(This week’s answers provided by Corin)
Q: Your sound is so unique. The only song that comes to mind that seems remotely derived from another artist is “A Quarter To Three,” which is so Liberty Belle & The Black Diamond Express-period Go-Betweens I’d swear Tucker/Brownstein was Forster/McLennan wearing flats. Who do you sound like, to you, at the various stages of the band?
A: I think you can hear certain musical influences on different records, but I do think we’ve always had our own unique sound.� On our first album, there is a definite Bikini Kill vibe going on. Sometimes I hear the influence of Sonic Youth, and Beat Happening…and sometimes yes Led Zepplin. I love the Go-Betweens but am more of a recent convert.
Q: I’m a HUGE S-K fan, however I’m also a proud conservative republican and strongly believe liberal policies are dangerous for the security of Americans at home and abroad. I’m well aware of the band’s views and respect differing opinions. Unfortunately, I feel left out at shows (especially at an S-K/PJ show where Vedder gave his typical speech assuming everyone there had a like mindset) and feel like I’m unwanted as a fan. Is this true or am I overreacting?
A: I think that music truly is a way for people to connect, and it can bring together folks from all different walks of life and belief systems. We take all kinds. We don’t want to alienate people by speaking our minds, it just seems natural when we have the opportunity. VOTE FOR KERRY 2004!! he he.
Q: I’m curious about your approach to lyrics. I heard a live version of an incredible song that you dedicated to your family that has the refain “Can I count on you?”. Unfortunately, it was never released/recorded. How much time do you spend agonizing over the lyrics and do you ever feel self-conscious about something you’ve written as being too personal?
A: Well, I don’t even remember the song you mention, so I guess that says something about my approach to lyrics – free form! I will often get on stage without any real written lyrics and just sort of know kind of what the song is about to me. Then when we actually have to record, I do have to agonize a bit over the lyrics. As I get older, I do sometimes worry about what my son will think of some of the songs I’ve written. But you know, I am so proud of the lyrics and the fact that I’ve tried to express my inner world.
Q: As a liberal feminist, when i think about having a son and raising him, i get a bit terrified. i feel that with girls, i have a general idea of how to raise them to be independent, confident and compassionate people. with boys, im at a bit of a loss. while i have a sensitive and intelligent male partner who will be a good role model, im not sure how to combat the negative male stereotypes that are abound in American culture to raise a thoughtful, emotionally aware, confident man. have you or do you grapple with this issue? are you doing anything with your son to combat this?
A: I’ve read some research about attachment parenting, and I think those first few years, even the first 18 months, really play into the emotional development of a child. Any child, boy or girl, needs emotional attachment to both parents in order to develop strong emotional bonds. As far as raising boys goes, they are naturally more aggressive than girls. Trust me! Part of what I try and do with my son is to let him know what are acceptable and unnacceptable channels for that aggression. Hitting, for example, is not o.k., but that lesson is still being learned. We do, however, lots of role playing with plastic light sabers. As far as what sort of man he will grow up to be, I am confident that he will be a thoughtful and caring person. Whether or not he becomes a feminist or a republican will be up to him, but yes I’ll love him either way.
Q: You got to live in the Olympia scene firsthand. I was wondering was it just exploited or was it a phenomenon to you and other insiders as well. And do you think if the media focused their attention on other scenes, would they have been just as potent as well?
A: Olympia in 1990 truly had an amazing underground subculture of art and music. I feel really fortunate to have met so many talented people: Tinuviel, Kathleen Hanna, Tobi Vail, Kathi Wilcox, Billy Karren, Allison Wolfe, Molly Neuman, Erin Smith – who actually lived in D.C., that other hotbed of creativity, Calvin Johnson, Candice Pederson, Lois Maffeo, Slim Moon, Sue P. Fox, Al Larson, Stella Marrs, Nikki McClure….I could go on and on but yeah I hit the jackpot. Other cities? No, D.C. was fun and S.F. a blast but Olympia was the shit.