Songwriter and artist David Bazan is my guest on Episode 7 of the @ Sea Podcast. David has been making music professionally since 1995, most notably, As the frontman for Pedro The Lion, the mind behind Headphones and most pertinent to the purposes of this podcast, as a solo artist.

Among the many things I enjoy about David is that he is not a brand, nor does he aspire to be. He is an artist. He is a man making music and musical culture he believes benefits the lives of those who consume it.

We get into his odd role as a prophetic voice in a religious culture that often considers him an outsider, the value of setting vocational goals but holding them loosely and the extremely rare beginnings of his career, during which his parents quite literally encouraged him to quit school to give rock and roll a try.

ONE NOTE about this episode of the podcast, this is the first episode to be labeled “explicit” because of language. I don’t make this note to warn you about bad words, in fear that you can’t handle it… instead, I’d like to use this opportunity to borrow from the brilliant Christena Cleveland, who has, on more than one occasion suggested that, if I’m to honestly and sincerely listen to someone else’s story, I don’t get to dictate the mode, tone or delivery of that person’s storytelling.

This podcast puts you in touch with great culture makers because I believe what they do deepens and enriches out lives. We called it @ Sea, in part because of the Nietzschean notion that “the sea is stormy… but that everything is at sea.” A pursuit of human truth necessarily leads me into waters that are wilder and well beyond my control. If you and I are to discover and hold up the goodness, truth and beauty I believe permeates every square inch and every corner of this world, that will mean spending time in places that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable.

One of the great values I find in David Bazan’s work is not only his willingness to navigate unfamiliar and uncomfortable waters in his own world and psyche, but also his relentless desire to invite you and I into those spaces with him.

Check it out.