Lou Barlow

After the release of his new solo record, 'Reason To Live', and before the upcoming Dinosaur Jr tour, QRO talked with alt-icon Lou Barlow....
Lou Barlow : Q&A
Lou Barlow : Q&A

After the release of his new solo record, Reason To Live (QRO review), and before the upcoming Dinosaur Jr tour, QRO talked with alt-icon Lou Barlow. In the conversation, Barlow discussed making the warm Reason from his Artist Enabler series, making Dinosaur Jr’s Sweep It Into Space (QRO review), possible new Folk Implosion material, being a parent during the pandemic, his embarrassingly minimal home studio, writing Sebadoh on the road, the return of short songs, his Instagram livestreams, drive-in shows, the upcoming Camp Fuzz, no one recognizing him on stage, being recognized in a Get Up Kids song, being the second-hardest-working-man in indie rock, lip-synching, how resistance to the bots is futile, and much, much more…

QRO: How have you been holding up during all of this?

Lou Barlow: I’m here… [laughs]

You know, depends on the day. A year ago, a little shaky, but pretty good today. Kids are doing camps, and visiting with their friends. Got some time at home to work, so it’s better.

QRO: How has being a parent during the pandemic been?

LB: The first word that pops into my head is one that I probably shouldn’t say… [laughs]

One really cool thing is that I got to see my kids every single day. Which has not been my experience, because I travel all the time. I’ve travelled for the duration of my adult life; I’ve been away from home for at least half the year.

Keeping kids entertained, under quarantine – pretty intense.

QRO: How are things up in Massachusetts?

LB: I don’t know? People, even the sort of numb-nuts here, got vaccinated. So, we kept the rates really low here, in general.

Everybody’s got their own opinions, and there’s certainly no lack of contention up here. [laughs] It’s funny, for as anti-social people can be in this part of the country, people also just kinda get on with it, and play by the rules, and don’t really get in each other’s faces about stuff. So, I was pleasantly surprised how people sort of cooperated with the whole quarantine thing, and just kinda got through it. It’s just amazing.

QRO: And how are your various bandmates from your various bands doing?

LB: I see J [Mascis, singer/guitarist] and Murph [drums] from Dinosaur Jr pretty often. We did some livestreams. Those two were vaccinated pretty early, right off the bat. So, then we started practicing in the same room together probably a couple months ago.

Sebadoh, I don’t know. We’re pretty spread out. We got a member in Brooklyn, a member in Miami. That band kinda bore the brunt of the pandemic, because we had a lot of touring scheduled.

QRO: How was making Reason to Live?

LB: It was cool. I wrote the songs and recorded them, for something called ‘Artist Enabler Series’. I would do this monthly transmission of music. Every quarter, I would do a batch of new songs. And I did a year-and-a-half of this series, putting out monthly releases, so my new songs just started to build. Pretty soon, I had like seventeen new songs. And that’s what the album is comprised of.

They are songs that were recorded quickly; I did them quickly because I had to keep up to this schedule of this series that I was doing. There was a couple hundred people that were involved in that, subscribed to the series. I was making new songs for sort of a handful of people.

The deadline, and then also just the feeling that I wasn’t trying to impress anybody, I guess. I just knew that the people who wanted to hear what I was doing just wanted to hear what I was doing. It was a pretty nice audience, so it really put me at ease.

So, when I put these songs together, I was definitely in a really spot of a lot of freedom. Freedom to go as deep as I wanted, or as superficial as I wanted. By the end, when I had these seventeen songs done, I was like, ‘Wow, I like the breadth of these songs.’

Because they were done so quickly, kind of off-the-cuff in some parts, it was a much better representation of my life, and who I am, and the way I look at stuff. I was pleasantly surprised with how all the songs sounded together.

One really cool thing is that I got to see my kids every single day. Which has not been my experience, because I travel all the time.

QRO: Did you make it during COVID?

LB: Part of it, yeah. About half the record was produced & recorded during the lockdown.

QRO: A lo-fi solo record is kind of perfect to make during lockdown…

LB: Yeah. It’s really all I have. [laughs]

In general, I don’t have the resources to go to studios. To spend the time that I would need to spend in a studio, to make a really good record, is totally outside of my realm of resources. I generally have to make things at home. Especially if I wanna really work on them, especially if I want to really craft them, I have to do them at home.

QRO: How much of a home studio do you have?

LB: I used to have a pretty good home set up, and then I moved across the country from Los Angeles, and I lost everything. Not that anyone ‘lost’ it – It’s just that I had a very idiosyncratic set up. Because I moved…

I work with absolutely with the most bare minimum. I don’t know how to describe it – it’s something that I’m kind of ashamed of, that I have so little at my disposal? Because I should, at this point, have gear and cool stuff, but I don’t. At this point, I can’t afford it. So, I have a very minimal set up.

But it’s kind of cool, too, because I do whatever I can to make it sound good to me. So, I use the cheapest stuff. I have three microphones, one of which is broken. I’ve got a ProTools set up that’s the most basic ProTools; I can only have sixteen tracks in a session. I have five plug-ins, which are the handful of plug-ins that the thing comes with, an EQ, a basic compression.

I work on such a minimal gear level. All my friends have so much more than I have, been able to save things, devote most of their adult lives acquiring gear, having these ornate set ups, and I have nothing… [laughs]

Because [the songs] were done so quickly, kind of off-the-cuff in some parts, it was a much better representation of my life, and who I am, and the way I look at stuff.

QRO: Did the pandemic affect your writing at all for this record?

LB: To me, the pandemic – I felt like we were already in some sort of pandemic before it even started… [laughs]

People just seemed to be really suffering, to me. I just found the way that things were becoming so fragmented, the way that people were becoming so incredibly opinionated. I found that all really sad.

At the outset of this project, the songs I was writing, I wanted them to be much more generous. Kind of political, but not ‘bitchy’. I don’t want to be bitching about anything, really.

I wanted the songs to be kind of understanding, and warm, and generous. If I looked back at all my things that I’ve recorded in my life, not a whole lot of stuff that I’ve done really could be described that way. [laughs]

It is very personal. My idea of generosity really changed over the last four-or-five years. The idea of what making generous music would be, and kind of what I want to do. I’ve done the whole super-personal, lo-fi – I want to write songs that are just warm, somehow. Some kind of warmth, I guess that was my key. That was the thing that I was pursuing.

Then, definitely when the quarantine hit, there were a couple of songs that I wrote out of this desperate need to forgive myself, [laughs] forgive the world. Like, ‘I gotta let some stuff go.’

I kind of came face-to-face in some of those long, insomniac nights, I really came face-to-face with a lot of things that I’ve been struggling for a really long time. I did use the opportunity to write about those things in some of the songs.

QRO: Did you know that the songs you were doing for Artist Enabler were going to be for a solo record?

LB: No, I just figured they were for like 200-300 people.

As the series was ending, I definitely was like, ‘Wow, the way that these songs all seem together’ – I spent some time just kinda going back and relistening to things, and I was like, ‘I think this would be a really good idea.’ To draw the whole series up, I thought the last installment of the series, it would be really cool to make a record. To put all the songs together that I recorded.

I have a friend who has a studio, and I was able to pay for like three days in the studio. ‘I’ll just go in and mix the thing in three days, and make an album out of it.’

QRO: When in songwriting do you know if a song is going to be for a solo record, Sebadoh, or Dinosaur Jr?

LB: I guess I just go by whatever’s at the top of my schedule.

For instance, in 2018, Sebadoh was at the top of my schedule. I was in a Dinosaur Jr touring cycle that was kind of ending. I was like, ‘Wow, we gotta do a new Sebadoh record.’ So, I spent a lot of time on the road. I decided that I was going to write songs for Sebadoh. So, I wrote them in a four-string tuning. I travel a lot with this baritone ukulele, and I was like, ‘I’m gonna come up with some new tunings, write some new songs for Sebadoh, and I’m gonna record songs for Sebadoh.’ [Act Surprised – QRO review]

And that’s what I did. I just generated a ton of ideas, and then chose what I thought the best ones were, and made a Sebadoh record out of it.

But still, lot of the run-off from that record, actually, became part of this solo record.

And I did the same thing with Dinosaur Jr. I was on tour with Dinosaur Jr in the latter part of 2019, so I bought a six-string guitar while I was on tour, and I was like, ‘I’m gonna write a bunch of songs for Dinosaur Jr.’ So, I just started writing all these songs on six-string guitar.

At the end of 2019/beginning of 2020, we were recording a record, so two of the songs of that batch of things I used for Dinosaur Jr. But then, of course, there were all these other ideas that came along with that, that I used for the solo record.

In some ways, the solo record is kind of the cast-offs of the Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr stuff, but then it’s not. They’re just as important to me, and I think they’re just as good, if not better.

QRO: Do you find when you’re touring the last record of one of your bands, you’re writing for a different band – like writing for Sebadoh while touring Dinosaur Jr?

LB: Yeah. I wrote the last Sebadoh album while I was on tour with Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr, it’s amazing. We have a road crew, so I don’t have to like change my own strings. I don’t have to do anything other than go up and play. So, I have all of this time to just sit and write, and that’s what I do.

Sebadoh’s different. Because I sell the t-shirts, I drive – I don’t have that kind of…

It took me a little while to acclimate to writing on the road. But now, I spend tons of time.

Now, also I’m just generating ideas. I don’t know where they’re all gonna come to rest.

QRO: I remember seeing – this was years ago – Sebadoh, and you guys joking, because you kept having to tune, switch the mikes. You joked, “People come to see us tune…” [laughs]

For Reason To Live, seventeen tracks? You didn’t think about cutting it down? It’s not a long record, but that’s a lot of tracks…

LB: Well it’s not a long record, that’s exactly right. Seventeen’s my favorite number.

The first side of the record, the songs are just about three minutes long, and the second side, they’re a minute, minute-and-a-half. Short songs.

What I grew up on was short songs. I grew up on punk rock. I grew up buying seven-inch records with like nine songs on them. I’ve always thought, ‘Yeah, the more – that’s better!’

There is that thirteen-song standard that you’re supposed to stick to. I don’t know…

With this record, I wanted to do both. ‘Here are the three-minute songs that have the three choruses, and the requisite middle eight, and the bridge. These are the standard construction songs…’

But then, I love fucking ramshackle minute-and-a-half songs. I just do. I grew up on not only punk rock, but that’s the way music from the fifties, sixties, it tops out at two minutes, and people are like, ‘That’s it!…’ [laughs]

I listen to a lot of new music with my son, and there’s a lot of really short songs happening these days. Songs that are topping out at like two minutes.

And also, we’re so tuned to Instagram, TikTok – things are just so much based in, “Here’s the hook, bam!…”

I really love now, too, there’s stuff that is so lo-fi now, really fucked up. The pitch is being really fucked with, even in the song. Lot of really experimental stuff that’s happening within music that’s a bazillion Spotify listens…

I wanted the songs to be kind of understanding, and warm, and generous.

I guess when I was putting the record together, there were songs like, I really had that dilemma, I was like, ‘Ah, man, should I really only have this song be a minute-and-a-half? It’s good – maybe I should just let it breath, cause maybe people won’t like it if it’s a minute-and-a-half…’

And I’m like, ‘I don’t give a shit!’ I’m like, ‘I want it to be a minute-and-a-half, me! [laughs] I want it to be that way!’

And so, the leadoff single for the album [“Over You”] was a minute-and-a-half song. Nobody really complained about it.

I wanted it to kind of sum up everything I’d been through, I guess.

QRO: And how was making Sweep It Into Space?

LB: It was pretty normal.

QRO: Did you make that during the pandemic?

LB: Right up until quarantine… [laughs]

I had two songs on the record that, to me, were not finished when quarantine hit. But then they were finished! ‘Oh, they’re done…’ [laughs]

I did the vocals, and I did a couple of guitar overdub ideas, but I had the idea, ‘Oh, I’ll really be able to blow these into something else.’ And I was like, ‘No, you’re not. That’s it. It’s done…’

It was pretty normal – up until the time that I couldn’t go to J’s house, it was a very mellow, standard Dinosaur Jr record.

We had finished all the basic tracks for Dinosaur Jr. We had just finished them when the quarantine hit.

J, he finished his songs. He probably finished his vocals, and his guitar leads. He finished by himself.

QRO: How was doing those Instagram livestreams that you did during the pandemic? You did a bunch of those…

LB: I did kinda a lot. I did one a week for a couple of months, at least.

And my wife would sit with me when I do them, and we would talk, and she would read the comments back to me. It was really fun, but I would do two shows in one day, once a week. I played different songs every single week. I played totally different sets for, I think, almost three months… [laughs]

It was cool, too, cause people were donating money when I was doing it. Because that was before I figured out I could get unemployment. I’ve never gotten unemployment before.

I finally figured out I could get unemployment in the pandemic. But then I stopped doing the shows, because I didn’t want to do the shows, and then get money for the shows – I don’t want to get in a situation where I’m making money, when they’re giving me money?…

It was all so foreign to me, the idea of getting assistance. But when I got the assistance, that’s when I decided to really lock down on finishing this album.

Because I would spend a lot of time on those livestreams. I would spend all week relearning my songs, or learning my songs. I really wanted it to be cool, and good, and represent my whole catalog.

But that was a lot of work. So, when I realized I could get unemployment, I was like, ‘Well, maybe I’ll just take a break from the livestream shows. Write songs, and finish things.’

Then my wife & I started working on these kind of goofy holiday specials. I had to learn cover songs for those, too.

In some ways, the solo record is kind of the cast-offs of the Sebadoh and Dinosaur Jr stuff, but then it’s not. They’re just as important to me, and I think they’re just as good, if not better.

QRO: Why did you do those holiday specials? You’d done all your own songs?…

LB: I don’t know…

My wife & I, we always have this ongoing conversation, of course. She always wanted to do a podcast. She’s like, ‘We should do a podcast,’ and I’m like, ‘Ehh… That’s a lot of work. It’ll take too long.’

When Christmas started rolling around, I don’t know what the conversation was between us, because we started to think of skits, ‘We gotta do this whole learning skit!’ My son’s lying on the floor while he’s supposed to be on a school Zoom. ‘Why don’t we do that?’ We just started to think of all these things we could do.

We have a five-year-old who just dances all the time, and we make videos. ‘Let’s just capture this bizarre pandemic life. Let’s just capture this time,’ because it was so unique.

We really had no escape. She couldn’t do what she wanted to do during the day, I couldn’t really do what I wanted to do during the day, so why don’t we both do something?

Cause it’s pretty important for my sanity to be creative. The holiday specials just became something we could focus on, and kinda keep our minds off the bad stuff, and just kinda get through the pandemic.

And also, to reflect. Like in the first Christmas special we made, we thought up this thing, ‘We should do this thing where drive to my parent’s house and throw presents at them.’ They’re in their seventies, ‘So, let’s just throw presents at them – it’ll be really funny…’ So, we did that, and it turned out to be not so funny; it actually turned out to be sad. But it made for great video.

We just wanted to make these little transmissions for our family & our friends. And the fans.

QRO: Did they somewhat ‘scratch the itch’ of not being able to tour?

LB: I didn’t really have an itch to tour. I really like being home.

But I do love performing, and I love creating. I love writing, and creating, and I love singing.

So, that scratched that itch. I like having projects.

QRO: And did Izzy interrupt each livestream at some point?

LB: She kind of stopped, which was sort of unfortunate, because it was funny when she did.

As the pandemic kind of progressed, if the kid wants to spend fucking two hours on an iPad, then we’re gonna let the kid spend two hours on an iPad… [laughs] I mean, you gotta choose your battles.

More like she just didn’t want to come and bug me. She didn’t care…

QRO: You also did a Dinosaur Jr livestream show during the pandemic – how was that?

LB: It was cool.

To be perfectly honest, I’m actually not a huge fan… [laughs] It was fun doing with my wife, when we would sit and talk, but just sitting & playing songs for this virtual audience, I find, I don’t like it. [laughs]

Dinosaur Jr, we did another thing where we played and we were just being filmed, and I’m like, ‘This sucks…’

I really like the feeling of a moment being temporary. ‘This is the time we’re on stage. We’re doing it to these people. It’s coming out. It’s a physical experience.’ The music of Dinosaur Jr is very physical to me. That kind of sterile is not my favorite thing to do. [laughs]

QRO: You also did a drive-in show – I think you all were one of the first to do one. I’m curious as to what that’s like…

LB: We only did one where people actually drove their cars in, and that was awesome! That I really liked. That was fuckin’ great, because people beeped their horns after the songs and stuff. It was really funny.

Our sound guy, Noel [Ford], he grew up in the sixties, he was into heavy rock. ‘Oh man, Texas in the sixties, man, all the shows were drive-ins! You just drive up, park near the stage, party, and watch the band…’ For him, it was like, ‘This is normal.’

I liked that one. But then the other shows, where people would be inside their little boxes, that was weird. It’s strange times.

QRO: End of this month, you’ll be doing Camp Fuzz. Will that be your first in-person (out-of-car) shows?

LB: I played a solo show in someone’s backyard last week. That was kinda my first real normal interaction.

Yes, Camp Fuzz. I don’t know what the protocol will be. It’s funny how people are used to not doing that… [laughs]

QRO: Will that be a nice way to ease back into live shows?

LB: I guess it would be, yeah. I would say so.

We played a couple of shows kinda recently, too. We played two outdoor shows recently that were kind of normal.

QRO: When was the last time, if ever, you were off the road for this long?

LB: Never.

I started touring regularly when I was 20, 19? Now I’m 54? Never, never!…

QRO: Dinosaur has a big North American tour in fall, followed by European one in the spring…

Are you bummed that you can’t tour Reason to Live? Or was that not what you were thinking when you were making the record?

LB: I was thinking about anything other than making a record.

I’m gonna tour for a week at the end of [July]. I’m booking some house shows now, and I’m gonna play those.

And then when Dinosaur Jr are on tour, I’m gonna try to fit little things in there, somehow, some way.

The stuff I do is so small-scale. I like playing in-stores. I like playing at record stores. I’ll do thing…

QRO: Have you thought about opening for yourself on the Dinosaur tour?

LB: I’ve done that. [laughs]

QRO: Is that weird?

LB: It’s totally weird. It’s such a weird experience.

I’ve opened up solo for Dinosaur Jr, and people are insanely rude. You’re like, ‘I’m playing,’ and people are like, ‘I don’t give a fuck.’

They don’t even know that I’m in the band! Even a Dinosaur Jr show, I can play a show, and walk off the stage, and no one will come up to me. People are not looking in my direction.

Dinosaur Jr, it’s such a funny, anonymous role that I play. For a big guitar band, nobody cares about the bass player! [laughs] When I have the occasion of looking up when I’m playing, no one’s looking at me. It’s funny.

And I have opened up for Dinosaur Jr. It’s great, in a way, because that means I can get a little extra money for the shows, but I’m telling you, very few people even identify…

QRO: I imagine the sound level is very different from Dinosaur Jr to your solo stuff…

LB: Oh, yeah.

I used to actually really insist on doing it, especially in the early reunion parts, cause I was like, ‘I got my own thing! I’ve gotta keep my…’

And then, like a few years into that, I was like, ‘Who cares?’ I’m not gonna make any fans, opening up for my own band.

I’m using the word “nobody,” which is incorrect, but just for dramatic sake, nobody cares. ‘Nobody cares, Lou!’

I just decided to make it simple and just be the bass player for Dinosaur Jr, and not chafe against the restraints.

QRO: Did I hear correctly that you’re working on some new Folk Implosion material with John Davis?

LB: That was kind of an interesting pandemic thing. John Davis, we had been commenting on each other’s Facebook walls or something.

We weren’t really in contact, but we didn’t break up under bad terms or anything. Our lives just diverged.

So, I’ve been commenting on his Facebook wall, and then he sent me a Facebook message, like, ‘Hey, can we talk on the phone?’ I’m like, ‘Sure…’ [laughs] ‘You wanna talk on the phone?’ I’m like, ‘Great!…’ [laughs]

He & I, we had wonderful, wonderful partnership, in the relatively brief time that we were together. When we started communicating, he was like, ‘I don’t know, maybe we could start to send music back & forth…’ I’m like, ‘Alright!’ It’ll probably take a really long time for us to get anything together, but I’m down, you know?

That was definitely one of the cooler aspects of this strange time.

I love fucking ramshackle minute-and-a-half songs. I just do.

QRO: Because you’re not working in enough projects…

LB: No… [laughs]

I’ve always done that, though. I’ve always done that.

When I was doing Folk Implosion, I was also doing Sebadoh, and I was also doing solo stuff. Doing Dinosaur Jr, solo stuff, Folk Implosion now, Sebadoh is definitely on a hiatus – it’s not that hard.

QRO: I referred to you as ‘one of the hardest-working people in indie-rock.’

You & Jason Narducy (QRO spotlight on)…

LB: Oh, god – he’s in all kinds of stuff. That guy’s busy! And he paints houses!

When Sebadoh was playing in Chicago, he came down to the soundcheck, just so he could take an Instagram post with me, ‘Here I am with Lou!’ He’s so organized.

I talked to him, ‘Yeah, I’m playing some house shows.’ ‘House shows?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, that’s what I do!…’

He’s playing house shows, he’s producing a play or something…

It was funny. I was like, ‘Wow, he’s like me, but he’s even busier.’ Way smarter. He’s like me, but he’s much smarter.

There’s so many details with this guy that matched up with my life, it’s insane. I think he’s even on his second marriage, he’s playing house shows, he’s in three bands, tour all the time… [laughs]

And he paints houses. That guy, he’s got the secret.

Dinosaur Jr’s video for “Garden”:

QRO: Was the video for Dinosaur Jr’s “Garden” made at your place?

LB: It was at J’s place.

QRO: Did you not realize that, by wearing a mask, people couldn’t see you lip-synch?

LB: That was the best part.

I wouldn’t have necessarily worn a mask, but I was like, ‘Oh, I’m totally wearing a mask, because when I edit it…’ – editing lip-synching on iMovie is a nightmare! [laughs] I’m doing it pretty regularly, too. Fuck that!

There’s comments like, ‘You cowardly mask-wearer!’ I was like, ‘No, fuck that – I’m wearing a mask so I don’t have to lip-synch.’ [laughs] I’m wearing the mask outdoors so I don’t have to spend two hours driving myself insane, trying to synch this up…

QRO: It’s not like any of you were really playing your instruments…

LB: We had gloves on!… [laughs]

J actually did play the solo, the way it was. He actually was playing the correct notes.

I was like, ‘I want to make a video for this.’ It wasn’t in the budget or anything. We had all these videos budgeted, but for my song, they’re like, ‘Oh, no video for this song.’ I was like, ‘Fuck that, I’ll make a video!’

J & Murph, I was like, ‘You guys, I want to make a video.’ And they’re like, ‘How long will it take?’ And I’m like, ‘It’ll take half-an-hour, and I’ll show up at your house… [laughs] I’ll film it on iPhones, and you barely have to do anything. I don’t care.’ Murph’s like, ‘Will I gotta sit on my drums?’ ‘No, you don’t have to do anything! Just do the snare hits. It’ll take a half-an-hour, and I’ll fucking cut it together and we’ll have a video…’

That was actually really fun. It was cool to see those guys.

My wife & I just had the idea. We’re like, ‘We’re gonna do this…’

Cause it’s pretty important for my sanity to be creative

QRO: And speaking of videos, how was appearing in the video for The Get Up Kids’ “Lou Barlow”?

LB: That was awesome. I’d never heard of them before.

They happened to be playing in Brooklyn the same night as Sebadoh was playing in New York.

QRO: That video was shot at Bowery Ballroom (QRO venue review)?

LB: It was. They came down to Bowery Ballroom and filmed my thing. They came right to me to film my part. They were like, ‘We want you to do this,’ and I was like, ‘Sure, absolutely – I’ll do that!’

They were very nice. I was like, ‘You want me to act in your video, I’m fucking act in your video!’ [laughs] ‘I’ll get into it!’

QRO: I imagine that you’re not a ‘do you know who I am?’ kind of person – was it fun to act like that?

LB: Yeah, it was great. ‘Look, I’m on this record!’ [laughs] It was really funny. I was totally into it. And very flattered, really flattered.

Lou Barlow in The Get Up Kids’ video for “Lou Barlow”:

QRO: And during this time, have you picked up and/or accelerated any bad habits? Like has your hair and/or beard gotten even longer?

LB: Not any longer than they already were. This is something that happened nine years ago.

I think the only thing was, generally when I do tour, I don’t drink, at all. And then every night at home, I always have three glasses of wine and have really wonderful evenings.

Since I’ve been home, I was like, ‘Wow, I don’t know how to not have three glasses of wine every single night…’

I mean, I’ve had a lot of problems in the past, serious addiction problems in the past. It’s not on that level, but I was definitely like, ‘I gotta stop drinking three-to-four glasses of wine every single night. I actually have to stop that. It’s not helping my sleep.’

And so, I kinda recently, I got one of those apps that tells you how much you’re drinking, and says, ‘Don’t drink today.’

I love the fact that I can have all of my own really passionate and personal reasons. I can be like, ‘I really need to stop this,’ but the only thing I listen to is a bot! [laughs] I’m trying to impress a bot!

Its name is Nick. ‘Nick’ll be really disappointed if I drink four glasses of wine tonight. Nick told me I can only have two.’ I love how your Fit Bits and your Apple Watches become something that you actually listen to, as opposed to your friends & loved ones… [laughs]

I love this little psychological ‘hack.’ Although I had a myriad of reasons, and was torturing myself over drinking wine ever single night, just going, ‘I really need to stop this!’ But on a whim, I tried a free trial of Cut Back Coach [now called Sunnyside] -– now I’m all about impressing the Cut Back Coach, who’s clearly a bot! [laughs]

If there was somebody telling me to do that, I would be more inclined to ignore them. Or I would be more inclined to resist. The resistance against a bot is useless. There’s nothing to be gained by resisting the bot…