Radio: Hi, we’re back. This is Radio KX and we’re here with Conor Oberst of the band Bright Eyes. How are you doing Conor?

Conor: Fine, thanks. Just a little wet

Radio: Oh yeah, it’s still coming down out there

Conor: Yeah, I sort of had to run from the car

Radio: Well, we are glad you made it. Now your new album, Fevers and Mirrors. Tell us a little bit about the title. I noticed there was a good deal of repeated imagery in the lyrics, fevers . . . mirrors, scales, clocks. Could you discuss some of this?

Conor: Sure. Let’s see, the fever is . . .

Radio: First let me say, that this is a brilliant record, man, we’re all really into it here at the station. We get lots of calls, it’s really good stuff

Conor: Thanks, thanks a lot

Radio: So talk a little bit about some of the symbolism

Conor: The fever?

Radio: Sure

Conor: Well the fever is basically whatever ails you or oppresses you, it could be anything. In my case it’s my neurosis, my depression, but I don’t want to be limited to that. It’s certainly different for different people. It’s whatever keeps you up at night

Radio: I see

Conor: And then the mirror is like, as you might have guessed, self-examination or reflection or whatever form. This could be vanity or self-loathing. I don’t know, I’m guilty of both

Radio: That’s interesting. How about the scale?

Conor: The scale is essentially our attempt to solve our problems quantitatively through logic or rationalization. In my opinion it’s often fruitless, but always, well, not always. And the clocks and calendars, etcetera, its just time, our little measurements. It’s like, it’s always chasing after us

Radio: It is, it is. How about this Arienette, how does she fit in to all of this?

Conor: I’d prefer not talk about it, in case she’s listening

Radio: Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize she was a real person

Conor: She’s not, but I made her up

Radio: Oh, so she’s not real?

Conor: Just as real as you or I

Radio: I don’t think I understand

Conor: Neither do I, but after I grow up I will. I mean, you know what, a lot of things are really unclear for me right now

Radio: That’s interesting. Now you mentioned your depression

Conor: No I didn’t

Radio: You’re from Nebraska, right?

Conor: Yeah, that’s right

Radio: Now let me know if I’m getting to personal, but there seems to be a pretty dark past back there somewhere. What was it like for you growing up?

Conor: Dark? Not really. Actually I had a great childhood. My parents were wonderful. I went to a Catholic school. They have, I had money, so it was all easy. I basically had everything that I wanted anytime

Radio: Really? So some of the references like babies in bathtubs are not biographical?

Conor: Well I did have a brother who died in a bathtub . . . he drowned. Well actually I had five brothers that drowned

Radio: (Chuckle)

Conor: No, I’m serious. My mother drowned one every year for five consecutive years. They were all named Padraic, and that’s why they only got one song. It’s kind of like walking out a door and discovering that it's a window

Radio: But your music is certainly very personal

Conor: Of course, I put a lot of myself into what I do. It’s like being an author, you have to free yourself to use symbolism and allegory to meet your goal. And part of that is compassion, empathy for other people and their situations. Some of what I sing about comes from other people’s experiences. It shouldn’t matter, the message is intended to be universal

Radio: I see what you mean

Conor: Could you make that sound stop, please?

Radio: Yes. And your goal?

Conor: I don’t know. Create feelings I guess. A song never ends up the way you planned it

Radio: That’s funny you’d say that, do you think that . . .

Conor: Do you ever hear things that aren’t really there?

Radio: I’m sorry, what?

Conor: Never mind. How long have you worked at this station?

Radio: Oh, just a few minutes. Now you mentioned empathy for others. Would you say that that motivates you to make the music that you make?

Conor: No, not really. It’s more a need for sympathy. I want people to feel sorry for me. I like to feel the burn of the audience’s eyes on me when I’m revealing all my darkest secrets into the microphone. When I was a kid I used to carry a safety pin around with me every where I went in my pocket, and when people weren’t paying enough attention to me, I’d dig it into my arm until I started crying. Everyone would stop what they were doing and ask me what was the matter. I guess, I guess I kind of liked that

Radio: Really, you’re telling me that you’re doing all of this for attention?

Conor: No, I hate it when people look at me, I get nauseous. In fact, I could care less what people think about me. Do you feel that?

Radio: No, I feel sick

Conor: I really just want to be this warm yellow light that pours over everyone that I love

Radio: So you’re going to play something for us now? Is this a new song?

Conor: Yeah, but I haven’t written it yet. It’s one I’ve been meaning to write called A Song To Pass The Time

Radio: Oh, that’s a nice title

Conor: You should write your own scripts

Radio: Yeah, I know


Lyrics submitted by EricFrank

An Interview with Conor Oberst song meanings
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189 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentConor is hilarious...when I met him in nyc, we had a good laugh over this interview, and for people who don't know...this isn't real...it's Conor with his good ol buddy Mike Mogus...Hence the:
    "Conor: Never mind. How long have you worked at this station?
    Radio: Oh, just a few minutes. "

    Contrary to popular belief, Conor is quite the normal, not so depressed, college aged guy, oh and his name is spelled CONOR, how would you like it if a bunch of people were misspelling your name, i would throw my shoe~!
    negatyveon June 22, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis clip is hilarious... I love the way the radio announcer is portrayed as an idiotic jackass, what with him interrupting Conor at the beginning and then pretending to understand what Conor is talking about by saying things like "I see" and "It does, it does" when it's clear he has no clue what Conor is saying. Also, I like the way that Conor makes himself out to be a lunatic.

    By the way, can anyone understand what the people are talking about in the background?
    LuckyMonkeyon July 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's very funny.
    I love how he mixes lies, truths and especially half lies and half truths. Of course the whole safety pin thing is a joke, like the baby drowning etc... but wanting to be admired and at once being shy is something most artists are familiar with. he jokes about something he really feels probably.
    and come on what he says about the speaker and arienette being real in the same way, well actually there's no real speaker, it's only a character he creates (even though there's someone playing the speaker), just like arienette. and what the real Conor and the other guy which I don't know who is, say it's damn funny as well.

    it's funny but it goes beyond that. deep in a quirky way.
    dorareeveron April 16, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentdoes anyone else realize that this interview kind of predicted in a weird way Andrea Yates drowing her 5 baby boys in a bathtub?
    millieon May 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSo you all know this interview is a joke... I'm pretty sure the voices in the background are a joke too.

    Here's what I got out of the voices in the back: it's basically Conor Oberst ranting about how he created the Saddle Creek record, and do you want to hear a story about it? (He actually asks, have I told you about Saddle fucking Creek records, to which his friend says I don't think you have.) So Conor says he put out all this avant sad-sad folk shit, and new wave bands, and it's all fucking load of bullshit and he's fucking fed up. And then his friend says "haha, you might wanna think about what you're doing in there... who you're fucking with." More laughing, and then his friend says in a completely serious, "oh shit" tone "Check your FUCKING mic." implying that we weren't supposed to hear this background conversation. I'm pretty sure it's just a secondary joke though.
    lulzplzkthxon December 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSorry, I know this isn't lyrics, but I for one wanted this converstaion on file, because I really enjoy it, so I added it.
    EricFrankon June 16, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthats awesome. "i really just want to be warm yellow light that pours all over everyone"....
    alliebeeon June 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti, for one, think this is hilarious in so many ways. he's so random -- i was listening to it and i was cracking up, like at this part:

    "Radio: It is, it is. How about this Areanette, how does she fit in to all of this?
    Connor: I’d prefer not talk about it, incase she’s listening.
    Radio: Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize she was a real person.
    Connor: She’s not, but I made here up.
    Radio: Oh, so she’s not real?
    Connor: Just as real as you or I.
    Radio: I don’t think I understand.
    Connor: Either do I, but after I grow up I will. I mean, you know what, a lot of things are really unclear for me right now."

    but i love the way he talks about sybolism, because it does make his songs make much more sense. =)
    sapphireskieson June 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah...alright, two strikes against this. it isnt a song and conor's name isn't spelled correctly. *sigh*. though when i listened to this for the first time on the cd it did bring a smile to my face despite the annoying sound for the first part of the interview!
    PLANESon June 29, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"thestoryinthesoil.com/"
    "No. I'm serious. My mother drowned one every year for five consecutive years. They were all named Padraic, and that's why they only got one song."
    "It's kind of like walking out a door and discovering it's a window."
    "I really just want to be this warm yellow light that pours over everyone that I love."
    blackheartwenchon July 04, 2002   Link

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