Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

Zachary Lint (aka Coolzey) Interview

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Zachary Lint is a multi-medium creator from Fairfield, Iowa, widely known for his music recorded and released as Coolzey. In our conversation we talked about his musical history, including the two albums he’s released this year, but also his new short film called Burlington Paranormal. The horror comedy is still making its rounds on the festival scene, but if you want to be one of the first to know when it’s available to stream or purchase I recommend kicking in on its GoFundMe page. The process of getting to this point with the film didn’t happen overnight though. Instead, the path to its release involved several years of working in L.A., an abandoned feature-length film, a return to Iowa, and the sale of his house, which funded its production.

villin: It’s sort of a funny way to bookend an episode, but what you just heard is a song called “You Fucking Suck.” The track is from Coolzey’s album called Thank You for Drinking of Me, which was released in February, and in this episode of the villin podcast we walk around some ideas regarding why something like this is a good fit. Primarily, it just felt like the thing to do, and when we were talking it came up in discussion and seemed like a good fit. Zachary Lint has performed as Coolzey for over two decades, but the main reason for us speaking revolved around a short film he’s made called Burlington Paranormal. Prior to digging into that, we broke the ice by talking about Cedar Rapids, where I’m based, and one of Zachary’s connections to the city, the MC imperfekt. imperfekt and I recently spoke for an article about his vintage clothing store, but he’s also been a longtime collaborator and friend of Zachary’s. The two got together on a great track called “That’s That,” from Coolzey’s most recent release, but Zachary dove in with another memory of from a past collaboration between the two.

Zachary Lint: There’s a nerdcore group on Facebook and they have a running yearly competition called the V.P.C. I think it stands for Vocalist Producer Competition, where different MCs will team up with different producers and they’ll form a team, essentially a new group or a duo or whatever, and they’ll compete. And every year it’s a big thing and a lot of the main nerdcore dudes will participate in it. And the judges will have a certain number of challenges and then you do your challenges and everybody judges on certain things. He was on my last track for that, which was kind of a pop/punk mashup. And my idea for it was getting a whole bunch of non-nerdcore MCs on it. Anyway, it’s something you’ve got to delve into, but it’s called “Bring Out Your Nerds.” And he was on that, it was just basically, I was getting people who weren’t nerdcore rappers to rap, nerding out about stuff that they wanted to nerd out about.

villin: Nerdcore isn’t a subgenre I’m overly familiar with. Actually, most of what I know about it revolves around the artist Spoken Nerd, from down in Nashville where I moved up from earlier this year. It’s a small world, because Zachary has both toured and recorded with Spoken Nerd previously, though that’s not entirely surprising considering the vast range of artists he’s worked with over the years. The debut Coolzey album, for example, featured a wide variety of guests including Sadat X of Brand Nubian, Copywrite, and William Elliott Whitmore. And in addition to imperfekt there were about 20 other artists he worked with on that last album I mentioned.

Zachary Lint: So, that was a producer album that I did. It was ten songs where I did all the beats and I produced for other people. And that was the only track that I actually rapped on. It was the last song on the album and it was conceived by Mikal kHill from North Carolina, who’s a nerdcore dude. And basically, it just a posse-cut angry diss track. Like, a vague diss track against whatever you wanted to be mad about. So, that’s what that song was. It was the tenth song from a ten song producer album I did. It was a sequel to [Coolzey and the Search for the Hip Hop Hearts Vol. 1]. And the first volume I did was ten years ago in 2011 and it was called He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper and this one’s called I’m the DJ, They’re the Rapper.

villin: Zachary isn’t a producer first, nor is he a rapper first. Nor has he ever really been tied to the convention of genre. I can’t remember where, but in another interview I read he explained his music as “alternative.” To me it’s sort of like the Beastie Boys. Most people know them as MCs, but they started out as a punk band, and laced their albums with hardcore, slapstick country, and funky grooves. Coolzey’s 2020 album, Fight the American Celebrity Machine, is accompanied by a description that likens it to “A mix of lounge, hip-hop, synth pop, alternative music that ranges in unlikely marriages of styles from Frank Sinatra to Old Dirty Bastard [sic] and beyond.” All of which is just to say that for those familiar with Coolzey’s catalog, the album fits in nicely, in addition to serving as a welcomed change of pace for the musical renaissance man.

Zachary Lint: You know, I like classic producer albums. Like, Pete Rock used to put out producer albums where he would [have] a bunch of people on it. Like, Marco Polo and stuff like that. I like the classic producer album. It’s really nice for me to step back from the microphone and just make sure everything sounds nice and make a good beat and fit everybody in and get to be the RZA for a bit, you know?

villin: Again though, when reaching out, my thought was primarily to talk less about music and more about the film production side of things. But it’s not like there is no Coolzey right now. Zachary has released two albums this year, and has plans for multiple tours in the new year with Snailmate and Schaffer the Darklord (as a sidenote: “You Fucking Suck” is actually a collaboration with the latter). He’s also cracked open his archive on Bandcamp, offering a variety of back catalog and special releases to subscribers on his page, dating back to the 1999 album, Coolzey and the Sucker MCs. This, while he’s exploring and working through the film festival process for Burlington Paranormal, keeping up with his job, DJing, and moonlighting at his local cider house in Fairfield, calling bingo and performing Frank Sinatra covers as Drank Sinatra. With all this going on, I asked him if he ever feels like he’s not investing enough time or focus on any one specific area of interest and appreciate how he framed his approach.

Zachary Lint: I always like to think of it like kids on swings. And you gotta keep pushing all your kids on their swings to keep them happy, you know? As far as music goes, that was kind of a worry of mine at first because I put out these three EPs that were just straight up hip-hop, then [on] my first album the first single is a pop song, and there was a country song that ended the album. This is The Honey. And at first I’m like, “What am I doing, am I totally fucking up?” But then years later that’s everybody’s favorite album, and I’m like, “Okay, I guess I did something right.” And I like to stay true to what I do… And also, before I was putting out those hip-hop EPs that people knew me for, I was actually doing indie tapes around Iowa City, and doing indie rock stuff and bedroom pop stuff, as well as hip-hop. To me it’s just still doing what I’m doing.

So, as far as music goes, I’m feeling pretty good about it, but also I realize that now that I have fans, and a little following, it’s interesting to see… like, I remember I put out my third full-length album, God Damned Friend Killers, and it was very much mostly rock and roll with a few hip-hop songs, and I was worried about it. Not worried about it, because it was actually my favorite album that I’ve ever done, but I was worried a little about the reception. And then I remembered, like, I don’t really read my reviews or anything that much, but every once in a while I’ll go down a little tunnel and I’ll read ’em. I remember a couple years later, after I put out my fourth album which was more hip-hop, I remember reading a review where a guy was like, “Yeah, the third album was the best. It had all this punk rock and stuff.” And I’m like, “Wait a minute, why didn’t I read this earlier?” I have punk rock fans, you know? It’s interesting to see. You only get to see what comes back your way, whether it’s stats from Spotify or somebody who reaches out to you in an email, or somebody who reviews your stuff. You only get to see what comes back your way. It’s always surprising to see how far your music goes and you just don’t even know it.

So, musically I don’t feel that way, but I hear what you’re saying about my other endeavors like films and stuff like that. Well, actually, I’ve been trying to make a movie for a long time. So it does just feel like part of everything. I mean, I moved to L.A. in 2010. I worked for a number of years on a movie that I was working on, trying to get it made. And I almost did get it made, then it fell through, and then I went back on tour in 2014. So, it’s not something that I just started doing; it’s a kid on a swing that I’ve been pushing for a while. So, it’s actually really pleasing to actually see it get made and get done and get into festivals and people’s reactions, and stuff like that. I guess, for me, I’ve been working on all this stuff long enough, it’s not just whimsical things, it’s actual things that I’ve been working on for years, all of them.

villin: And when considering the various kids on swings at play here, film isn’t a new, or even recent, addition to the mix. One of the projects I checked out in advance of our discussion, for example, is the 2012 indie horror film Dropping Evil, in which Zachary had a leading role.

Zachary Lint: When I was living in L.A. I did some acting and I do like to act. But my passion is in writing and directing. I mean, it was fun to do it, but as far as the movie that I was working on back then… it went the way that many movies do. I worked on it, I re-wrote the screenplay. For like ten years I was working on it with a friend of mine… or, not ten years, three years, but I re-wrote it ten times over three years. And then I had an investor and we had meetings and we had a contract. Like, it was very far. I had actors signed on, I had letters of intent, I had a guy getting ready to go location scouting in Cleveland, we had special effects people on… I mean, this is one of those things, on a podcast, I don’t know but, like, Andy Milonakis was going to be in it, you know? It was just almost there, but I was working with these producers and they were uncomfortable with the contract that the investor sent for it. And there was some sort of, you know, basically waffling, negotiation and then the investor basically got fed up and withdrew his offer. And really, when it comes down to it, I wasn’t ready to make a full-length movie anyway, you know? Like, it was a lot of money. It was like, I think we had a million dollar contract on the line. And I don’t know what would have happened because I’ve never done anything like that before. For me it’s actually, I feel a lot more comfortable that I did this one on my own and it was only a forty-thousand dollar short film. It was smaller scale and easier to pull off and I feel more prepared to tackle something bigger at this point in time. It was just one of those things. It was an experience. It almost got made. It went the way of a lot of movies in L.A. and didn’t get made.

villin: When I explained some of my own entertainment industry experiences, Zachary rightly spoke to some sort of disenchantment, potentially even bordering on misanthropy, stemming from what I went through and how I interpreted it all. However he got to where he is with processing his own experiences, he’s in a good place with them now.

Zachary Lint: Like I said, I don’t feel like I was ready for it and it doesn’t feel like it was the right time to do it. It seemed like it was definitely trying to jump way too far ahead in my process as far as movies go. It would have been nice to make a big ass budget movie but it might have been terrible and it might have been a waste of money, who knows?

villin: And if nothing, that experience helped better prepare him for Burlington Paranormal. The short film is interesting in its presentation. As Zachary said, some of the festivals he’s submitted to have kicked back saying it’s too long to be a short film, and it’s certainly too short to be a feature. Also, in its delivery, I feel like it just gets going before it ends. That wasn’t a mistake though, and there’s more written for his characters to extend the story and the world he’s created.

Zachary Lint: It was basically a very expensive business card. I just wanted to do it. I wanted to do it right. I wanted to have a whole crew, good actors, I got a bunch of good actors on it, friends of mine, and it was just something I really wanted to do. I have no regrets, I’m glad I did it, and we’ve actually been doing really good in film festivals, and everything. I just gotta keep pushing that kid in the swing and find out what happens next with it because it’s a new thing for me, the movie thing. Like, for example, when we did a soft viewing of it here in Iowa I was also performing that night as Coolzey and I don’t get nervous performing as Coolzey, but showing the film I was sweating, you know? Like, my friends were coming up to me trying to talk and I was like, I’m sure I was looking very freaked out. Yeah, it’s just a whole new thing for me. I have never done that before. Which makes it fun and exciting, but it’s a new process for me. I’m not quite sure what will become of it but I’m happy with where we’re at right now.

villin: With a bit of hindsight, it’s interesting to see how the timeline played out after production on his film stalled and he moved on from the project. It wasn’t what he had in mind when he moved to L.A., but the unpredictability of life hasn’t exactly led him in a terrible direction.

Zachary Lint: I moved there in 2010 and I was there on and off for seven or eight years. So, it was probably like 2017 when my dad died and I came back to help my mom and help her get everything in order. And then I kind of just stayed around. Every year I meant to go back and I haven’t yet, but I also had a house that I was remodeling here in Iowa. I actually came back and finished remodeling the house which is actually how I got to make the movie. I sold the house and used the money to make the movie. But at the same time I’m doing all this other stuff, touring and everything, putting out albums…

villin: The clarity that sometimes comes with hindsight is funny. I remember back, to all these goals I had for myself and my life, and it’s only because they failed or didn’t turn out the way I’d planned that I was able to find the sort of satisfaction or fulfillment that I was looking for. Thinking back to this guy who started rapping with a crew called the Sucka MCs, and seeing where he’s at now, lends itself to this thought. Not unlike how the film that didn’t get made led to unpredictable new opportunities, I was curious how any goals along the way might have changed or morphed over time.

Zachary Lint: I definitely never really craved any sort of stardom, or any sort of… Like, I was always sort of not super into the idea of being famous or anything like that. I think at some point in time I was like—I mean, this is before I think Pavement was as big as they are now, but I was like, “I want to be like Pavement.” Like, have a deal with a small record label like Matador or something and have a small fan base. I mean, that’s still a pretty big fan base, but… Honestly, I’m very very happy with where I am right now. I’m pretty happy. I feel like I’m on a good track to where I want to be, and I am where I want to be. Music’s just one of my goals, or one of my main things. It’s a big part of it, but honestly it just feels like a regular everyday part of my life as much as everything else I do. Like, I work on houses and I make music and I write and I make movies and I, you know, whatever. Everything else I do, it kind of just feels like part of it and I don’t have any grandiose ideas about it. But I do love doing it and I do love making people happy and I love people listening to it and all that kind of stuff.

I mean, I think early on I achieved a lot of the goals. This is something I come back to. When I was a kid I loved hip-hop so much and I listened to a lot of East Coast hip-hop and grew up on it. And to me the goals that I achieved early on, before I even put out my first album, just on tour, like, were pretty much exceeding the goals that I had. For example, I was on tour with Sadat X from Brand Nubian and we were friends and we were playing shows together and we were hanging out together and we were recording rhymes together and appearing together as guests on other people’s albums and tracks. And when I was growing up listening to Brand Nubian, which I loved, there [were] lyrics in their albums where… Sadat literally has lyrics that [say] “They don’t call my crib because they’re scared of how act / If they call my crib they better get somebody Black.” It was basically: Don’t talk to me if you’re white. So to me, having Sadat X be my friend and going on tour with him and all that kind of stuff was—that was huge! You know, like a huge goal for me. When I was a kid I was like, “I can never be friends with this guy because he would never be friends with me,” but then we were friends, you know, and working together. And so those are the kind of things, those are the kind of accomplishments that make me happy, you know?

villin: That web of friendship and collaboration is what first jumped out to me when I was first exposed to Coolzey’s music. Several months back I watched a music video for the song “Pound House Rap,” which I swear I saw several years earlier. It’s a complementary piece to the web series Pound House, from DJ Douggpound featuring the likes of Brent Weinbach and Johnny Pemberton. And I remember Johnny from ages ago when I was really into Duncan Trussell’s podcast and he appeared as a multiple time guest, but also from his role in the series You’re the Worst, which I fell in love with over the pandemic. Johnny is one of the co-stars of Burlington Paranormal. And DJ Douggpound is on a track from Coolzey and the Search for the Hip Hop Hearts. I failed to articulate my thought well when we were talking, but there seems to be this endless breadcrumb trail surrounding Zachary’s work, leading to people like Sadat X, who are part of some larger artistic journey. And I love that. One more name along the way is Joe Genaro of the Dead Milkmen, who ended up as a recurring tour-mate and friend.

Zachary Lint: We’ve been on four tours, maybe five tours together. Joe is one of my absolute favorite people to tour with. As I got older, I started only touring with people who I just… Like, I used to just tour with whoever, you know, just to work. You gotta work, so you’re touring with people. And sometimes they were big artists, too, like Gift of Gab [of Blackalicious] and people like that. But I got to a certain age where I was like, I’m just going to tour with people I like to tour with because they’re my friends and we have good shows and we have weird music that we play that complements each other. And that’s one thing about the Dead Milkmen is they’re one of the most in-my-vein artists that there are. They kind of go all over the place, you know? They’re weird, they genre hop, and all that kind of stuff. But, basically Joe and I just became really good friends and we just toured together because we liked hanging out and we wanted to work and we like playing shows and it just was a good fit. We did a bunch of tours together and unfortunately we were on tour in March of 2020 and we still had nine shows left and we were traveling from Tallahassee to Birmingham when the shit hit the fan. We had a meltdown and I had to put him on a plane back to Philadelphia and I drove straight back from Alabama to Iowa.

villin: It’s an aside, but I first heard the Dead Milkmen when Napster was in its heydey and I was downloading treasure troves of music from groups I’d never heard of, becoming exposed to a ton of wildly influential stuff along the way. One of the few songs I remember from the band is “Bitchin’ Camero.”

Zachary Lint: I remember that song from when I was a kid. I remember my friend had a tape of that album, Big Lizard in My Backyard. Dead Milkmen were very conducive to kids, like, silly, you know? They were also very subversive. I just love that vibe. It’s dark, yet funny, yet thoughtful, and there’s tear-jerking stuff, and Joe’s just the master of all that stuff. He’s just really good at it.

villin: That thread of subversiveness is one that I think winds its way through Zachary’s work, and it’s also something at the heart of what can make a genre like horror enjoyable. And that brings us back around to the connection with Burlington Paranormal, but also horror in general, making light of established tropes and commenting on the seriousness of life. A few years back Zachary made a short called “Take the Worm,” putting the early bird gets the worm-type jargon equally through a wringer of mockery and psychedelic horror.

Zachary Lint: So, I had done some directing and writing for music videos and stuff, but that was my first actual little piece that I had done that was not musically-based. And the whole idea was like, to me it was like a commercial for a men’s product gone wrong or something. Where the narrator starts to turn on ya, you know? But it definitely has horror to it. I like psychedelic horror and just like, I’m sure it has some Lynchian aspects to it—definitely influenced by David Lynch. But it was just something I wanted to do. It was a no budget, run and gun thing. We shot it in a day just to do it. That was after my movie had fallen through and I had just come back to Iowa and I’m like, “I just want to make something.”

villin: I got a kick out of the main character’s drift into madness, externally conversing with internal dialog—which is something I’ve no doubt done in my own past—but further, the embracing of the absurdity of life. In that period of time I talked about earlier, which Zachary said led me to a bit of disenchantment, or disillusionment, I was still trying to find the humor of it. In the heat of that period I made a web comic commenting on jargon-rich marketing hucksters and a weird short video twisting serious and foreboding sounding nonsense into an ad to sell toys. Which is just to give you an idea of how my mind and sense of humor have worked to deal with this kind of stuff. It was refreshing to be reminded of how important it is lean into the silliness of life rather than become weighed down by it.

Zachary Lint: Well, yeah, it’s something I’ve struggled with my whole life but also, I think that part of that is that you have to find the humor in it. And I think that is what that was all about to me. Being able to find the humor in the horror, you know? Which, the short that I made [Burlington Paranormal] is a comedy horror. And I think that those are my two favorite genres because you gotta be able to find the humor in the horror of life. And I think that “Take the Worm” definitely falls into that genre, as well. […] I mean, when I was very young I watched Evil Dead 2 and it’s the perfect comedy horror movie. It’s just so much of both. Yeah, I love that juxtaposition. And, I think, most good horror does have a sense of humor, you know?

villin: And this led a bit further down the rabbit hole of comedy and horror.

Zachary Lint: Well, I also actually watch ghost hunting shows religiously. The worst ones. I don’t even care. [Investigation Discovery], all that stuff, I love it. Because there’s something so horrifying but so funny, at the same time, about people stuck in their haunted houses, being tortured by ghosts that are just other people that died that are stuck in these haunted houses. It’s kind of like the human condition, except extrapolated, you know? Like, you gotta see the humor in it, but also it’s dark. I mean, dark humor, you know? That’s definitely in my wheelhouse, for sure.

villin: Not unlike Zachary, who said one of his favorites is The Exorcism of Emily Rose, I’m drawn to movies that weave religion or theology with horror. When taking a step back now, long after our conversation ended, it’s an interesting thought to consider what he talks about here with regard to Hell. And not just the humor of creating our own Hells, but how the trappings of our misguided goals can contribute to that.

Zachary Lint: I’m also fascinated by the concept of Hell. A lot of demons and Hell [has] to do with Christian stuff, but I think of it more in a philosophical way. Like, Hell is a state of mind. You can have Hell on Earth. But also, I think, we created our own Hells in this life, and maybe beyond this life. For example, people that believe that they’re going to Hell, and then they go to this Hell that they’ve created with their own mind. That kind of stuff. And when you come out of it, you gotta think, if you believe that the human soul is infinite, there’s got to be a certain point in time where you come out of it—that Hell—and you’re like, “Well…” At some point you gotta laugh at it, no matter when you’ve been through. You gotta be like, “Well, wow, I did that to myself,” you know?

villin: It might be a stretch to align this dialog about Hell with the previous mention of goals, but at the same time I don’t think it is. Hell can be getting trapped in expectations as much as anything. In a way this relates again to the business card idea Zachary had mentioned. The things we all do, purposefully or otherwise, are our business cards to the world. I’m thinking back to how many times I got caught up with my own faulty goals and how that became a sort of temporary Hell, thinking the business card I thought I was putting out to the world wasn’t leading me where it needed to. All the while the salvation of the whole thing—to use a religious term—was found when the business card led me to an outcome or opportunity I couldn’t have predicted.

Zachary Lint: You can talk about making films forever. And you can say “I’ve got this good idea, blah, blah, blah.” But I actually took my own money and made it because I just wanted to be like, “Here, this is what I can do,” you know? In that sense it’s a business card. It’s something I knew I could do. It’s something I knew would be dope. I got a good crew, I got a good cast, and I executed it well, and I’m happy with the product. Everybody else seems happy with it. So, in that sense… I mean, also, every album is like a business card, you know? Unless you’re lucky enough to have somebody invest everything in your album or your whatever—your project—you just gotta keep making your art. In that way it is. Not that I’m so crass to say that it’s all for a business, but I mean, I’m going to make it one way or another. Regardless, as far as the world goes, people giving you money to do shows or make more movies, then yeah. They are business cards.

villin: In 2013 Zachary put out a Coolzey album called Hit Factory, and its Bandcamp page includes a comment which reads, “I like the idea of making hits for yourself. Songs that are a hit to you, or something you create that you can enjoy for years.” Enjoyment is an outcome that often gets overlooked when considering goals or measures of success or any of that kind of self-serious stuff. When we were wrapping up I asked if there was a song Zachary wanted to use around our discussion and he instead asked me if there was one I had in mind. Maybe in a different context, a song with a chorus of “You Fucking Suck” might appear a questionable decision, but it just felt enjoyable here. And we continued to talk about that idea… despite getting overlooked sometimes, how enjoyment is aligned with finding humor in the horror: Seeking to make songs for yourself amid, or in spite of, the darkness or even the frustrating banality of life.

Zachary Lint: I think a lot of people go into making art when they’re younger, possibly, with a feeling of… they’re trying really hard to do something that will get them to a certain thing. I’ve never been that way. I’ve always just only made the stuff that I know I can make that’s good. And I want to be proud of it and I wanted to be able to listen to it myself or watch it myself and feel good about it and enjoy it. And I think that’s the integrity that unfortunately I don’t think a lot of people have when it comes to art, because they’re trying to do something specific with it to achieve a certain level of success. And that may be, for other people, something that works. But for me it’s not my way, you know? I just do it to do it and so far it seems to be working. And I’m just going to keep on doing that.

villin: As we were talking, creation aligned with this story that’s been banging around in between my ears relating to The Myth of Sisyphus. There’s an absurdity to it, right? For those unfamiliar, the Greek legend of Sisyphus is about this character “condemned by the gods for eternity to repeatedly roll a boulder up a hill only to have it roll down again once he got it to the top.” The absurdity of it isn’t the meaninglessness of being caught in a loop of trying to achieve the unachievable, but getting caught up in the the human need for reason in the face of an unreasonable world. I don’t know that it’s the answer, but as we were talking this idea came to me and the word “enjoyment” came back out. If we’re stuck here among the at times horrific trappings of our lives with whatever our own individual boulders might be, enjoyment might be the antidote.

Zachary Lint: I’m all about that. You have to enjoy the process. You have to enjoy every day. So, to me, I would say that’s the key. There’s no top of the mountain. There is no top of the mountain, I don’t think. As long as you live in this world. I’ve met too many famous people who are miserable. And too many rich people who are miserable, and still are, and never will not be miserable. It’s not about money, it’s not about fame, it’s not about that kind of stuff. I mean, I’m a big believer that you have to enjoy the very very simple little things. I mean, this is going to sound—everybody always thinks I’m crazy for saying this, but—literally washing your dishes, cleaning your house, sweeping your floor, making dinner, you know, all that kind of simple simple stuff that you do every day in life. It’s all part of it to me. I look at it all the same way. I look at washing the dishes the same way as I do making a beat. It’s like, you get to enjoy having a clean sink and plates to eat food off later the same way you get to enjoy listening to that dope beat that you just made on your MPC and letting it play over and over again while you’re doing the dishes.

I think there’s a humility you have to be able to achieve that sort of continuity of… or any sort of prolongment of your enjoyment of these things. That’s it though. You hit the nail on the head. It’s about enjoying it. It’s about enjoying it and it’s about enjoying every part of it. Pushing it up, being at the top, watching it go down, going back down to the other side. Whatever it is, you know? I think it’s all part of it. I think it’s foolish to think that things are any other sort of way. Like, you’re going to achieve enlightenment or you’re going to achieve some sort of threshold where you don’t have to do those things anymore. You may not have to wash your dishes anymore, for a while, but you’re still going to have other things to do that are similar, no matter how rich or famous or whatever you get. There’s always something that you have to do in this life. To me it is very much about enjoyment of the process, for sure.

[This interview has been edited for length and clarity and was first published on villin.]