Bill Kopp: The Jethro Tull sound is among the most distinctive in all of popular music. You write the songs, sing lead, and play quite a variety of instruments. The past and present members of the group are not -- nor have they ever really been -- your puppets. To what extent do the other musicians have the freedom to add and extend what they want to a piece, and to what extent do you map that out for them? Ian Anderson: It depends, really, song to song. You know, there have been some songs that have been very much arranged in the studio at the time of recording them, and various members of the band sort of chip in their ideas. You know, like John Evans' intro to "Locomotive Breath" on the Aqualung album. He had to play and he had to play an intro, and he jammed something that was kind of pseudoclassical with a kind of bluesy twist here and there. And that defines that song. It is very much his invention; it's not something I wrote for him to play. I just said, "Right, John, go out and play for thirty seconds!" And that's what he did.
So it's different for different songs. Lots of songs I like to go in and record in my own studio, and the other guys some in and overdub a bit here and there after. And other times it's virtually all rehearsed and arranged in the studio around a very sketchy idea that I present to the other people. So it's all of those things. I don't like to have a methodology attached to music-making. It shouldn't be like a factory production line where you have this assembly process and do things the same way all of the time. I like the way the different songs take on their own life and each one takes on sort of a preference for a different approach in making it come to reality.
Bill Kopp: Are there any current artists you know of who remind you at all of Jethro Tull, maybe not so much in their specific sound but in the way that they seem to approach their music? Ian Anderson: Yes, yes, indeed there are. I played with one this last weekend in Bristol, England with one of Britain's new award-winning musicians who is very highly thought of -- this is just over the last couple of years where he came to public attention with the Mercury music prize -- and he is politely termed a 'new folkie.' He is essentially a folk singer and player but was basing his material on traditional tunes and traditional songs. He makes them very much his own, but by rewriting old, traditional lyrics and by creating new tunes for them, and he's very good. I actually think of him as being a young guy, like in his early 20's, but in fact he's 30, I so discovered, and for quite a few years he'd been playing in pubs and clubs before he became pretty famous. Now he plays headline concert tours of his own. His name is Seth Lakeman and he was our special guest in Bristol last week and he played a couple of his songs on stage.
For me, it's just like hearing a younger me kindda doing something I'm really familiar with. You know, I just kind of second-guess where he's going with everything, even if it's my first time hearing one of his songs. You know, I don't mean to make it sound like it's just repetition. It's just an empathy for someone else's music, and a kind of feeling of instant understanding of a process. You know, you just have this feeling of being very, very quickly able to immerse yourself in that music from a technical, stylistic, and an emotional point of view.
He really doesn't know Jethro Tull at all. It's only coincidental, so it's not like he's trying to model himself on me. But there is this coincidence: some 30-odd years on after I was doing that stuff, he's doing that stuff. He's the current vanguard, if you like, of folk-rock, which is, In Europe, what Jethro Tull is usually termed rather than a simply a rock band. We're spoken more of as a folk-rock band.
And so, yes, playing with young Seth -- who is exactly half my age -- is kind of a really reassuring thing. And I do know that from playing with other musicians sometime that even though they may not play like me, but quite often they play in a similar style, or in some cases they have been moved by my music when they were learning to play. And although what they do isn't what I do, it's part of their own set of influences. You know, all kinds of people like Steve Lukather, and Al DiMeola, the jazz guitarist, and Steve Vai, and the guitar player from the Red Hot Chili Peppers...these are people who have been in some little way have been, in a little bit, inspired by Jethro Tull.
My daughter was having lunch or dinner or something with Michael Stipe from R.E.M. a year or so ago. And [laughs] when he found out who her dad was, he was kind of over the moon! It was sort of a big thing.
But other people I get to work with sometimes, they don't know...they don't know who I am. They have no awareness whatsoever of what I do. And that, in a way, is a blind date. But it's quite an exciting one when you get to do that. In fact I have some concerts coming up in India with Anoushka Shankar, with whom I have been speaking by email in the last couple of days. And I'm probably more familiar with her music than she is with mine. But that is really...you know...playing with a classical Indian musician is quite a big step. And to write, and compile, music that we can play together is quite a big jump to take.
Bill Kopp: The whole notation and scales are totally different...Western and Eastern. Ian Anderson: Well, they are and they aren't. I mean that's not actually quite true. That's probably public perception that we're dealing in a whole different kind of musical values, but we're not.
Music is music, and in fact in the Western scale there is certainly some question that traditional instruments are not the tempered scale. Because they play, as does the sitar, for example, you play C# and its essentially tuned to the major scale, and you flatten notes by bending up the notes below -- as Anoushka so capably conveyed to me in email the technicalities of their instruments -- but it is essentially the western scale. And the Indian bamboo flute, the bansuri is an instrument that is not unlike the Irish flute. It's a keyless flute which is essentially tuned to a major key -- usually an odd sharps-and-flats kind of key like C# which is [giggles] a pain in the ass for us Western musicians because the Irish flute is in D -- but Anoushka has kindly agreed that she will tune her sitar to D to make life easier for us Western musicians. [hearty laugh]
Bill Kopp: I'm assuming there's no capo for a sitar. Ian Anderson: And no, tuning it is not a quick matter, because you have a whole lot of strings to re-tune, but she can do that. Even during the concert she can re-tune from one key to another, but that's a killer. I mean, she has something like 13 strings, plus a load of the sympathetic ones as well. That's a big job. But you know, she does it.
But I will resolve that one, and then I will try to write a piece of music that embraces Celtic origins with Asian ones. And that sounds like a big gulf, because we are talking thousands and thousands of miles apart. But you know, we do have that strange thing in common between the drone-like instruments of the Celtic bagpipes and the simple scales of Celtic music and Indian music. And of course the bagpipes began their life -- as far as we can make out -- in that quaint little area between the Tigris and the Euphrates where young American boys are currently dying for George Bush.
Bill Kopp: I understand you actually only learned to play the flute in the mid 1960s. What attracted you to the instrument?
Bill Kopp: The band has always been one to incorporate various musical styles into the songs, yet in a way that doesn't scream "look everybody, here's an ethnomusicological lesson for you." The emphasis has always been on the song. You've never been afraid to make forays into different styles. One supposes that people who like your approach would pretty much follow you anywhere musically, or at least listen with an open mind. So what's led you to musical areas outside of rock, jazz, and English folk? Ian Anderson: I think that if you look at quite a few people in the history of pop and rock music I think you'll find many precedents for that. George Harrison, and his forays into the world of Indian music with Shankar Sr., and you find with the Rolling Stones that Brian Jones was fooling around with all kinds of instruments, even in the early days of the Stones.
There are lots and lots of cases of people delving into parallel musical directions. People like Sting, for example, who is very much involved in world music and in playing with all sorts of artists. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, again there's a big history of them playing with Arab musicians, Asian musicians. I think you find quite a lot of us folks who do stretch out. But you also find a lot of them who never move from that 'blue blanket' comfort zone they've erected for themselves, and they stick with it for all of their lives. And there's nothing wrong with that...different strokes, as they say.
And you know, I'm just one of the restless souls who feels that there's something more I know I need to know about. You know, if somebody has something they can teach me, I'm quite pleased to try to learn it. There's a lesson to be learned from something new you can add to your repertoire of musical ideas and your general musical understanding. And whether I'm playing with a young musician or somebody older than me, I always think it's an opportunity to learn something new. And most of my musical acquaintances and guests these days are, of course, younger than I am.
You maybe think you imparted something to somebody once in awhile along the way but I don't go around trying to teach, or just play examples. For example, when I play with other people I'm really there to draw from them, whether they're 20 years old or 80 years old. And I think that's the spirit in which musicians should engage with each other. And they try to learn from each other. You know, we are mutually supportive to them that way. And we should be.
Bill Kopp: I saw Jethro Tull in Atlanta last winter and it was a great, fantastic show. Your flute playing -- especially -- now seems more effortless and natural than ever. Do you practice flute or anything else these days, or do your performing dates give you enough practice in and of themselves? Ian Anderson: Well, they do, because sometimes I'm playing a sound check and sometimes playing in darkened corridors in a theater between a sound check. Because I like the sound of the flute in different rooms and different places. And I'm warming up a bit in a dressing room. so I'm playing quite a bit on tour apart from the two hours on stage.
But when I'm at home I do practice quite a lot these days. I didn't when I was younger. But, in company with some of my peers like Sir James Galway, the classical flautist, he told me he has to practice every day. He can't miss a day. I think, the older you get, you really need to keep pedaling that bicycle. Because when you fall off, it's bloody hard to get back on. So you really need to keep at it and not let that detached and kind of wheezy nature take hold of you that it does in all walks of life.
So musicians need to stay sharp. At the age of 60 or 70 you can do that as a musician. At 80 you can do that as a musician. You know, if you're a football player, it's all over at 30. Or a Formula I racing driver: it's all over at 30. Or a tournament tennis player...it's all over at 30. You just hang onto your fingernails beyond 30, but the condition of being a musician, you're just sort of coming into your prime. It's kind of nice being a musician and maturing in that way. But practice is definitely you do something more of, and not less. That I do more of and rather not less, anyway.
And the folks who really have the really hard job are people like Pavarotti, who in the last 12 to 15 years of his life he wasn't really able to sing that way any more. But people expected that of him. And the irony was that at the peak of his worldwide fame he had already passed his peak as a vocalist. And so he was struggling from then on to deliver the goods. And of course opera critics are very very harsh, and you know I think he had a really tough time at the end of his life, which was recently revealed in a newspaper article in one of the papers over here. His final, big performance televised in front of millions and he was unable -- or felt before the concert unable -- to sing it, and so he sang to a prerecorded vocal track. Which must have been, for him, you know...really quite troubling. I mean, you know, at that stage he knew he was dying anyway, but having to go out to mime.
If you're a guitar player, you know you just kind of cut the corners a little bit! I mean, B.B. King goes out there and plays guitar. But he plays very economically in terms of style, and he still plays all of the right kinds of notes and gives it the right sort of feel. And it's all about feel and maturity and wisdom. And he sings in a throwaway style anyway, and so B.B. King's prowess as a performer is not really dented very much by old age. But for someone who technically has to really muster some chops every night it is really a tough, tough job.
It's also a tough job for the physical performers too, for people like Mick Jagger. You know, you have to be endlessly respectful of his physicality and his engagement with what he does. He, like me, is not a natural singer. He just does what he does. But he does it with as much energy and conviction as he did when he was 20 years old. And it's very hard to maintain that too.
Bill Kopp: I never saw you that many years ago, but when I saw you in December I got tired just watching you! I thought that I am only in my forties, and I couldn't do what you were doing. I mean, you kept it going for the whole evening and your energy didn't flag at all. Ian Anderson: We try pacing. And, you know, energy level is different on different days. You know, you come into the concert and you're kind of checking yourself out, seeing just where you're gonna be that night, and you make a best-estimate guess as to how you're going to approach that first ten minutes of the show. You go out on stage, and maybe you have to reappraise that a little bit, and maybe you feel a little bit more energized and confident than you did a couple of hours ago, and maybe you feel less.
So you're constantly adjusting to what you can do on that given night, and that will be affected by...did you take a flight that day? Did you have plenty of time in bed the night before? Did you get an early start in the morning? Did you manage to relax enough in the early afternoon, etc.? I mean, I think all these things will determine where you are in a given night. Plus, you may pick up a cold, or flu. It's always going to be different.
So you just do your best, and you work on it. Work on the assumption that if you can get 80% to 90% of your optimum, then you can make it work. 'Cause you can sell the other 20% with a little bit of snake oil and charm from the back of your covered wagon. You know, you can convince the punters that they're getting the real deal. You know, if you get 80% you can turn it into 100% on stage. But if you're only playing 50% then it's really hard to "magic up" the rest.
But Pavarotti, on the other hand, didn't. And Michael Jackson didn't. You know, they would cancel a show. But I really try not to do that. I mean for me canceling a show is a little bit like, "oh, no. A terrorist attacked, so now I'll stay under the bed a couple of days and not come out". You know, this is like giving in to some kind of evil, to not do a show [chuckles]. It becomes sort of a matter of honor, really.
Bill Kopp: I understand that there was originally a new album planned for this year, but at this point it looks like it's being pushed out? Ian Anderson: Well, we'll get back in the studio. At the moment we've kept some periods planned, so we'll be recording, but again a release date [is awhile off]. Because you're talking 12 months from completing an album to getting it into the distribution chain. Your major distributors can't turn it around faster than that. Even in this Internet age, physical product, it takes 12 weeks, particularly in North America, and 8 weeks in Europe, to get manufacturing, to get all of the initial press, promotion, and marketing in place and to be in position with the major distributors to have your product nationwide available at retail.
Bill Kopp: Well, talking about product, I know a good bit of care and attention was put into the packaging of a lot of the Jethro Tull albums during the vinyl era, especially things such as Thick As a Brick. Do you feel that that the artifact of the album has been lost with CDs and now with digital downloads? And if so, how big of a deal is that? Ian Anderson: Well, it is a big deal to quite a few people who value the ownership of a piece of music in a way that they can touch, they can feel, they can hold, they can set it on a shelf in their living room. It's real. It's tangible. And if they're lucky they can get an autograph on it!
And -- sadly for the music industry and the future of new music -- they've gotten used to the idea that in most cases you don't bother to pay for it. And so we're told, something way in excess of 90% of downloaded music has not been paid for. And that's a sad indictment on a growing group of people who feel that they should have it for nothing. But the reality is that if you don't pay for music, there will be no new music, or at least not of any consequence, because it takes a finite amount of money to record, to market, and to promote a new act...a new album. And if there's no income coming in to the record company there's no incentive to do it, and therefore you can't afford to do it.
We used to pay for our music. We used to pay for food. We used to pay for things that now we've decided we don have to pay for them, or that they should be incredibly cheap. But the reality is going to come about in which there is nothing to buy in the way of new music. Because if people don't get paid they ain't gonna make it.
Note: at this point in our conversation -- almost exactly the mid-point, as it would turn out -- the subject matter completely left music. The conversation seamlessly shifted, first to global issues, then to the then-upcoming Presidential election in the USA. A contextual note: the Democratic primary season had not yet ended when we spoke; the whole "superdelegates" issue was the issue of the day.
Ian Anderson: And also, the food we eat. You're gonna be paying three times -- mark my words -- in ten years from now your food bill will have, on average, increased by more than double, and for certain food products it will be three or four times what it is today. In ten years from now, your grandchildren, the priority will be feeding their mouths and their children's mouths. We are facing the absolute inevitability of a dramatic downturn in food production relative to population growth. When my children are 70 years old -- 40 years from now, the population of Planet Earth is set to be 50% greater that it is today. Combine that with climate change and all of the adverse effects that will in themselves affect food production, we have a recipe for worldwide anarchy, disaster, political upheaval.
And one of my idols, if you like, in the contemporary world is a man named Mikhail Gorbachev. He sat across from me at a lunch table pounding the table standing on his firm belief that within a few years countries will be going to war with each other, not because of oil, but because of water. That is the story of the last few weeks that is breaking around the world, and I'm sure in America too, you know you have other things in mind with an election coming up The reality of worldwide famine is a real serious problem, and access to enough drinking water is really within 20, 30, or 40 years is really going to dictate so much of what happens to mankind. And we're not doing anything about it, because it brings into question the thing that no politician will ever dare talk about, which is...I don't want to use the phrase population control, because that sounds too Orwellian and too frightening to and too dreadful to contemplate.
But, shall we say, population management. We've got to have a strategy for an optimum worldwide population which has to be less than it is today. It's not a question of reducing population growth. We have to see negative population growth in every country in the world. And we must get away from this idea that it is a given that economic growth is desirable. Desirable for whom? For the fat-cats who run industry, and their big pay options, and their share options and the pension funds and the annual bonuses and the payoffs when they do a crap job and they written in their contract that they get a $2,000,000 payoff for being a really really bad executive and costing the company a lot of money.
Bill Kopp: And it's a very short-sighted view... Ian Anderson: And there is beauty in contraction. There is beauty in reducing global growth to achieving a fixed quota, but spreading it more thinly among many more people, that's what we really need to be seeing.
Those with great personal riches and splendid lifestyles should get have to used to the idea that we should be taking a lot less, and that very, very poor and very underrepresented people get a little bit more. That's what we need to go for. That is not in line with global economic growth, because the people who will get rich are the people who are already rich, and the people who are already poor are gonna get poorer, given that already have the inevitability of climate change which, two years ago most of America wouldn't accept. Although now I guess it's only the die-hard idiots who would gain-say what scientists are now absolutely unanimous about.
Bill Kopp: Well, I think there's a little bit of intellectual dishonesty. I think the people who argue that there's no such thing as global warming, they know better, but they are also convinced that admitting it is not in their best interest, so they just talk out of the side of their mouths. I don't know anybody who is stupid enough to think that these things are not real. Ian Anderson: Well, we all accept the argument, and the current administration's argument that "well, climate change is cyclic, that it has been historical, and therefore what we are seeing now is really something that we really can't quite put our fingers on, but we don't all accept that it is due to manmade pollution."
Well, you know, most scientists are not saying that. Most scientists are saying "sure, it is cyclical. Sure, it is something that is changing anyway. But the effect -- any effect -- of manmade pollution is creating a runaway effect that is something that we've never seen before". And things are different this time. This is not arguable anymore. It is absolutely unavoidable, and so far every little bit of extra information coming through every few months are pointing to a much more accelerated, unstable climate. Because of course climate -- I talk about global warming, and the net result of global warming may be inevitable -- but what it means to most people is that because of climate change, great instability and volatility may become ever-present. It may result in severe droughts in some places and cataclysmic floods in others.
And you in the continental USA are feeling that just as much as anywhere else. It's from a greater base level of prosperity to be able to withstand that, and people in Bangladesh don't have that. And so instability in climate there perhaps means the death of millions of people: a total failure of the rice harvest. If there's a failure of the grain harvest in certain states of North America, you guys can afford to buy some more, just as we can in the UK. We are, just for geographical reasons, we are probably amongst those countries that are relatively less affected by the prospect of climate change over the next 100 years.
But there's no doubt about it, it's affecting things here. I take that into account when I plant trees here. You know, I would not plant beeches where I live because that tree would never make it to 100 years old. I'm planting oak and ash, which in this particular geographic location are proven species which can withstand extremes of drought and volatile weather. Our grand English oaks have been standing there 500 years in some cases, and they've stood up to all kinds of gales and floods and droughts and everything else over the years, and they're indigenous to this part of the world. And we've planted thousands of oak trees in England, in Wiltshire where we live. And I'm about to, next week, negotiate to buy several hundred acres of woodland in various parts of the country. It seems to be a better thing to do than investing in the stock market...
Bill Kopp: Yes, I should think so! Ian Anderson: I'm not a goody-goody. I'm a pragmatist. I'll tell you one thing about Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton, that these two guys know full well while they may be putting on that electoral ticket the argument that they want to bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, that they know in their hearts that that's not gonna happen. They will be lucky if they can bring home 20%, 30% over the next 5 years.
Bill Kopp: You think so? Ian Anderson: British and American troops are going to be particularly in Afghanistan and I'm sure in Iraq for many years to come. And many more American and British lives will be lost. But the reality is...and I was utterly opposed to the war in Iraq. I wasn't opposed to the invasion of Afghanistan, although I query the way in which it was done and what the objectives were at the time, you know I think it was the right thing to go in there. However, Iraq was absolute total folly. I was totally opposed to before it happened, when it happened, and since it has happened.
Bill Kopp: It does set the requirement pretty high and set them up to disappoint a lot of people. Ian Anderson: Well, exactly. We've gotta make it easier for them to admit to the reality, because I don't think that they possibly, in their hearts, really believes they can really do a great deal of troop reduction in the short-term. I'm sure they don't believe that. Pundits other than I have made that apparent in recent weeks, but the sooner the public gets used to the idea, the easier we make it for them to not to have to hide behind this false promise. And they would be doing everybody a favor to do that. Concentrate on the realistic issues which are to do with the environment...and for America the very, very sore topic of the economy and of public and social services. Both of them are real issues on which the election will be fought in the latter months of this year. I hope we get this Iraq thing out of the way. Let's just accept the inevitable: we're gonna be there for years and that's the end of it. No point in arguing differently.
Bill Kopp: Well, I hope you're wrong but.... Ian Anderson: Well, I hope I'm wrong too! But to me it's utterly inescapable; to pull out of Iraq right now would be a disastrous thing to do. To pull out of Afghanistan...and I don't think anyone's talking about doing that. We would not only destablize it, but we would let the Taliban straight back in, and we would lose Pakistan; that would fall within 10 years and which would become an extremist state. And that would have unthinkable consequences in terms of Pakistan and India, who would almost certainly end up with a very serious exchange, given that they are both nuclear-capable. And you know we can't afford to cease...you know, we can't afford to get out of Afghanistan, that's for sure. We...
Bill Kopp: I don't think anybody is really talking about that. Ian Anderson: No, because they're realistic on that and that's not the emotional one, Iraq is the emotional one. I think that Afghanistan is too often forgotten. The British and Americans are fighting, at best, a stalemate or a losing battle at worst, again with problems with a government that doesn't seem to be able to get it together, you know. And that's the major beef we all have with both the Afghan government and with the Iraqi government. These guys are professional losers, you know. They're incompetent, unwilling, and unfortunately have vested interests, many of which unfortunately are sort of connected with feudal and tribal traditions. They're bloody shallow. If we gave them their country back, they wouldn't know what to do with it!
Lots of people said, "it's not going to work". But Blair and Bush were the architects of trying to prove to the world that "let's just get in there, and once we're in control then we'll figure out what to do next." But there was never a game plan. That was the problem. They didn't have a plan. Or not a workable one. And therein lies most of the problem.
However, that's not talking about music or talking about anything other than the fact that I've played a lot in America and I'm very sympathetic to the plight of Americans, not only in their homeland but to the plight of Americans abroad who I encounter quite often in my travels, and it's a long haul to give America to get its international credibility and dignity back. And I've no doubt that it will happen, but it's gonna take a long time to do it.
Bill Kopp: I think you're right about that. Ian Anderson: You get out there and vote! I don't particularly give a shit about who you vote for, but go out and vote. Don't sit out there on your fat behind and watch a football game. Get out and vote! That's the crucial issue. Make your democracy count. Think about the 70% of Iraqis who are risking their lives on the streets to vote, against the 40% of Americans who voted in the last election, and there's a bit of an object lesson there.
Bill Kopp: Absolutely. Ian Anderson: Yes, we all need to get out there and use our little voice and make the best guess we can as to who we want to vote for, but the worst crime is to not to vote at all.
And if you're not sure who to vote for, well, just stick your cross on the Obama name...that'll do. [hearty laugh]
Bill Kopp: That's what I'm doing. Most people I know, that's what they're doing. Ian Anderson: I think its been a very, very interesting year. I think the pundits, the press, and the media, I think everybody's saying "Wow! This is an incredibly exciting election." And, I think, a very, very important one. I don't think there has been as crucial an issue as to who takes America on for the next eight years as is faced now in this year 2008. I think this is the most important election in living memory in terms of where America finds itself, not only within its own borders, but internationally.
And so it is really crucial that the American people speak. Even if they get it wrong, at least they've spoken. And I think you should be prepared to accept the small voices from outside, people like me, who are just kind of encouraging people to take this one seriously, for God's sake. It's really, really important.
And we will probably be having an election in this country, given the way things are headed for the current government in the UK, within a year, and again I say that it is quite crucial for our country, and actually within the past 15 years it hasn't actually mattered much who was in power, but I think it's actually getting to a point where it is actually pretty serious stuff, you know. So, those of us who don't feel we have political blood, we need a transfusion pretty quickly! [laughs]
And I know many of both. And that's not a good reason to vote, "but that's the way I vote," like you support a football team because you do. This is more important than that! This is actually listening to people's arguments and deciding that there's no reason to not change your mind. So if there's a better argument, then listen to it and don't be afraid to change your mind and swap to the other side. It's something people need to feel free in politics, and they need to do that.
I think you have a much narrower gap in terms of ideology between Clinton and Obama than would normally be the case. Just four or five months ago McCain was seen as being a pretty radical guy, and not really with much of a chance given that at that point people had two or three folks that were traditional Republicans. But given that McCain kind of slipped through there and made it, and suddenly the "maverick" Republican with some kind of areas in which he is almost kind of liberal, you know, a maverick Republican there's no option but for the whole party to rally around this guy, which they very quickly did. And that's the great strength of the Republican party is its ability to do that. And I just hope that for the Democrats they have that same resolution to the situation and that one or the other of them is going to accept that it's for the benefit of the party as a whole and for the American people as a whole to have at least a meaningful election. And not just end up with the Democratic party squabbling right away through to the bitter end, and losing ground to McCain who has obviously been campaigning for an election whilst the Democrats are still fighting over the dog's dinner.
And you know, it's a very crucial time and I do think that it must feel nice for people in small states to say "hey, we're important now. We can really help decide the next President of the United States." It's a very, very interesting election and I'm morbidly happy to be there in August, because it will all be coming to a head around then, and you will be settling into the true part of the whole thing. But it's very exciting and very scary.
Bill Kopp: Very scary. It really is. It's...everybody's sort of holding their breath, you know. For awhile now the pundits hve been saying "the next two weeks are critical and then things will sew up" and now it's two more weeks, and now it's two more weeks, and now they're not saying that anymore. And they're worried to no end, but now they're not saying that anymore. They're now saying "well, we don't know when." But it may be another month or so before the Democrats sort it out, but no one really knows for sure. Ian Anderson: Well, it could go longer. Wouldn't it be very exciting, whatever your political persuasions are I think at this stage of the game it's down to thinking about the country rather than partisan politics, and that's why I say people shouldn't be afraid to change their minds or "change their spots." And so just because you voted something because traditionally that's the way your parents did before you, this is one time in the history of US politics that people need to adopt some free-thinking, not be constrained by tradition. •