AOL: As an artist, how do you even get yourself mentally prepared to run this gauntlet for the next 36 months?
P: I just become a machine. I detach from all of my foundations at home. I get all of my suitcases out. I think, "What do I think I might want to wear in January of 2010?" [laughs] And I'm always wrong, that's why I bring everything that I have. But I work through all of my issues, each album. Like at the beginning of the two-and-a-half year run, I still am sad about whatever I wrote about and then by the time I'm home, I'm fine. It's like therapy.
AOL: What issues are you working through on 'Funhouse'?
P: Boy, oh boy ... it started out very raw, all about kind of heartbreak. It's kind of how I write ... frustration, anger, sadness and loneliness. That's, to me, inspiration for lyrics. Happiness? Useless. If I'm happy I don't get out of bed -- there's no point. So it started out being about heartbreak. There's a lot of other songs on the album that aren't about my divorce. I like the fact that each album is sort of a mystery bag. You put your hand in and you don't know what's gonna come out.
AOL: Can you talk about how 'Please Don't Leave Me' came about?
P: 'Please Don't Leave Me' is funny to me. As I was writing it, I was thinking about my mom. We have a tendency to be really, really nasty and obnoxious, but we're lovable, so it's kind of like "screw you, but come back, go away, come back, I'm an a--hole, love me anyway" -- that's kind of that song. It's a cliche to say we hurt the ones we love the most, but I think that we feel safe enough to really be ourselves and sometimes ourselves is not a pretty picture.