Getty Images While Odd Future's antics have gained Tyler, The Creator and his…
- Posted on Jun 7th 2011 12:00PM by Dan Reilly
How did the documentary come about?
We were about to go on tour in 2004 and I was thinking how there was no good documentation of the projects I've done, and about how weird we all were in the '90s, like "Don't photograph me!" We were so freaked about being sucked up by the mainstream that we didn't even document ourselves. I didn't want that to happen to me, as a grownup. We put some money into a camera to shoot our shows, just to have it, not really thinking that we're making a movie. Then we started filming stuff on the bus or backstage. After, we stopped touring, revisited some of the material and slowly started putting it into the project and finally it's done, six years later.
What's your favorite part of the movie?
I like a lot of the stuff that Johanna says about JD in the interview part. There is some stuff that we never really say to each other because it's too corny. Like, you don't actually sit in a room and go, "Here's what you brought to the band." It was interesting to hear Jo say these sweet, sentimental things about JD. She talked about a lot of stuff that happened in terms of JD's gender and presentation, how that did change how people perceived us as a band. I definitely got an education by seeing the way a journalist would treat her and not know how to treat her. I don't know, I guess it just brought this issue to the fore. It felt really good to have that spoken out loud.
Was there anything that you might have forgotten about or were surprised to see?
Just how goofy we were. I don't think people think of us as being that goofy and I don't think of us as being that goofy, but looking back at the footage I was like, "Oh my God." Every time the camera went on we were totally goofy and I know when the camera went off, we were equally goofy. I sort of forgot about that, that everything was kind of a joke and lighthearted and it was really in contrast to some of the other things that were going on that were really heavy. It was either really heavy, like "We're being boycotted!" and then trying to put a Band-Aid on everything with humor, all the time.
Everyone always says that, and I just feel like it's not true. Of course you love watching yourself. You want to rewind the part where you look good, over and over and over again. I love watching myself. At this point, I think I have a little bit of distance from it. I don't sit down and watch the movie over and over. When I first saw it, I was interested, because I don't know what I look like to other people.
There was a long interview that the three of us did for the bonus reel and I had to go through that and edit it because we were really casual in it and saying stuff like personal jokes, acting the way that we would never act knowing we're on camera. Watching it and thinking "What would someone who doesn't know us think of this?" was really an eye-opening experience. We could come off as totally mean, because there were experiences that we've had with journalists and other bands who've left a bad taste in our mouths, so we would make these snappy comments about them. If you didn't know us and didn't know about our prior experiences, you would think that we're totally f---ing a------s.
It's one of the things we looked back on, not regretfully, but we became total professional interview subjects. It's like we never let ourselves just be a------s in interviews and just be like "F--- you!" if someone asked us something insensitively. I feel like there's this weird thing that as a feminist band you get put in this role as ambassadors. Certain people are like "Oh, here come the Feminazis!" You end up acting 10 times nicer than you even need to be, to be the opposite of the stereotype like "You're the man haters!" We're always bending over backwards being extra nice. And I don't know if being nice is my legacy. Johanna and I talked about it a lot. Both of us wish that we would have broken out of the mold sometimes and just be jerks more often.
It has to be tough if you're thinking that there are women artists who want you to represent them.
But then in the end that's just feeding into the whole thing that we're all the same and we're not. We should be able to want to be ourselves. And if who we are at that moment is someone who hasn't taken a shower in a week and is totally grouchy because the venue is half the size that we were told, then that's who you are. And I feel like I've earned a right to be a grouch or be happy or be disappointed or be whatever. I think we really let the fact that we were being tokenized get the better of us sometimes. I wish that we would have been more on top of that a little bit.
With all the work that you've done, have you noticed any improvements in the music industry for LGBT people or women in general?
Yeah. I think things are way better. Clearly, gay marriage is on the top of the agenda right now. It's pretty amazing, considering where stuff was at when I was in high-school, when there were no LGBT Gay-Straight Alliances or any of that stuff. Am I a huge Lady Gaga fan? No, but I think some of the stuff that she does that helps LGBT kids is amazing. And it's great that that's mainstream. It's fantastic that there's a pop star who's willing to put herself out in that way.
Have you been paying attention to the controversy with Odd Future and their homophobic, misogynistic lyrics?
No, not really. They don't seem that interesting to me.
Sara Quin just spoke out against them and it created a bit of a media storm.
I feel like, if you don't want to listen to them, don't listen to them. If you do want to listen to them, do listen to them. I couldn't really comment about on exactly what their lyrics are about, because I haven't gotten that deep into it. But if people are writing lyrics that piss you off, hurt your feelings and make you feel like s---, don't listen to it. I don't think the best idea is to have a boycott. Just don't talk about them and they'll go away. The more you talk about them, the more attention they get. Tegan and Sara fans probably wouldn't even know this band existed if they weren't talking about them. I find the whole conversation kind of boring. There are so many great artists that are doing interesting things, that I don't want to focus on boring people.
When making this documentary, did Le Tigre talk about playing any more shows?
What we kind of came to was that we'd really like to write together but none of us really want to tour. Who knows? We could totally write a record together. I don't know if we want to tour anymore. I really enjoy being in New York and not touring. We all have these other projects and the great thing about not being in a band together is that it's easier to be friends. And if I had to choose between the band or the friendships, I'd choose the friendships at this point.