‘I once lived in a 12-bedroom Hollywood castle – it was absurd’

Have you done alterations?

Nothing major. Because of climate change Los Angeles now has mosquitoes, so I had to put screens over the windows and put in a screened porch. I also put in solar panels and a battery system, so I’m off the grid – oh, and I turned the garage into a second recording studio. 

I once had a dream of being in Los Angeles with a swimming pool. It seemed like paradise. But once I had that I never used it. 

Seven years ago I was sitting by [the pool] feeling like an idiot with this big box of chlorinated water sitting in my backyard. No one can drink it; when bees fly into it they die. I thought: “Why am I spending time and money sustaining it when it could be something else?”. 

I told a contractor I wanted to remove my swimming pool and he said, “Sure! Replace it with another one?”, I said, “No, replace it with trees.” 

Its complete removal made my business manager say, “Fantastic. You’ve just spent a ton of money to make your house less valuable.” But now that space is filled with trees, with birds, squirrels, pollinating insects, humming-birds and butterflies, and it feels like some of the best money I’ve ever spent.

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