Bob Weir sat down with CBS correspondent John Blackstone to discuss his outstanding work ethic at 75 years old, his ongoing duty to late musical partner Jerry Garcia, adapting the Grateful Dead’s songbook to play with symphony orchestras, and more during an interview on CBS Sunday Morning.

At the start of the extended 17-minute interview, Weir offers reflections on songwriting, explaining that even at 75, when the muse calls, he has no choice but to answer.

“You know, every now and again,” he says, “something wakes me up in the middle of the night and says, ‘No, you gotta get up. Nope, nope. You’re not going back to bed. You’re getting up. Yep. You’re gonna have to sit down with the guitar. It’s part of the gig.”

When the interviewer asks if writing is a challenge, he replies, “The blank page is the greatest challenge life has to offer.” Weir goes on to ask, “What’s worth saying anymore? Especially in an era where it is just wall to wall universal output and everybody’s saying something. When you’re writing a song, you’re writing something that can’t be said with words alone. Can’t be done with music alone. It takes words and music. Maybe offer a new insight into something that’s otherwise been said a million times. Those new insights are, you know, they’re hard. They’re hard to find. They’re hard to come by.”

Related: Bob Weir Confesses To Stage Fright In New Interview: “Like Walking Into A Torture Chamber”

Blackstone then asks Weir why so many of his songs are about life in a band—songs like “Playing In The Band”, “Uncle John’s Band”, and “The Other One” to name a few. Weir explains, “Well, you know, if I’m gonna speak from experience, I’m probably going to have to couch it in terms of the fact that all I’ve ever known is this existence. I’ve been a performing musician all my days. [Some] people are given—even me from time to time—given to the notion that, I’m speaking from my own experience when really, in reality, I’m speaking from some sort of mythical place.”

The two septuagenarians then discuss Weir’s unremitting work ethic. “The harder you work, the more luck you have,” the interviewer offers, to which Weir responds:

“Oh yeah, for sure. And you know, I’m not real shy about working. I will put my shoulder to the wheel, you know. I’m as lazy as the next guy, but I found something that I love doing and that helped me overcome my basic laziness. And once I get into it, I can’t stop after working at this for as many years as I have. A lot more doors are open to me now, and I’ll be stir fried if I’m just gonna walk past that. If you worked for your entire life to be able to work with a symphony orchestra on a meaningful level, how can you pass that up?”

The conversation then turns to Jerry Garcia as Blackstone asks, “Is any of this at all related to the fact that Jerry left so soon that you see things that maybe you would’ve been doing together or you’re doing this because he left so soon?”

Weir affirms that he does feel a duty to continue what he and Jerry started. “Well, he left some unfinished business,” he explains, “and I’m gonna do my best. We were partners. I’m gonna do my best to tidy some stuff up for him. He was a dear friend of mine. You know, that’s what you do for your friends.”

Weir goes on to “wax hippie metaphysical” as he describes a time Jerry visited him in a dream:

“Jerry came to me in a dream. He does this from time to time, and he wanted to introduce to me a song. It was a jazz ballad, I think that we were going to sing a duet on. And he invited the song into the room and in the dream, it was like an enormous, ethereal kind of English sheep dog that came in. And it sniffed me. And, you know, I batted around a little bit and we [went] back and forth a little bit. And we immediately established a little rapport there, and then we settled in and we started singing it.”

He continued elaborating a theory he previously espoused in an interview with NPR about songs being “critters” from another realm.

“A song is a living critter,” he explained. “The characters in those songs are real. They live in some other world. And they come and visit us through the musicians, through the artists who have dedicated their lives to being that medium. And inviting those critters from other worlds to come and visit our world and entertain the folks. ‘Cause that’s all they want to do, is they just want to, they want to meet us and we meet them. That’s what we do.”

The conversation then turns to Weir’s most recent musical endeavor, performing Grateful Dead music accompanied by a symphony orchestra. The Grateful Dead co-founder first played with the National Symphony Orchestra last month and recently announced upcoming shows with the Atlanta Symphony.

Bach made something of a career of dressing up gypsy fiddle tunes. And our music more or less comes from folk roots. But we halfway dressed it up and made it I guess what you’d call popular music. But that extra step to put [it] into the classical realm, it illustrates to me that there’s a continuum from folk music all the way through the most formal classical music.

“[Dr. Giancarlo Aquilant] has managed to put on a page what it was that we were reaching for when we were playing. ‘Cause we all always had this philharmonic notion of what we were up to that was always going on when we were playing. You know, if I were playing a line, I was thinking the horns would love this, you know, this is a horn line. … But now we can actually assign it to horns…”

Blackstone then asks Weir how he is able to play complex orchestral arrangements despite being unable to read music like the symphony members.

“Yeah, I put some work into this,” Weir explains. “I have to because I’m dyslexic in the extreme, and I’m not gonna read music. … I can write about as fast as I can read. I have to commit all this to memory and then decide what I’m gonna do about this section, that section, whatever. I’m still working on it. We’ve got a couple weeks before the downbeat on the first show. So I’m getting there.”

Related: Bob Weir Reflects On Kennedy Center Orchestral Run On NPR [Listen]

The interviewer continues to ask how someone of Weir’s age is able to remember so much music: “Forgive me, but I can say this as a fellow man in his seventies, your memory may be fine, but it does [laughs], it takes a little bit more time to recall sometimes.”

Weir replies, “I have to get it into my bones. I’m not relying on my memory for any of this. I need to sit with it until I’ve absorbed it. It’s not a matter of memory so much as a matter of feeling it.”

The interview then shifts to a discussion of life on the road. When Blackstone mentions some touring musicians “love the job, but hate the touring,” Weir says he is “no different there.” “Touring [is] a chore,” he agrees. “But I really like making the effort to get to where people live because I think it means more to them that when you come to their town and … bring the songs to their town. And also in terms of carbon footprint, it’s a whole lot less detrimental to the planet for us to travel to people’s homes rather than have them come to see us.”

After touching on Weir’s ongoing battle with stage fright, which he recently discussed in an interview with Guitar World, the conversation concludes with Weir’s thoughts about the future of the Grateful Dead.

“My major consideration these days for what I do with the decisions I make [and] how I approach this or that is not what ripples it’s gonna make. Right now, my major consideration is what are people gonna say about that or about what I’m thinking or doing in 300 years. Because it occurs to me that if we do all this stuff right, they will still be talking about it in 300 years. That’s just something I think I’ll be able to offer, and all the folks who’ve been working with me will be able to offer to future generations.”

Watch the full extended interview below. For a list of Bob Weir’s upcoming tour dates and tickets, visit his website.

Bob Weir CBS Sunday Morning Extended Interview