Before releasing 2015 solo album Faith in the Future, Craig Finn drove around for a week visiting radio stations to promote the record. While the interviews occupied his mornings and afternoons, the Hold Steady singer found himself alone in the evenings. “Some of the nights were pretty lonely,” Finn said in a recent phone interview.

Before releasing 2015 solo album Faith in the Future, Craig Finn drove around for a week visiting radio stations to promote the record. While the interviews occupied his mornings and afternoons, the Hold Steady singer found himself alone in the evenings. “Some of the nights were pretty lonely,” Finn said in a recent phone interview.

So this time, as Finn prepares to release his third solo record, We All Want the Same Things, in March, he's spending his evenings in his fans' living rooms, playing a string of house show dates, including a sold-out stop in Columbus on Thursday, Jan. 19.

Here's a portion of my conversation with Finn about the difference between living rooms and rock clubs, and whether all of us really do want the same things.

You've billed this tour as “An Evening of Music and Conversation.” How are you incorporating conversation into the shows?

The first night we did audience questions at the end, and the questions were so good that I was like, “We need to put these in there [earlier].” So basically I play a song, and I see if anyone has questions about anything. And sometimes their questions or comments lead to me playing a different song next than I had planned. It's cool. There's a back and forth. The best nights are when people have a lot of questions.

What made you want to do a living room tour?

There's all kinds of reasons people go to a rock club. It's not always to listen to the music. To do a living room show with new material where it's just me and a guitar, people are there to hear it. And they haven't heard the songs before, so it's nice that the lyrics are able to cut through. They're able to understand it in a way they wouldn't be able to with a loud rock band in a different environment.

On a more political level, the way we communicate through the internet, and the fake news that's come up in the past year, getting people together in a room is more and more important. I think that's how things move forward — getting together in real time. Even on maybe what I consider the other side, I think that Trump's success was in part from his rallies, where people got in a room and found excitement among his supporters.

You titled your new record We All Want the Same Things. That feels like a bold claim right now. Did you want the title to be jarring?

I knew the title would be jarring. I named it during the election, not after the election. It seems like it's taken on even bigger significance now. But it's intentional. It's a lyric from a song, but I thought it summed up something. We obviously live in a very divided country right now. At the same time, it definitely rings true that we do on some level want the same things. We just vastly disagree on how to get there.

A lot of the songs are about people partnering up, and making small teams — I say uneasy alliances — to go out and fight the world. That's the version of love that's presented in a lot of these songs. A lot of the characters, in their version of love, they want some of the same things but not all of the same things. It's exploring that tension.

Did you want to make a hopeful record?

I think I'm always trying to create something that's hopeful. To me, We All Want the Same Things is a hopeful title, and maybe it's even more hopeful than some of the songs.

Yeah, there's a lot of sadness in there, as well.

At the same time, if you say, “We all get sad,” in some way that's a positive statement that's trying to identify with other people in this world and say, “You're not alone in your sadness.”