By his own admission, Johnathan Rice has a "mysterious" writing process. He doesn't think he's ever written the same way twice. Yet his best songs have always come fully formed; that is, they don't even appear until he sits down to play, when they pour out of him all at once. Of course, this doesn't happen very often: he's been working on a song about the race horse Barbaro for a few years now, and despite all of his tinkering, Rice still hasn't released it because he's not happy with it yet.
Rice is a "voracious" reader, and I love his answer below about how all that reading has made him a better songwriter. Rice has also learned a great deal about himself through his many collaborations, including with Elvis Costello and of course Jenny Lewis with Jenny and Johnny.Read More