50 Famous Jeff Tweedy Quotes On Life & Music

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Which are your favorite Jeff Tweedy quotes?

Jeff Tweedy is an American musician, record producer, and writer. He is best known for being the singer and guitarist of the widely celebrated alternative rock band ‘Wilco’.

Over the course of his entire music career, Tweedy has successfully released 20 studio albums with notably the most popular one, “Mermaid Avenue”, in collaboration with fellow big-name singer ‘Billy Bragg’.

Tweedy began his career playing in his high school band ‘The Plebes’ with now popular musician ‘Jay Farrar’. His high school band subsequently transitioned into the renowned band ‘Uncle Tupelo’ which unfortunately disbanded later on. Tweedy only reached critical and commercial success after he formed his current band Wilco.

Here’s our collection of the best Jeff Tweedy quotes:


50 Famous Jeff Tweedy Quotes On Life & Music

1. “It seems to me that the only wrong thing I could do with whatever gifts I’ve been given as a musician or an artist would be to let curiosity die.” – Jeff Tweedy

2. “Avant-garde is the one area of music that has never changed. It doesn’t mean anything.” – Jeff Tweedy

3. “I have always thought it was important to maintain some connection for myself to what it takes to make a song work by myself, to put a song across to an audience by myself.” – Jeff Tweedy

4. “I don’t really feel like you’re making a record unless you pay attention to it.” – Jeff Tweedy

5. “I’ve never been healthier. I haven’t had a cigarette in two years. I run four or five miles, four or five times a week. I’ve been healthy and having a really good time.” – Jeff Tweedy

6. “I like making songs up. Whether or not they’re great songs or good songs, whatever. It’s something I’ve always done, and I definitely feel like I’ve gotten better at it.” – Jeff Tweedy

7. “I think that may be the highest purpose of any work of art, to inspire someone else to save themselves through art. Creating creates creators.” – Jeff Tweedy

8. “Stop trying to treat music like it’s a tennis shoe, something to be branded. If the music industry wants to save money, they should take a look at some of their six-figure executive expense accounts. All those lawsuits can’t be cheap, either.” – Jeff Tweedy

9. “I am an American aquarium drinker.” – Jeff Tweedy


10th of 50 Jeff Tweedy Quotes

10. “I don’t believe every download is a lost sale.” – Jeff Tweedy


11. “I have sort of a survivor’s guilt about it that makes me want it for everyone. Not the “guitar” exactly, but something like it for everybody. Something that would love them back the more they love it. Something that would remind them of how far they’ve come and provide clear evidence that the future is always unfolding toward some small treasure worth waiting for. At the very least, I wish everyone had a way to kill time without hurting anyone, including themselves. That’s what I wish.” – Jeff Tweedy

12. “I like to believe most people’s natural state is to be creative. It definitely was when we were kids when being spontaneously and joyfully creative was just our default setting. As we grow we learn to evaluate and judge, to navigate the world with some discretion, and then we turn on ourselves. Creating can’t just be for the sake of creating anymore. It has to be good, or it has to mean something. We get scared out of our wits by the possibility of someone rejecting our creation.” – Jeff Tweedy

13. “I know my lies are always wishes.” – Jeff Tweedy

14. “Internet is radio for a lot of people. It’s a place to get music and hear music, and no amount of clamping down will change that.” – Jeff Tweedy

15. “I still love poetic imagery. I love the idea of using surrealist speak to generate lyrical content and I love the way English can be exciting in and of itself.” – Jeff Tweedy

16. “Even when I don’t think I’m writing, I’m writing. There’s some part of my brain geared toward making songs up, and I know it’s collecting things and I know when I get a moment to be by myself, that’s when they come out.” – Jeff Tweedy

17. “Music is most magical when everyone can lose the burden of self and be put back together as a part of something bigger, or other. I think of it as egos blending, singer into musician into listener. Something like that feels right to me. Anyway, it’s something worth aiming for.” – Jeff Tweedy

18. “I think that there’s a lot of goodwill that exists between musicians and the people that support them and listen to them.” – Jeff Tweedy

19. “Everything alive must die. Every building built to the sky will fall. Don’t try to tell me my everlasting love is a lie.” – Jeff Tweedy


20th of 50 Jeff Tweedy Quotes

20. “I think there’s a curiosity that can make you feel anxious as to what the world’s going to make of what you’re doing. It’s not necessarily what you’re going to get back in terms of record reviews or how people talk about your record, it’s getting on the road and playing the new songs live.” – Jeff Tweedy


21. “If someone uses the amount of time I spend in the public eye as criteria for what my music could possibly mean to them, they probably should take a long, hard look in the mirror and figure out why they need to think they’re so special. Because I don’t think anybody is that special.” – Jeff Tweedy

22. “It’s rooted in things that maybe older people or people my age remember as being rock music. But at the same time, I don’t think we’re stuck in the past or retro. I think we’ve tried to push ourselves and experiment with what we can call Wilco music.” – Jeff Tweedy

23. “I don’t think there is anything hard at all about having a lot of songs. It makes it easier to be less precious about them, and know that everybody’s going to want to work on some of them.” – Jeff Tweedy

24. “I honestly don’t remember the book well enough to register any surprise about anything. I don’t remember anything being shocking to me.” – Jeff Tweedy

25. “Anybody who’d expend energy preventing people from hearing music seems not to understand the basic principal of making music in the first place. It’s so antithetical to being a musician.” – Jeff Tweedy

26. “I think I’ve finally stopped worrying about getting back from somewhere less comfortable – someplace where I’m sure I’m going to be miserable. I believe I’m starting to be “okay” wherever I am. I think I’m ready to just say, “Let’s go.” – Jeff Tweedy

27. “I always think I don’t have any songs, I don’t have anything I’m working on, and I get in the studio and realize there are 20 things I’m thinking about. It’s just kind of second nature.” – Jeff Tweedy

28. “But when we experience pain or trauma, we’re acutely aware that something is wrong. You want answers. “What is this? How do I get rid of this? Why is this happening to me? I don’t want this.” That’s why so much art, and music, in particular, becomes a great commiserating balm for pain. Joy doesn’t need to be audited. We’re just grateful to have had it at all. But pain, goddammit, we demand to know Who’s responsible for this?” – Jeff Tweedy

29. “I’m very, very suspicious of anybody that finds a belief system that they feel can explain it all, for themselves or for anybody else.” – Jeff Tweedy


30th of 50 Jeff Tweedy Quotes

30. “I still have a lot of faith that there’s very few people who are savvy enough to actually produce a good sounding copy of the record.” – Jeff Tweedy


31. “Treating your audience like thieves is absurd. Anyone who chooses to listen to our music becomes a collaborator.” – Jeff Tweedy

32. “I don’t like being in public with headphones on. I don’t know how people can do it. It seems like you’re so cut off from your environment. I feel like I’d get hit by a car.” – Jeff Tweedy

33. “I think the songs are more about relationships that are endless.” – Jeff Tweedy

34. “You were right about the stars, each one is a setting sun.” – Jeff Tweedy

35. “The main thing I learned is that the more I can forget about being embarrassed when I make something, the more it is going to mean something to somebody else. I can’t anticipate what it’s going to be or how it’s going to be perceived, so the quicker I let go of something I make, the better.” – Jeff Tweedy

36. “Writing songs has always been hard and easy. It’s not always easy when you want it to be, and then sometimes it’s just like turning on the faucet. That’s just the nature of it.” – Jeff Tweedy

37. “That’s something that I think as a songwriter you have to ask yourself – why you’re doing it. The world certainly doesn’t need more songs. Are you doing it just for your ego?” – Jeff Tweedy

38. “You have to learn how to die if you wanna be alive.” – Jeff Tweedy

39. “If there’s one thing that’s 100 percent true about every intoxicated person in world history, it’s that you shouldn’t believe them when they say they love you. The only difference between you and that slice of cold pizza back at their apartment is that they haven’t met the pizza yet.” – Jeff Tweedy


40th of 50 Jeff Tweedy Quotes

40. “I don’t know if experimental is a word I would ever use comfortably.” – Jeff Tweedy


41. “I really enjoy playing solo acoustic. I think it’s good for me as a songwriter to stay in touch with what it takes to make a song work by yourself.” – Jeff Tweedy

42. “What you once were isn’t what you want to be anymore.” – Jeff Tweedy

43. “My highest aspirations as a songwriter are that people would sing my songs or know songs I’ve written sometimes in as far into the future as I feel comfortable seeing.” – Jeff Tweedy

44. “We live in a connected world now. Some find that frightening. If people are downloading our music, they’re listening to it. The internet is like radio for us.” – Jeff Tweedy

45. “For the most part I stand by all of records. I just always like the one I’ve done most recently the best and I think that’s the whole point.” – Jeff Tweedy

46. “When you listen to most of the records that really had an impact on you, they always seem to be from a different era.” – Jeff Tweedy

47. “When I did do good stuff in the past, it was because I was able to transcend the parts of my being that weren’t healthy.” – Jeff Tweedy

48. “I’m usually pretty happy. I don’t ever really get disturbed in any way, or feel like I need to go back and change something.” – Jeff Tweedy

49. “I don’t know where people get the idea that every Wilco record is supposed to have drama. OK, I guess historically speaking we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs.” – Jeff Tweedy

50. “Melody is king. Songs are ruled by melody. I believe that melody, more than lyrics, is what does all the heavy lifting emotionally. When I write lyrics, or when I adapt a poem to a song, my goal is to interfere as little as possible with whatever spell is being cast by the melody. At the same time, I hope, at best, that the words enhance the song somehow, add meaning or clarify and underline what the melody is making me feel.” – Jeff Tweedy



Thanks for checking out this collection of quotes from Jeff Tweedy! Don’t forget to share them on social media with your friends and family.

Which are your favorite Jeff Tweedy quotes? Leave a comment below.

Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa is a writer for Wealthy Gorilla. Friends often call her Zii. She is a girl from Jakarta, Indonesia who currently lives in Bali. Zii loves photography and travelling.


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