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Ryan Marshall on why you need to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Ryan Marshall, a musician from the Juno Award-winning band Walk Off The Earth, talks about Robert M. Pirsig's 1974 classic.
Just like listeners can interpret Ryan Marshall's songs in different ways, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is open to interpretation. (Paul Buceta/Sony Music)

As one of the lead singers of the Canadian alternative rock band Walk Off The Earth (and an avid motorcyclist) Ryan Marshall was able to draw parallels between Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and his own experience of songwriting. Here's what he had to say about the value of different interpretations. 

One of the biggest things that I enjoy and appreciate about it is that it reminds me of, when you're writing a song, obviously it means something to you. But when someone else reads the lyrics or they listen to the song, it doesn't necessarily portray the same meaning to them that it meant to you when you were writing it. There are two people existing in this book: the sane mind and the schizophrenic mind. The whole time, you're trying to figure out if the sane mind is really sane, or if it's actually sane, or if it's the schizophrenic mind. It's up to you do decide.   

Ryan Marshall's comments have been edited and condensed.