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The Perfect Weapon, an HBO documentary film directed by John Maggio, explores the rise of cyber conflict as the primary way nations now compete with and sabotage one another based on the best selling book by New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger. The film draws on interviews with top military intelligence and political officials for a comprehensive, thoroughly captivating view of the ominous impact cyber conflict has on the world at large. The perfect weapon is streaming October 16th on Biomax.


Steinhoff. Welcome to switched on pop songwriter Charlie Harding. Recently, I've been going on a deep dive into country music, and so when the opportunity came up to chat with Keith Urban, I knew I had to jump on it. Urban is a legend of country.


He's been releasing hit records for two decades now and he shows no sign of stopping his new album.


The Speed of Now has been pushing stylistic boundaries, as he's known to do, and collaborating with a diverse roster of musicians who contribute a really eclectic array of sounds, funk guitar, breakbeat drums and even EDM programming to make a style that is less straight ahead country and more just the sound of Keith Urban.


I spoke with Urban a few weeks ago about his new record, the creative process, and how he stays inspired. Here's my conversation with Keith Urban.


How did country music first come into your life and what did it take for you to become fluent in that tradition?


Well, my mom and dad's record collection, particularly my dad's, my dad loved American country music. He he was a drummer in the 50s as an amateur drummer and the 50s. And, you know, when when rock and roll came along, he was bitten by the rock and roll bug. He grew up in New Zealand. Right. And then as rock and roll, because, you know, the origins of rock and roll was more rockabilly was there was there was roots of stuff in their country and R&D and everything was kind of in in there.


So through the 60s and off into the 70s, he just moved.


Instead of going with rock, he sort of moved over towards country, particularly guys like Waylon Jennings, Ramblin Man, don't give your heart to Ramblin Man, Don Williams.


But I believe in love. Baby, but then he also loved Merle Haggard that turned 21 in prison, doing life without parole. No one could steer me right, but mama tried. Mama tried.


Charlie Pride. Is anybody going to San Antonio or Phoenix, Arizona? Johnny Cash.


Keep their hands out for the tie that binds because you're mine. I walk the line.


So he just kind of went over into that van. And when I look back, I realize what was great about the kind of country that my dad loved was it was very contemporary.


It wasn't traditional country in the sense it wasn't, you know, wasn't Ernest Tubb was across Texas with you and Mama or Hank Williams say, hey.


Take a look at what you got cookin. It was progressive, modern country, all those artists were sort of having just as much pop crossover.


And for folks who don't know your story, you pursue music from the earliest age, but I'm curious what it took for you as a songwriter, as a guitarist, as a musician, to really become fluent in that sound, not just knowing the music, but being able to perform it and feel like I am now.


I am now this act. Right. I feel like I can I can do this thing.


Well put in my 10000 hours. Go Malcolm Gladwell.


But it's true. You know, it's just it's just starting at the age of six, learning guitar at six. My mom and dad bought me a little ukulele when I was four, and my dad noticed that I could strum it in time with the songs on the radio. So I went, OK, he's got rhythm, thank God. What would be a good act? Some people would be a good age strength to learn the chords because he's got this bit down.


We just need to get this bit. And they said six is great. And so at six they found my guitar teacher and I learned some basic chords and then just started playing. And course what I started playing was what I was hearing around the House, which is, you know, a mix of country music, blended in with the radio, you know, top 40 radio, which is kind of just being spoon fed pop songs, basically as far as Hooke's radio hooks.


Right. Was being all ingrained into me at a very young age. My mom and dad joined this amateur country music club when which they kind of all around Australia and different cities. You can join a clubs like joining just a it's like joining a football club or a tennis club or some unique country music club. And they would rent out the local hotel in town and put on a function like once every two weeks, I think it was. And all the people who were members would all come.


Some people played, some people just loved the music and that would throw a house band together. And if you wanted, you could get up and do a song and use the house band. And it was kind of like open mic night, really. And then once a year that all go to some town in Australia and compete with this like two day festival and all the clubs would compete against each other. So I grew up in this subculture where it wasn't just the music, was the lifestyle, lots of drinking, lots of camping.


There's lots of all this stuff, you know, and consequently hearing so much music, not just from my own home, but from all these people, all these families and people who were playing and singing and all of that.


Now you really are quite a musical omnivore. And it's something that people can hear even in your earliest records. There's not a Keith Urban song lacking a hook.


There's always there's always a great hook. There's always something to grab onto. And I was noting I was going back to your self-titled record, Keith Urban. And the first track opens up with really a sort of like almost contemporary urban style beat.


And so even in a record which is full of a lot of more traditional sort of country timbres, more steel, a lot more twang, even at the beginning, there is a lot of influence that's happening clearly beyond just the country charts and, of course, your songs.


They are frequently charting not just in country there. There are just on the top one hundred and over the last four albums especially, you've really been pushing your sounds.


You've incorporated sounds from electronic dance music, hip hop style, drum production, RMV ballad styles. What made you feel like you wanted to push beyond those traditional sounds and timbres of country music in these last few records?


I think it was more making sure I didn't stop myself more than pushing myself. What do you mean? I don't think of it in terms of pushing on the slopes. I think of it in terms of making sure nothing gets in the way of the natural flow towards things. So I don't I'm not pushing towards it. I'm just not stopping myself from going to. It is a very different motivational sort of energy and force so that it's allowed everything is allowed to flow uninhibited and without the parameters of sort of genre borders, expectations, all this nonsense, you know.


And so gradually that ability to flow unimpeded has been opening up and happening more naturally across the last handful of records.


Yeah. I've seen a lot of interviews where you talk about the creative process, you seem to have a. A sort of cosmic appreciation for creativity.


I mean, that's that would be the best way to put it, right.


Has this always been the Kuzman realizing that you needed to just not let anything get in the way?


How did you get to that realization? Was there something that changed in your life? Has it always been that way?


Got a really good question. It's been quite an unusual journey for me, coming from Australia to America into Nashville and trying to figure out how to get accepted and become part of Nashville and not lose myself. That's been the biggest balancing act of all. And I think that you talked about that first record with the solo record. I did being a little more traditional in its in its sonics and its instrument choices and so on. Prior to that record, I did an album with a band I had called The Ranch, and that was recorded in 1995, 96 there.


They came out in 1997 with a three piece group and that's a much more a rougher non radio ready kind of record.


Do some good to get down and take a little while, and consequently we didn't really get any traction and I was really frustrated because I went I write songs and in my head I could make records that are far more suitable for getting on radio.


I know how to do that, but I'm a bit limited with this band. So I stepped out of the band and then set about trying to find out how to make a record that felt true to me and could get on to radio. And that became that first solo record.


They. To me, what it has the sound of is a guy that hasn't toured in a couple of years and I tour all the time, I'm always touring.


But that first solo record, I'd left my band in 1998 and I really didn't do any touring in that year. I didn't do any touring in ninety nine. And that record sounds like a guy to me. Sounds like a guy that's not doing any touring. So my live identity is not very present at all on that album, but consequently yielded some songs that radio played and we got some traction which meant I could go out on tour. And the next record, Golden Road.


That sounds like a guy who's been out playing gigs. And men are free because it's already starting to get a bit more stubble, is how I used to phrase it.


The first record has no stubble. I have the picture on the front to prove it.


I mean, every time I see the picture of that first album, I hear the record company president Pat Quigley in my head. I turned in that record and he goes, Is this the cover you want? And I went, Oh yeah. He goes.


Then Dennistoun it looks like the picture that came with the frame is spot on to it. Sure as hell does, you know, but the next record was a little looser and they just got I just got a little bit, a little bit looser. Everything started to loosen up. And I think it just continued really across across all the records.


What's going into your latest release? We've got the speed of now volume one and it continues to incorporate a lot of novel musical ground.


We're going to talk about that music. And I want to just start first with what kind of message were you wanting to convey with this project?


Just an honest capturing of who I am. And in twenty twenty, as a musician, as a as a human being, as a as a as a husband, as a father, just all of it. As a as a band mate, as a. It's just me, just who I am just to be to be true, a true photograph to me or my records, an accurate snapshot of who I was at that time.


I'm really sorry about the first frame then, because that first framed photo. Yeah, but that it's true. That's who I was. I was kind of in a very safe, small little space in my life right then. I really was. I wasn't I was a bit I was a bit caged, caged in a little bit. And the record is very true to it. And the next record was true to that guy. And every record and then particularly the one that preceded rehab called Love, the whole crazy thing, that that album is very much a record.


I was trying very hard to expand outwards, but I wasn't I wasn't able to do it.


God, you I I'm just looking for one lucky guy. If I didn't have my faculties about me, I wasn't in a good headspace, I wasn't struggling with addiction and I was biting off way more than I could chew and that I couldn't. Get that record where I felt it inside me, it was very frustrating, is part of having had a record that feels like you feel constrained. Is that connected to what we were speaking about earlier, that recognition of the need to let go of that that inner critic that's going to hold back whatever is natural and going on now?


Yeah, yeah. And probably, you know, to some degree the changing availability of platforms and portals to get music out. Right. You know, we we've come from a time when it was country radio, was it? And if you look at someone like Garth Brooks, it's a good example of someone who made a particular kind of record. And then he went out and toured. It was nothing like his record. It was insane. It was wild, was like a frickin Def Leppard kiss thing going on and running around pyrotechnics and wild night mania.


And then these records like this again, every record is wild. And I think that's what you kind of had to do. And what's changed is that there is more opportunity now to bring that live wild thing, which is natural to who you are into the studio and find where the two become one.


Really those is interesting to go back to your your picture metaphor of where we're at. And of course, the with the title, the speed of now is where we are right now.


And even when we look at the the imagery of it, it is right. It is bold. It is enthusiastic. And we can hear that as well.


I think right from the get go, when we lead into the first track out of the cage, we are brought into a bombastic, energetic musical world.


Tell me about out of the cage, what are you saying here at the Cage is collaboration with me, an artist named Braylon I'm sure you know about.


He's known for particular. My truck was the first thing I think he put out last year. You know, I mean, you call me crazy. Don't touch my truck.


Don't touch my truck. Yeah, it's good fun.


Yeah, it was fun. I heard a few things that he did last year. And and it wasn't until earlier this year. And I read an interview online with him and I was really fascinated, way more fascinated with him when I read this interview. And he seemed incredibly work, sharp as a tack and had a way of approaching music that had no boundaries, no limitations, no. No anything, no nothing. Felt very, very free and liberated.


And that's the kind of people I love to work with in the studio, just complete creative liberation. So I got his number from from someone and just called him one day. We talked for like forty five minutes nonstop about music and he grew up playing all kinds of stuff. He grew up in the church and his mom and dad were gospel singers and we just hit it off. And this was on a Wednesday. And I said, man, if you're ever in town and you can come to my house, I got a little studio at the house and just see what happens.


I mean, no preconceived ideas, nothing. And he goes, I'll be there Friday morning. I said, Oh, great. Can you talk about some time to come by guess? No, I'll be at your house Friday morning. Went OK. Where do you live? Because I'm in Atlanta. Right. OK, ok, we're doing it. He goes, what time you wanna to start. I go is ten o'clock too early because. No it's fine.


I'll be there ten. My phone rings at nine. Fifteen on that Friday morning is I. Man it's Braylon.


I'm out front of the house. I go your way quicker than I thought. There was no traffic on the freeway. Am like you drove from Atlanta. It's nine fifteen.


I love this guy and we just clicked. We just clicked and we wrote, we wrote a song and ended up on his project. And then we wrote another one that ended up being soul food. And then we did at the cage.


And you also have another collaborator on here as well. This song includes a lot of cool breakbeat drum loops, but even some funk guitar.


Well, and that that breakbeat opening was what really predicated the entire song. I love those that 90s English breakbeat things, kind of prodigy Fatboy Slim, particularly prodigy like fire starter.


I'm a startup.


I'm like I always want to write something that has that kind of like a gut punch, someone energy kind of. Yeah, I just wanted to makes a lot of sense.


I mean, the whole world is always needed. A prodigy country crossover.


I love it. That's how I feel and hear things, you know, because it's the spirit of it. It's like the way I feel when I hear that I'm like, why can't I feel that? In in our music, what what's stopping that we all feel is the human feeling to go fight or break something or just break the speed limit out of the chaos, but just break out of the cage, you know?


So I got there's got to be a way to assimilate this breakbeat into my world. And so I started with it, grabbed the banjo.


The idea that that that that that riff came and Braylon goes, we should try and sing over that riff. I'm like, yeah, it's pretty. It's pretty quick.


And it goes all we can do this, you know? And so the song just took off running basically, you know.


And as we started recording it at my house, I went, God, this is like classic Nial as I was putting the guitar down, I'm like, this is totally now Rogers world right here.


Yeah, the acoustic guitar is even sort of funky in the way that you're approaching it. It's not a country style guitar.


No, it's more Pete Townsend for me, at least, anyway, it's more like Pinball Wizard. You know, because I grew up playing in the clubs and pubs of Australia and they're really rough, that kind of concrete elbow attitude way of playing is very familiar to me. It's a lot of how I was raised. Guys like Pete Townsend and the sort of middle finger way he plays attitudinally really resonates with me. So you take that that that prodigy vibe.


You put Pete Townsend, 12, string aggressive acoustic on it and then bring it, stop bringing everything in a natural just on guitar and it all starts to dance and become, you know, hopefully this thing.


I think our biggest problems. It's so monotonous holding the hostages. Tell me about bringing in Nile, do we need the funk guitar? Is that the glue that brings these disparate sounds all together? Why Nile?


Because when I started playing electric guitar on the track, I went, this is this is like this is just Niall's world. He's he's really good at this this thing right here.


And I'd worked with him on a few albums ago, so we remained really good friends. And I just called him up. He was in Connecticut at his house. And I said, man, I got this song I'm working on, would love you to play guitar. And he said, yes, ended up so I sent it to him. He called up like minutes after getting the guest room.


So then his song is sitting there and he put some guitar on it and sent the files to us.


And it was just like, there it is, you know, crazy. That's so fun.


What I really don't like about the story is that it takes me days and days and days to try to get that particular percussive style of Nile Rogers on a guitar.


Yeah, it's like it's such a deep practice.


And of course, he does it often a few seconds. I know the crazy thing about now.


When I first met him in twenty fifteen, I went to a studio to meet with him and to the jam and everything. I was I wanted to see what his right hand was doing because I'm like, this is this is the Nile magic right here. What is his right hand doing. You know, how does he do that stuff? What I didn't realize is it's it's his left hand that's doing these. Oh, yeah. These musicians and the caudal and versions.


That's the magic. I mean, his right hand is magic, but it's the two together that it's why he's not a Rodgers and nobody else is.


You know, one of those rare qualities where you can hear two notes and you know exactly who you're hearing totally.


And he's always had the same guitar. He has one Stratocaster that he's only ever had his entire career. He shows up at the studio with it over his shoulder, one guitar, that guitar. And when he plugs it in, it's that perfect. Yeah. The Perfect Weapon, an HBO documentary film directed by John Maggio, explores the rise of cyber conflict as the primary way nations now compete with and sabotage one another, cheap, invisible and devastatingly effective.


Cyber warfare is the future of geopolitical conflict, and it is developing at an alarming pace based on the bestselling book by New York Times national security correspondent David E. Sanger. The film draws on interviews with top military intelligence and political officials for a comprehensive, thoroughly captivating view of the ominous impact cyber conflict has on the world at large. The perfect weapon is streaming October 16th on HBO Max. I'm Julia Freelon and I'm the host of a new series called Go for Broke.


It's about those moments in history when everyone goes a little bit overboard for a big idea in our first season.


We're going back in time to the late 90s. It's a time when computers are coming into every home and dot com companies are popping up everywhere.


Everybody wanted to stick dot com on the end of something. Cupps, Dotcom, Blastoise, dot com, you know, shoes, dot com, pets, dot dotcom.


And as the frenzy grows and grows, all of a sudden the dot com economy falls off a cliff.


People lost their houses, people got their cars recalled. They literally banked their futures on it.


This season, we'll explore what made the dotcom bubble and what could warn us when the next one comes along. If we're not in one already, go for broke from EPIC and the Vox Media Podcast Network. Subscribe for free on Apple podcasts or your favorite podcast app. Let's talk about some other songs on the record, live with is an example of another song that really crosses traditions and it offers a strong message back with.


Could you speak to what live with means for you, live with really spoke to me, one of the writers is John Knight and is great writer. Him and Bobby Penson and Zach Cale wrote the song and they sent it to me in March. It's crazy. And everything about the song I loved lyrically. You know, I want a life I can live, not just in life I can live with. But there was there was one little simple line in there.


The longer the longer I live, the more that I'm more that I wish with some friends I could sit with and take a fifth with a kiss.


Just that section of that. It struck me as just missing friends. And yeah, as March became, April became I that that resonated with me. I missed my friends more than anything. I missed my friends. So that line really struck me. And that to me was the spirit of the whole song right there.


It does offer a glimmer of hope in a in a challenging time.


The way that you sing the chorus, it has this rhythmic cadence to it and a style of rhyme that is of a such a particular country sound.


Is there a name for what's going on there, do you think of that as a certain kind of chorus? Like I know that cause it feels comfortable, right? Like drinking with your friends?


Yeah. I don't know if there's a name for that.


I gravitate towards rhythmic cadence and lyricism. You know, I always I always have. I've loved those kinds of things. I've been out the cage is a great example. I feel like I just get to give them all.


I mean, it's just that that's that's that's right up my alley. The stuff that Steven Tyler likes, for example. And it's because we you know, I play a bit of drums. It's drumming, it's rhythmic. It's the kind of I love that kind of stuff. I love quirky phrasing which you have here.


I feel like the way in which, you know, it's often it can be unfulfilling to rhyme a word with a word. But what if we move that word rhythmically throughout the phrase, you don't quite know where it's going to land. Right. And learn with swerve with twist and turn with that 90 mile an hour curve with.


Yeah, we're trying to find where is it going to land. And that feels like that's the drummer kind of pulling you along, whereas the beat going to be and finally you sort of get it right at the end.


And it's really good when you can tell when a songwriter is also a singer, a proper singer, because things like Done and Malinalco with Pick another Manocha that is so beautifully written with consonants and vowels all falling in just the right percussive places, you know, there's no weird things in the wrong spot.


So it has a nice you know, Eminem was is genius at it. That cussedness is is paramount.


And then matching, how do you get the melody and the rhythm, the percussionist, to match with something which is narratively compelling, all those things like maybe that's the cosmic nature of it?


Well, and really the first place it always comes from is those. The rhythmic thing, I read a thing one time, Keith Richards was being asked, you know, how do you how do you go about writing songs? He says, Oh, I, I do this to that. And the mic goes out on the mic and starts making vowel movements.


That's what it is. You know, it's going to silence it all, you know, and then you go, what am I saying there?


And you you know, that's how it all happened.


And it's before language. And I think a lot of people who sing as top liner's people who are still finding melodies, that's often the process. I know that another famous example would be like Paul McCartney's yesterday, which started out as scrambled eggs.


Oh, my baby. Oh, I love your legs.


Not as much as I love scrambled. Sometimes you just have to find the frame in which to paint that picture.


Yeah, but you're quite right. The sound. The vowel sounds are there because someone like a well, scrambled egg is nothing like yesterday, but as a singer you get a scrambled egg. I scrambled egg is actually what you sang yesterday. It's not that far apart phonetically. It's just sub some consonant sub.


Some vowels are in the same exact order and then sort of pronunciation liberties that you take as a say to to make things rhyme, country music. Boy, we can rise from share that. You just shouldn't be rhyming. It's amazing.


Channeling in California, I'm Kris Kristofferson, song and Moanin. I'm a mom and dad singing along with Don McLean.


And it makes me think a little bit about what you were saying to begin this conversation about the sort of openness, the creativity. Part of that is as feeling comfortable with twisting language and sounds in such a way that it actually fits what you need to say, even if it's not the way that we might say it spoken.


And then, of course, the trick is.


But it sounds like how you would have said it anyway. Those are always the best lines, right, where you're like, oh, that just feels like something I've already said. I mean, I think even. In your example here, take a 90 mile an hour curve with you. It's like, yeah, someone just said that, but I don't think I've ever said that before.


No, but you feel it. Yeah. And that's that's what I know.


That's the most important thing is do you feel like it's half the time we sing the wrong words to songs that we're singing along with on the radio. So how important is that lyric? If we'd been singing the wrong words and we love it. That's the crazy part. It's one of the things that I struggled with when I moved to Nashville at the beginning was I was very much about the sound and the consonants and the feel and the and the feel of things.


But every time I wrote with people, it was very much the yellow legal pad, windowless room to acoustics. Amazing lyric. That's just sheer poetry. And I'm like, it's great poetry, but it's rubbish. This song doesn't it's not sticking in my head. I don't feel it. It reads beautifully, but it sings like crap. I mean, just with some of the people I was working with and I was trying to find that middle ground way where it said something and you felt it and it was fond of saying to, you know, let's talk about a song that I actually I think does weave through exactly that.


Balance your track, say something very cool sounds. We've got contemporary style drums.


We got to try to relive it. Already did.


We did the bass almost has an eight like beat where it's syncopated. Oh yeah.


Suheir added to the power of words. We, of course, have country instrumentation as well, and the science become so dangerous.


We got to say something here. We have a pretty potent message, one that seems to be both personal but also more universal. Can you speak to what it means to you and what you're hoping to convey?


So Lindsay Robbins is really one of the main lyricists on the song, had started the direction of the song Say Something. And I loved that. You know, I loved lyrically what it was saying. But I but I've always had a voice. Bimberi, I'm not a sort of get up on a soapbox and preach kind of guy. I've never been that wasn't raised that way. I'd rather be whatever my beliefs are, I'd rather be in my music and particularly in my life, the way I live my life.


So you don't have to be speaking out about this and that and that. But there was something wonderful in that song, you know, and yes, I know words ain't enough, but when the silence becomes so dangerous, we've got to say something.


We got to say something and say something. Say something says. And that that line really hit me to make it personal for me, too, I thought, well, my dad didn't raise me that way, my dad, because I don't dance because I don't rock the boat.


And that was good on one level. But he also was like that in our home. We didn't say anything as a family. Not really. We didn't we didn't talk about intimate stuff and we didn't we didn't say things and we should have. So I thought there's another dimension to this title that I'd like to capture in the second verse. So I literally wrote the second verse about my own personal experience of being raised in this family, because my family now with Nick and our girls is is totally opposite to that.


We speak about everything. We talk, we communicate, you know. So I think saying something is also important in the home and saying sorry to somebody before they drift out of your life or I love you to someone before they pass away. Those things need to be said as well.


I think that's beautiful in a relationship and we don't speak out. Things can sour, resentment can brew. It also feels, particularly after this moment when there are so many reckonings going on in a really troubled world.


Yeah, sort of going beyond the the broad message of the song. Are there more detailed things that you feel that you are wanting to speak out more about now, even though you have typically felt reserved to get on a soapbox?


I'll always vocalize things that I feel passionate about. So long as I feel like I know what it is that I'm getting involved in, I'm very nervous about too many people that jump on the latest colored wristband this week and slap it on and don't really know what that means. You know, and unfortunately, we live in a time right now where context is too lacking and and there's not a chance to explain my relationship with this opinion or contextualize it in some way.


It's just reduced to a click bite and it's you and then you're spending your whole time on the defense. That's that's a very troubling unfolding right now, I find, because it actually makes people be quiet and go off. I'll be taken out of context if I say that. So I'll say nothing. That's a very dangerous place as well.


Do you feel that the constraints of the sort of more traditional side of country can also be a limitation to where you feel comfortable speaking out in terms of country music, having any sort of assumed political allegiances and sort of concerns about connecting with audiences?


Yeah, well, I mean, I love bringing people together. I love finding the common thread between everybody because there's any amount of differences between all of us. And they logit, they're real. They exist totally. But in order to sort of live together, we've got to try and figure out the things that we do have in common, which is also a lot. And my job as an entertainer and as a musician and a performer on stage is to bring everybody together, you know, not separate the room, want to bring everyone together.


So I look for the common threads in things. That's that's what I'm interested in musically and in every other way is try and be a bridge builder.


Let's close out with just one more song I'd like to chat about. Change your mind.


So this is a ballad about whether or not someone deserves a second chance.


We don't want this to. Would you change your mind? Change your mind, what about this song spoke to you? Everything to the truth of it, the truth of it, God, it was just one of those beautifully written lyrics that was just so from the heart.


If we could live in reversers, I go to the part where her father can't fix the little issues before they got to be.


Go and fix the little issues before they go to big good golly, man, I mean. Oh, every every lyric in that song just went straight to the core of me, even though I didn't write it, it spoke to me like like someone I'd written my own feelings of various relationships I've been in over the years and how I just was just hopeless at it.


Thinking of sort of changing your mind. A lot has been changing. A lot of perspectives have been changing. What's changed for you in this time?


That's a good question. I guess the way I feel, I don't know that I've changed a lot of things because of a lot of the things in my past that I'd gone through. A real deep gratitude and appreciation for many, many things already had that in play in the way I would go about my days, the importance of family and friends, I felt that before the pandemic, in some ways, it was the title of the album which kind of made October last year was.


An observation of the fact that I felt like all that was was just a mess, I just felt like ever. It's sort of it's almost a sort of a. Twisted sense of humor comment about the absurdity of our society and where I saw it, that the now, which is meant to be free of time, even that thing looks like it's going fast, that that's how out of whack I felt like we had started to tilt, probably because of this, you know, this smartphone that I'm trying to keep up with.


But I'm a human being and I'm not a computer. I'm a human being. And the drifting apart from everything that makes us human feels like it's a that's a whole other podcast unto itself. You know, the sort of heading towards the singularity conversation, which I wish was had more often by lots and lots of people, because it's something that should I'd like to see that on the news. Where are we at with our sort of maintaining our humanism in the midst of sort of becoming Android?


No, because it's we're barreling down that freeway at such a fast clip. That's a long winded answer to your question. But in some ways, I'm I'm I'm there. I'm trying to live my life. Without needing a pandemic to change it for me, so I'm trying to do relevant now, but it does feel like it's getting faster. I'm curious about the speed of now volume to volume two of our lives going to look like?


No idea. But I realize that the title is relative to any any point in time as well. The speed of now is different to what it was. In October last year, the speed. Now is always relative to each one of those. The perception of time, you know, but it also it connects to the playing live because for me, playing live. That's the thing I miss the most. I miss playing live. I miss people in front of the stage and moshpit, the energy, the crowd packed.


And there's no substitute for that. You know, performing to a camera is like dating a mannequin. That's what it feels like. It's like this is nothing. Now, you know, it's I'm imagining everything. It's this cold camera lens looking at me. So I have to imagine everything.


Oh, man. Well, I guess it's a good thing in your family. You can get some some acting lessons on how to make it feel as real as possible. I wish I had a more uplifting advice, you know.


No, I well think what have I learned in this pandemic that I married really well? Yeah, I think everybody is discovering, you know, did they make good choices if they were in a relationship? Certainly go to find that out really quick. And I found out I got to choose really, really well. Thank God.


I'm glad you're doing well. Congratulations on this new record. Lots of hooks all throughout. Thank you, Charlie.


Well, thank you, Keith. It's been really a pleasure. Speaking with you was nice. See, this has been such a pleasure. Likewise, Charlie. You're so good now.


Switched-On Pop is made by Nate Sloan and me, Charlie Harting were produced by Bridget Armstrong, engineered by Brandon McFarland, illustrations by Iris Gottlieb, social media, Booba Bar and executive produced by Nashat Kirwan and Liz Kelley. Nelson were a member of the Vox Media Podcast Network. This week we're seeing a warm hearted goodbye to our producer, Megan Lubin, for her work on episodes like The Sound of Lo Fi to the recent mini series on Beethoven could not have happened without her.


She's off to make lots more great audio, and we wish her the best of luck. Tune in next Tuesday for my last of three conversations that dive into the world of country music. I'll be speaking with beloved songwriter Brandy Clark, who has the ability to write rhyming couplets that stick with you for life. I hope you'll join me for that conversation. And until then, thanks for listening.


I'm Julia Freelon and I'm the host of a new series called Go for Broke.


It's about those moments in history when everyone goes a little bit overboard for a big idea in our first season.


We're going back in time to the late 90s. It's a time when computers are coming into every home and dot com companies are popping up everywhere.


Everybody wanted to stick dot com on the end of something. Cupps, Dotcom, Blastoise, dot com, you know, shoes, dot com, pets, dot com.


And as the frenzy grows and grows, all of a sudden the dot com economy falls off a cliff.


People lost their houses, people got their cars recalled. They literally banked their futures on it.


This season, we'll explore what made the dotcom bubble and what could warn us when the next one comes along. If we're not in one already, go for broke from EPIC and the Vox Media Podcast Network. Subscribe for free on Apple podcasts or your favorite podcast app.