…I don’t think I would’ve been a very happy person — if I was successful when I was young. I know a lot of people who are successful when they were young and some of them are happy and some of them are really, really, not happy: I think it’s hard; I think life is really hard; I think happiness is really hard; Satisfaction is really hard. If you get all the things that you’re supposed to look forward to and that make you feel great — really early… you might not work out a lot of the other stuff. You might not work out — some things that are a little more fundamental, than having people like you. That’s why you meet crazy musicians: Musicians aren’t crazy because crazy people make music. Musicians are often crazy, because making music makes you crazy. Certainly being very successful at it can make you totally crazy……I feel like it makes people crazy because you aren’t suddenly happy. So, I think people look, like, “If I’m not happy, then something must be wrong.” So [they’ll] start finding problems when there really aren’t any. Whereas if [they] just learn that [they’re] not happy and that’s part of being a human… You just appreciate it when good things happen to you and you can enjoy them and laugh at them. I have been lucky enough to have worked out a bunch of that stuff before getting the great niceness of having people like the thing that I do… So now I can enjoy it and have some perspective on it. Like — it’s not something I deserve; not something, like: “Where’s the guy… who’s supposed to tell me I’m awesome and give me a bunch of money? Where’s that guy?” If someone had done that, when I was a kid, and when I was twenty-four they weren’t doing it anymore… I would just be so angry… I would be the worst guy…
James Murphy, on success at a young age and being thankful for limitations. (From Red Bull Music Academy in New York, NY)