Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...

updated 10/23/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/23/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>Prince Be/Reasons


"Reality used to be a friend of mine," sang Prince Be/Reasons on P.M. Dawn's hit 1991 album Of the Heart, Of the Soul and Of the Cross: The Utopian Experience. These days, he seems to still be estranged from his old pal: His band's new release, Jesus Wept, features songs such as "The 9:45 Wake-up Dream" and "My Own Personal Gravity." But the artist formerly known as Prince Be insists that, in his own way, he's searching for the meaning of life. The problem, he says, is that "the answers come in the form of more questions."

You seem to have some concerns about reality.

I run away from it. I'm into escapism. I look at life differently than most people—more spiritually—and do my own thing. For example, one day I was feeling materialistic, and I didn't like it, so I left the door to my car open in the parking lot of a radio station where I was doing an interview. I told the listeners, 'My Pathfinder's outside, so whoever wants it could take it.' Miraculously, no one stole it.

In May, when I turned 25, I decided that I wouldn't talk for three weeks. No notes, nothing. I needed to look inside myself. Being silent gave me a chance to see whatever I am. When you're not communicating with anyone else, not even your wife, you're going to know yourself a lot better. I had to know who I was, and talking to anyone else during that time would have distracted me.

What did you learn?

One thing I learned is how many people want to talk to you while you're being quiet.

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