Lyle Lovett on breaking with his record label and the joys of Facebook

From Time Magazine:

It’s been 27 years since Lyle Lovett signed his first (and only) record contract. But after four Grammys and 14 albums that have successfully mixed country, folk, blues and even gospel, the singer has decided to strike out on his own. Lovett’s finale for his longtime label, Curb/Universal, is aptly titled Release Me. TIME spoke to Lovett about going independent and the joys of social media.

Where am I reaching you today?
We got to New York last night. We’re doing Letterman this afternoon.

New York is so different than Texas. What’s it like to play here?
People in New York don’t normally do things they don’t want to do, so the audiences are really good. I find that people are actually really friendly.

The title of your new album is Release Me and the cover is a photograph of you tied up in rope. What’s going on there?
I’m trying to call attention to the fact that this is my last album on my original record deal. This is the record deal I signed back in 1985. I’m proud of it and grateful they kept me around all these years. It’s kind of a rare thing.

You sound positive about it, but did you actually feel tied up by your record contract?
I really mean that more as a joke. But I am very much looking forward to what’s next. The music business has changed a lot since 1985.

How so?
There’s just a greater ability than ever to reach your audience yourself. Gosh, it’s incredible the ways people can get music these days – or anything really.

You recently took over managing your own Facebook page. How did that happen?
On Twitter there was somebody that had my name as a handle and they were posting really lame tweets, like quoting my songs. It was just embarrassing. I thought, I gotta put an end to this. My record company had started my Facebook page and they would just post if we had something coming out or if there were tour plans. But my real motivation was that a friend of mine was teasing me and he said, “Well I sent you a friend request, but I never heard back from you.” So I looked at it and I thought, “Well heck. Maybe I ought to sort of try to get in touch.”

And I started really enjoying it. It’s kind of given me a reason to take pictures when otherwise I might have just looked out the window. Of course, you shouldn’t undervalue just looking out the window.

I’m not an obsessive tweeter or poster. I think it’s really important not to reveal how boring you are.

Continue reading the rest of the story in Time Magazine