Terry Gross and John Darnielle chat on NPR about his new book, Wolf in White Van, and music and pain. It's a good Terry Gross interview, the kind where she asks tough questions and has a gentle tone in her voice. (The bad interviews are the ones that so tense or awkward that I am physically uncomfortable. I think we've all been there w/ Terry.)
What I think you can hear very clearly in this interview is John Darnielle's deep well of emotion and kindness. He is unique.
I feel a duty. ... I really think there's a lot of music you can use to heal and save yourself. It's not like I have some magic power and I reached inside somebody and said, "Oh, you didn't know this about yourself until I wrote this song." That's not true. What I did is I made a thing, and somebody who needed to find something found mine and chose to meet me out on that ground.
See also: This 2009 article that covers the deep emotional bond between Darnielle and his fans. Rob Delaney interviewed Darnielle about suicide, being a father and general friend-type topics.
See also, also: Mountain Goats Valentines and The Mountain Goats + Movies.