03/20/04 – 03/26/04

(This week’s answers provided by Carrie)

Q: When I noticed you would be playing in Boston on April 25 I was excited because I haven’t been to one of your shows since Valentine’s Day 2003. Until I realized – oh no! – that’s the same day as the March for Choice in Washington, D.C.! I was shocked that you would make your loyal fans choose between your show and a major march for reproductive rights. I was also surprised because this means you all won’t BE at the march. So my question is why? Why are you playing a show the night of the march? Since I plan on attending the march, I will have to miss your show. It’s a shame that you won’t be there too.

Q: I’m sure you’ve noticed that the one show scheduled for Boston is taking place the same day as the March for Women’s Lives in DC. As a Boston fan, I was disappointed because the march is a huge event that I don’t want to miss. I would have guessed that this is a cause you would support, so I was wondering what your stance on women’s reproductive rights is and why you are choosing not to support the march (or if you are supporting it in other ways).Needless to say, if the show was any other day, I’d be there with a bunch of other sk-loving feminists…Thanks again and keep on rockin

A: I love questions like this. I can’t remember a time that I made someone feel bad because they had to work on the same night as an important event. Would it be as egregious if we were playing in Portland that night? Or is it that we are nearby but not going? Did these people write to every band who has a show that night and ask why they aren’t attending? Anyway, the answer as to why I’m not attending the rally is because this is my job and I can’t get off work that night. I am in an independent band that works hard at what we do to make a living (most musicians do, it is a real job, you know). When we book tours, there is little or no time for extraneous events, just ask any of our families who try to coordinate reunions and weddings around tour. Could we have asked for a night off? Maybe. But we don’t call all the shots, we have to work around the schedules of the clubs we want to play at. Do I support women’s reproductive rights? Of course! Do I contribute to Planned Parenthood each year, as well as local organizations that help to keep abortions safe and legal? Yes. Have we done a radio ad for Planned Parenthood in the past? Yes. Are we known to be a band comprised of feminists and do we sometimes even address these issues in our lyrics or interviews? Duh. I think it’s quite rude (particularly the tone of the first question) to berate someone for not attending a rally on account of work. How would it feel if I emailed you and made subtle accusations that you didn’t support an issue just because you weren’t attending an event. You have a lot of letters to write if you’re planning on letting every single woman who can’t make it to DC (on account of work or family or lack of funds) know that they should feel guilty about it. I’d rather support the people that are able to go. Those of us that can’t make it will be there in spirit. March on!

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Q: I’ve always been puzzled at the stark contrast between Carrie’s vocal style on “One Beat” versus those on previous albums. It’s one thing to buy a new pedal, or maybe pick up a new guitar, but I always wondered what brought on the sudden change, if it was indeed a conscious decision; and since I can’t imagine that Janet would threaten to spear Carrie with a wood-tip 5B if she didn’t change her singing style…… But joking aside, how did you find the new voice (or did it find you)?

A: I try to use my voice as an instrument based on what the song needs and based on the song’s intent. For example, on “Combat Rock”, I wanted a clipped tone that emulated a more militaristic, staccato approach. I didn’t want people to find that song easy to listen to. Ideally, I want our songs to create a discussion, to create an argument. I don’t want our songs or all of our vocals to be a placid lake that people sit beside and look out on. I want our songs to have waves that jar people and that make them feel uncomfortable sometimes. On the next record, I want to sing in a way that makes people vomit or makes them scratch until they bleed.

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Q: hi, i was just wondering how you determine which songs wont make it into a full length album. for example ‘maraca’, i think that’s one of the best sleater-kinney songs. you can get maraca on the y.n.r.n.r.f. 7″ or the matador cd single from Europe so its not that accessible. what made you all decide it wasn’t ‘full length material’? i also think that ‘off with your head’ is a great song.

A: “Maraca” just didn’t seem to fit into a sequence on that album, sometimes it is as simple as that. Also, if we have already covered a theme on a certain record, we try root out redundancy. I too like “Maraca” and “Off with Your Head” as well. Sometimes I wish we had put the latter on One Beat, but I am happy with how that album turned out, so I think we made the right choice. B-Sides exist for a reason, and one of those reasons is so that certain people can wonder why they are B-sides.

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Q: Watching and listening to you play, it almost seems as if you came out of the womb with a guitar in your hands-however, I think I’ve read that you started playing around 16. I am really curious as to what types of things you saw yourself doing, or dreamt about when you were younger. Did you always know playing music was your deal, or did you have a clandestine wish to become a pastry chef or a smokejumper or something?

A: Marine Biology, that was a fleeting one. Acting and theatre were my first loves. I let that dream go in high school. I didn’t know I would play music for a living until college. Up until then, I thought I would just continue with Sociolinguistics, which is what I studied.

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Q: This question is for Carrie: I read your interview in the recent issue of Venus magazine. I was wondering if perhaps, when you’re 35 or older, you would consider running for president with my dog(?) I think you have a definite chance of winning…I’ll vote for you, anyway. **Brownstein/Rex 2012** (I’m completely serious unless you think I’m insane…or something of the sort…)

A: Yes, I will consider this.