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The rug fell out?

Nothing went as planned. There was a label switching. I wondered if I should write a new record — because obviously [the previous record] was having a hard time at RCA — or do I do this record independently? There were some gut instincts. I'd gotten dropped from RCA, and in a way they were looking out for me. I was going to have a hard time at the higher levels of that company. They were great about getting me the rights to my record back.

How do you know when a song is finished and it's time to move on to another one?

I don't know. With me, I don't rework things tremendously. It's either there for me or it isn't. A song like "Elephants," I wrote a cappella first, the lyrics came in ten minutes. But it took six months to know what kind of music to put behind it. With most songs, I'm done when I've demoed it, added all the instruments, and it feels great. Then I leave it. If I can go back weeks later, and feel something in it, then I know that it's in play to be put out there.

There's a lot of physically violent imagery on this album. There's more blood than in the last Tarantino film.

Somebody else said that to me the other day. I hadn't even thought of it. There were some dark times. I had my first experience with death, someone very close to me died. I also had some relationships with people who were like vampires. I felt like the blood was getting sucked out of me on some level. I also had these random injuries over the last couple of years. I broke my wrist or my chin was bleeding, pieces of my face hanging off. There were a lot of strange things that involved literal and metaphorical blood.
Roy Kasten

9 p.m. Saturday, November 8. Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City. $20. 314-727-4444.

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