My voice changes through chords, but one thing that doesn’t change is my ability to sing a certain type of chord. You want your melodies and words to make sense.
Can you sing as a soloist?
I can. I play almost all the instruments I sing on, except piano. I play on guitar and bass and on bass clefs. Because of my voice, my playing is not that different from what I learn on guitar and bass. As a soloist I can play a lot of different instruments and really stretch my legs. You don’t have the same ability to hear other things that you’re playing.
How does your style differ from other people in the business?
People think we’re just trying to get noticed, and maybe we are, but the only time people know us is when they’re like, “Hey, you’re the guy who sings with Billy Joel and The Pixies.” It’s not like a popular thing or anything. People don’t like them because they’re too young or too old: We don’t play anything new, and we don’t sing that way. We just sing old songs. I’m not a part-time performer. I have an album coming out sometime this spring. I am part-time. I just wrote this album while working on the new album.
You have a ton of song ideas. Was there a song on the album that inspired you to write it?
My buddy Matt Soto was helping out with the album the same way I’m helping him with this book. It’s all from the perspective of his experience as a musician in the ’80s and ’90s. I came up with a song that was like “The Song You Want,” which is about being in love and how you deal with that. There wasn’t any song that we both got together and had so much excitement.
Did you write anything while you were recording this album?
Most songs are from songs that I’ve written. A lot of people say it sounds like it’s a band. There are a lot of songs that are a little bit like what I do now, like the ones that sound like me singing and playing guitar.
The city of Boston may be the oldest in the United States. But in some ways, it’s not too different from any other major city. A majority of its citizens — 77 percent — voted for the same presidential candidate twice, according to a new Harvard University study.