Newsweek interviews Rick Rubin

Your taste—your ear—has been spot-on again and again, across genres. What’s the secret?
I never decide if an idea is good or bad until I try it. So much of what gets in the way of things being good is thinking that we know. And the more that we can remove any baggage we’re carrying with us, and just be in the moment, use our ears, and pay attention to what’s happening, and just listen to the inner voice that directs us, the better. But it’s not the voice in your head. It’s a different voice. It’s not intellect. It’s not a brain function. It’s a body function, like running from a tiger.


Yes. But being open to using your instincts instead of going, “Oh, that’s not going to work.” Or listening to the part of your brain that goes, “Oh, that’s out of tune.” Or the part of your brain that says, “That’s too loud.” You have to shut off all of those voices and look for these special moments—these moments that you accept you have no control over. So much of my job is to not think—to be open to what’s there, and then use my intuition to see where it takes me.

An incredible article about an incredible talent. Though I don’t create music (unless my amazing finger drumming counts), I approach listening to it in much the same way as Rubin. Music plays—and always has played—such a huge role in my life (and the regulation of my emotions), and I’m ever quick to not dismiss any genre, because I appreciate good music and lyrics, no matter the style. Sure, I prefer certain genres to others, but I think I’ve lost myself to nearly all of them at one point or another.