When I was playing on our tour, I would call it the step on our tour “the step”. When you are a young musician you don’t know what you like and if you don’t like the step you can’t do what you like. We have people who came to us when I was little, they would like that step and when I saw that, I thought that’s what it was called so I thought, “My goodness, this is why kids should go to school!” Then I called it “the step and it is the step but it is not the step.”
So then you could not play like other kids because if you do that, no one else would like it?
I was very happy I found my old step. It is kind of cool. [Sings] “The other step”.
When I think back to your first album, I never really thought that the step might be an appropriate introduction to your repertoire.
I would play [the music] very different sometimes. I used to find myself in a situation playing the step and it would be, I have to tell. I would find myself, “Oh, that guy has this idea…” And it would not sound at all like the original, it would be different and you would be like, “Why did you change it? You had fun with it! And we had a big laugh!” And then you play the original and someone is like, “This is bad, that is bad.” And you might feel like, “Why? Was this the good one? Did I really make a good choice for you today?” So it takes you to a place in your life where you have to make choices where you are like, “No, maybe we have to change what it is we were doing in the room.”
What is the most difficult music that you’ve never performed?
Hear this! It’s a different song: “How I Became a Man”. I didn’t realise at the time I was composing it that the story of it was this guy who was a little boy and he was always playing piano and had this amazing talent. I was like, “This is not just about one little boy who is like the best piano player ever. What do you mean? This is something bigger.” The story, the character, the whole thing in the story is this little boy who played piano and he had something and he used to say, “Do you know about the other guy? How he