The songs on I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead certainly are of a type, which is notable since the record took five years to make, or at least release. Did the ideas come in spurts?
I wasn’t making this record for five years. I was making this record for two, two-and-a-half years, max. The reason it took that long is because I was starting and stopping because I had to work on something else. The thing is, the records, the way that I do them, they’re constantly changing and shifting and redirecting themselves depending on what else I’m doing. One song will be altered depending on the direction I took with another. I’m looking at it as whole piece instead of individual songs. I used to just make songs and fill them up and that was a song. You put it away and you make the next song. I made this record very much as one idea, though you can only work on one song at a time.

But it did come in spurts. Once I really sat the fuck down and really went at it, I took all the rough drafts and everything I’d been working on and laid ‘em out, then I applied a unifying idea to it. As much as it seems like it’s this long process, at the end of the day it’s all erratic and spontaneous. It’s just how much preparation and reworking you do. And a lot of it was reworking. A lot of the songs were made spontaneously and then picked at– for a year. I wish I had a better explanation for how it works. Maybe if I had a better insight into my own process, it wouldn’t take me two years. But I’m basically crazy.

The repeating lyrical fragments or textures or melodies you mention are interesting. Was that a plan from the beginning, or did that kind of work it’s way into everything?
It’s a combination of things. To me the record isn’t done until the moment it’s fucking done. Every moment is the creation of that song. I’m calling it reworking just for fucking conversation’s sake. Most records seem like they’re just ideas shot out there and they’re just dropped and you leave ‘em. And I wanted to make a record where the ideas were coming back but they were coming back altered and twisted, depending on what happened in the narrative or the emotion. That’s the terrain I was trying to tread for this record, and I just went there. I couldn’t really tell you for sure which came first, the chicken or the egg. But there is obviously a finishing touch that may take six months. But it is a finishing process. It’s all just one blur of fucking dementia to me.