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Jack Johnson Tunes in the 'Static'

Win Rosenfeld video/NPR

Jack Johnson's new album, Sleep Through the Static, is a little more electric and a little darker than his previous efforts — but just a little. At its core, it's still vintage Jack Johnson. The surfer-turned-crooner joined the Bryant Park Project recently for an in studio interview and performance.

In addition to playing cuts from the new album, Johnson talked about the solar-powered studio where he recorded it. He says the decision to build a solar-powered studio wasn't made for environmental reasons alone.

"More than anything, I've always liked The Swiss Family Robinson, and I love reading books about Pitcairn Island. There's a book called An Island to Oneself about this guy who decides he's going to go live on this little island and see if he can survive," Johnson says.

Johnson learned to live off the land as a child, he says, when his father would take him on extended camping trips with limited supplies. Recently, the musician bought 50-gallon containers from a local bakery in his home state of Hawaii and rigged them to collect rain water for his garden.

Does that make him the musical MacGyver? "Yeah, MacGyver's another favorite," he says. "I love that show."

Web exclusive: See Jack Johnson perform "Same Girl" on our video podcast.

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