John Zorn: I think the idea of an artist standing outside society is still alive. I think it’s an important role. It’s always been an underappreciated role, we become victims, we become targets, because our lifestyle has to be different in order to get the job done. And we make a lot of sacrifices to do what we do.
Interviewer: I totally agree, but some artists have accepted the society’s values, and just amplified them.
JZ: That’s the road to hell, if you ask me.
People talk about what I wear, how I talk. I’m a down-to-earth person like you, who’s going to tell it like it is. If someone’s jiving me, I’ll say, ‘Fuck you, you’re jiving me.’ And people are threatened by that. And then they think you’re some obnoxious asshole, when you’re just someone who is very straight about shit. People are interested in people, is that what it is? Why aren’t they interested in the work? People come to my house and it’s like, where’s the furniture? I don’t have any furniture. If you want to sit, you sit on the floor. It’s a small place, covered wall-to-wall with books, CDs, records, movies, everywhere, and that’s it. They freak out-what’s going on here? I can’t figure this out. There’s no kitchen, there’s no place to welcome a visitor. I say, 'This is where I live.’