Q. What inspired you to make Destroyed?
A. I’ve had insomnia for a long time and because of it I see cities late at night when they’re empty and everyone’s asleep. So I wanted to make an album inspired by that experience of being in an empty city in the middle of the night and feeling like you’re the only person alive.
Q. When was the first time you felt famous?
A. When I was in high school, I played in a hardcore punk rock group called the Vatican Commandoes and our local school paper wrote an article about us. That seemed like unimaginable fame to me because my picture and my name was in print.
Q. Which of today’s artists do you admire?
A. I’ve known Lady Gaga for years because she used to host nights at this place called the Slipper Room right around the corner from my place in New York. So, for years she was just a kid, standing on the corner handing out flyers to her show, or she would play open mic nights. So I have a fascination with her and her career because I’ve seen her go from being a kid standing on the street trying to get people to come see her sing to being arguably the biggest pop star on the planet.
Q. What’s in store for the rest of the year?
A. Touring, and more touring. And politics. We have a big election in the States in 2012 and I’m going to probably take from November onwards to try and make sure we don’t have President Sarah Palin.