Billy Joel describes writing pop songs


From The New York Times:

Andrew Goldman: You’ve written almost no pop songs since your last album, 1993’s “River of Dreams.” Why did you stop?

Billy Joel: I never stopped writing music. I’m still writing music — piano pieces, orchestral music, dramatic pieces — but they could become songs. Some of them are like hymns that I just don’t have words for, but I might.

A.G.: Do you miss writing popular music?

B.J.: No.

A.G.: Why not? Is it too much effort?

B.J.: No, no, no, it’s not because of the effort. I got tired of it. I got bored with it. I wanted something more abstract, I wanted to write something other than the three-minute pop tune even though that’s an art form unto itself. Gershwin was incredible, Cole Porter was incredible, Richard Rodgers, great stuff, Hoagy Carmichael and John Lennon, the three-minute symphony. For me, it was a box. I want to get out of the box. I never liked being put in a box.

A.G.: Nice box to be in.

B.J.: Very nice box to be in for a while, but then it becomes like a coffin.

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