Tim Rogers on the ongoing agony of writing
MUSICIAN Tim Rogers faces this interview just the way he wrote his memoir Detours - he is vulnerable yet witty, wise yet flippant.
He commands attention using his highly charged and transparent emotions and it's impossible not to automatically and subconsciously relate to his feelings.
Maybe that's why people listen to him and love him on and off-stage.
Spotify revealed that in 2017 more people have listened to Tim Rogers' music online in the Lismore area that in any other area in the country - a feat for which he has no explanation.
"I love that area but I don't think having that information would change the way I write songs or play music," he said.
Speaking to Rogers is like chatting to an Aussie version of Oscar Wilde or a West Australian Chigozie Obioma.
He seems to have loved staying underground for seven years, like a cicada, to then come out to play and become a firefly on stage.
Rogers, always travelling, said he was at Melbourne airport on his way to Coffs Harbour and "somewhere else" he cannot remember.
He laughs shyly but then comments: "I think the only thing worse than a full diary is an empty one."
The artist said writing prose was more difficult for him than writing music or lyrics.
"Writing prose I find a lot more difficult but very satisfying when I've got it right," he said.
"In music, it's rare that I've been edited, while in theatre or prose you are edited a lot and I am now used to that but that's the main difference.
"I used to think that I just wanted to work on music forever but now I do like working on prose and I realise that I am going to get it wrong a lot but I like the process."
Rogers would like to publish a work of fiction.
"I'm working on a weekly radio show on Double J and I have a live theatre/radio show that begins late September, plus two records - one with the band and one with another performer - and more writing," he said.
"I am writing all the time, I'm trying fiction and trying to get better at it."
Most critics who have reviewed Detours coincide in highlighting a certain sadness, of melancholy, that traverses the text, which Rogers does not deny it also exists in his music.
"Yeah, I know I am quite a melancholic person and it would be very difficult to subtract that from my music, or even from the way I live," he said.
"I try to speak to no more than one person a day so I don't spread my melancholy around," he laughs.
"I can live with that, and I conserve my energy for very few people, and I started the band (You Am I) when I was very ill (he suffered anxiety and panic attacks) and living with it is OK."
- At Byron Writers Festival, August 3-5. For details visit byronwritersfestival.com.
- You Am I will be performing at the Byron Bay Brewery on Sunday, July 8, from 7pm.