Given the vast amount of greats that have gone before us, it is easy to find inspiration in multiple different spheres, and Father John Misty is no exception. However, there remains one outfit that seems to have taken an even greater hold than usual on the singer-songwriter: the rolling and ever-changing world of Fleetwood Mac.
With his folk and vintage-inspired sound, it’s easy for one to assume that Father John Misty would have a personal connection to some of the greats of the 1970s, but when asked about his connection to Fleetwood Mac, the artist had a lot to say that might be a bit surprising.
Specifically, when talking about the song ‘Little Lies’, he said: “That’s really personal. And personal in a not-sexy way. Like songs on Fear Fun are personal, and on Honeybear, but it’s not the child. That’s still like Father John Misty the ego-monster protecting and shaping the perception of me and whatever. That lyric is about the child and is by the child. And it’s really an important line for me. Because with that song and writing it, it was just peeling layers, and then getting impatient and being like, ‘Okay, where the fuck does all this come from? Where does this worldview that’s informing all this stuff come from?'”
He continued to say, “And the furthest back that I could get was being like five years old and being at JC Penney’s and getting lost and choking on candy and the terror of that moment, and then a stranger picking me up and my mom screaming for someone to help me, and I told you what my relationship with her was like. So this was a very tender moment for me, like hearing the panic in her voice. And all the while, ‘Sweet Little Lies’ by Fleetwood Mac is playing.” This memory is obviously extremely meaningful to the FJM, which just goes to show how music can transform beyond technical talent.
When Misty speaks of his personal music history growing up, he continues: “I didn’t grow up on secular music, I didn’t hear pop music, I only heard Christian music, and just hearing this song and being like ‘Ugh.’ It was just this saccharine cacophony of this song and thinking to myself like ‘This is a joke.’ Like, ‘If this is what’s playing while I’m dying, then this is totally a joke that this is how I’m gonna die.’ And that was where the whole worldview came from. It was this formative moment of like, that’s who I am.”
It’s clear just how much Fleetwood Mac changed Father John Misty’s life. Not only as a musician, but in a personal sense, too. And there’s something that ties these two together, really. As an artist, the personal impacts the professional, and that has absolutely proven fruitful in the case of Father John Misty.
If you want to hear the Fleetwood Mac song that inspired Father John Misty and changed his life for the better, you can hear it down below.