Today is the birthday of Steven Patrick Morrissey , that devilish Smiths frontman…
- Posted on Aug 31st 2012 2:00PM by Rob Rubsam
When Sleater-Kinney broke up, did you take a break from playing music, or was it something you just kept at?
I really took a break, focused just on my family life for a couple of years, and I really hadn't written very much, but I did I ended up writing a couple of songs for a benefit show, thinking it was just kind of a project. But it changed. It definitely was an exploration of different instrumentation, trying out different things with my voice, trying different styles. It was a really interesting project to work on.
How did the writing process change between 1,000 Years and Kill My Blues?
It changed a lot for this second record. We would sometimes just jam in the practice space -- we came up with some of these songs that way -- and that was a really fun exploration of everybody's different talents. Mike Clark and Sara Lund really have a groovy rhythm-section thing happening, it's really fun to play with. Seth Lorinczi and I have a lot of fun doing guitar stuff together. I feel like that sort of natural collaboration can happen between the four of us.
Now, as a parent and someone with a full-time job, has your approach to and appreciation for touring changed?
Well, I think that it's still something that I've always viewed as a part of the music business. To me it's always been a part of the job, an important part. But when you have little kids that are depending upon you, it just made it so much more difficult. The kids are school age now, and I'm hoping that will make things a little bit easier this time around. They have their routine and their friends and the things that they're into.
Did they like touring around?
Well, they both have done it, but I wouldn't say like is the operative word there.
Do you still connect with the same music and ideas as back when you first became involved in riot grrrl?
Well, what is actually so frustrating is that a lot of those same issues that we were talking about are still so relevant today. When I was in college it was all about reproductive rights and worrying about overturning Roe v. Wade, and it's like "wow, we're still arguing about those same issues," and it's still the woman who calmly gets up and requests that her insurance pay for birth control pills who gets slammed as a slut by Rush Limbaugh. It's mindblowing that as a culture we're still there, and so I think that frustration is still a part of my mindset, and the kind of frustration on some of the music I write too. But I'm a different person now, 20 years later, and I think that there's different perspectives that I have, but I think that a lot of the same issues that we were fighting for are still relevant to women in our country and around the world.
In general, why did you choose music as a form of art or expression?
Music always moved me more than anything else. It's a very deep form of communication for many people. And I think with research they've found that, truly, it's the deepest form of communication in your brain. Music is one of the last things you lose when you lose your mind, like when you have Alzheimer's, you still have music in there. That rhythm goes way down deep in your limbic, your core of your brain. Human beings respond to music very deeply. It's a really intense way to communicate with people, it communicates a lot more than just thought, just discussion, it communicates emotion. You give people that emotion, especially when you play a show and you're in a room with them, you can make them feel something. That is a super powerful event as an artist. I was lucky to be able to find that out at an early age, and it changed my life forever.