The Buffalos Extinct

Long live Grant Lee Phillips

And this is why all that hot air puffed by adolescent-minded bands is so off-the-mark. It's never an artist against some faceless, monolithic, evil, corporate machine. If that were the case, the choices would be easy. Instead, it's the termination of relationships with people you've worked with and come to trust. It's the people and all the complicated issues that go with them that fuck up everything and make it so that Phillips sounds as if he went through a bitter divorce.

"It's difficult. In the beginning, with naive eyes, you would suspect that a record company would be the answer to all your hopes and dreams, and perhaps it's the thing that might help you realize some of those things, but it's not all of that," he says. "Compared to slopping hot tar on roofs for 10 years, it was a much better deal—let's just put it that way—but when it's your creativity itself that seems threatened, you have to ask yourself, 'Is this such a fair shake?'"

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