upside Down Mountain (via gedu88)