lifeblood: listlogs: 2008v10n121-news

ig-news-digest          friday, june 6 2008          volume 10 : number 121

today's subjects:
  [ig-news] windy city times amy article  [sherlyn koo <sherlyn@pixelopolis.]


date: thu, 5 jun 2008 20:39:52 +1000
from: sherlyn koo <>
subject: [ig-news] windy city times amy article

hey folks,
here's an article/amy interview from the windy city times, mostly to do with her
forthcoming solo album.  you can read it online at
- -sherlyn
- ---begin forwarded article---
amy is a ray of light
by lawrence ferber
on her third solo album, didn't it feel kinder ( daemon records ) , the indigo
girls' amy ray stepped outside of her comfort zone. she enlisted a producer for
the first time--greg griffith ( the butchies, le tigre ) --stretched her vocal
range, structured even more complex harmonies and worked with a brand new
"guest" band, arizona. ( "they're like a cross between led zeppelin and the
shins, and throw in some judy garland too," said ray of the asheville,
n.c.-based outfit ) that said, fans of previous efforts prom and stag will find
plenty of punk-inspired, guitar-soaked, ultra-melodic indie rock ( featuring
turns from ex-butchies kaia wilson and melissa york ) with lyrics both personal
and political.
currently at work on two new indigo girls albums with creative partner emily
saliers--one recorded live, the other a studio effort with producer/player
mitchell froom--and enjoying an ltr with filmmaker carrie schrader, the
georgia-based ray took time out to discuss kinder, fellow georgian michael
stipe, and whether she has a gambling problem.
lawrence ferber: while making this album you were purposely pushing yourself,
but did you end up pushed even further than you set out to?
amy ray: yeah, probably. emotionally. i hadn't worked with a producer on a solo
level before and it felt very hard. it went against my solo mindset, doing
whatever i want to do. and he made me reach a little deeper, stretch a little
bit, and question some stuff. our chemistry is pretty intense. we didn't have
drop down, drag-out fights but we had some fireworks between us and in the end i
think we worked together pretty well. and i think he's an amazing instrumental
player, arranger, producer, and i always said that even when arguing with him!
lf: you've extensively delved into gender, coming out and sexual identity on
your previous solo efforts. how queer of an album is this one lyrically?
ar: well, i'm so queer, so everything i do is informed by that to a degree. i've
been through two records where i explored all these ideas about gender and it's
just part of my language now. things are integrated into me in a way, so this
record became more accessible on some levels.
lf: incidentally, how did you feel when michael stipe came out and clarified,
once and for all, that he's gay in spin magazine earlier this year?
ar: he did that? i wonder what took him so long but i feel really good about it!
[ laughs ] i love him. he's such a private person that i think you can't
underestimate how much privacy had to do with that decision. but i'm really glad
and feel like he can be himself and have the relationships he wants. it's
lf: which song is the most personal?
ar: they really all are, but probably "stand and deliver." "rabbit foot" is
really personal but "stand" is in some ways the most confessional about my own
feelings of inadequacy. it's always fun to be self-deprecating.
lf: is "she's got to be" a love song?
ar: yeah. it's two things--a love song for my partner, and also a love song to
the part of myself that is a woman. i've been with her five years. i pretty much
write a lot about my undying affection. but having said that, when i'm writing
anything i'm conflating a lot of things together. i'm also taking into
consideration other relationships or other people's relationships i see. i even
flip around things and write from my partner's perspective about me.
lf: you express some thoughts and imagery about global warming on "bus bus."
ar: yeah, i like to include that in everything. it's a way to mark the passage
of time i think. like look how when i was young i wasn't thinking about melting
ice caps.
lf: "who sold the gun" was inspired by the virginia tech shootings--can you talk
about that?
ar: when that happened, it was just shocking to me and i felt this mixture of
anger at the shooter and also compassion for him and his family. everything
piled together, and i thought it was really ironic that as the media coverage
went on, the coverage of the war started mingling with it and it became this
weird statement: there's this war where all these people are being killed every
day, and we're making all these bombs and landmines, and you can't help but
think that someone who is already mixed up isn't going to be informed by all
that. the song was a comment on no wonder this guy's so screwed up--look what he
came from.
lf: i understand that you wrote a lot of these songs at the mohegan sun casino
complex. so are you more into poker or one-armed bandits? is there an addiction
going on here?
ar: [ laughs ] i don't gamble at all. i don't get anything out of it so i don't
do it. the indigos performed four shows in a row [ there ] and we had an extra
day off so i stayed in my room, set up my tape machine and just wrote. but i
like the casinos run by [ native american ] tribes. they're a little bit easier
to handle for me and they've got a lot of environmental stuff within the
confines of their casino to make it run. they're very eco-conscious.
lf: one of the players on the album, guitarist tomi martin of three5human, has
worked with madonna. did he share any madge gossip?
ar: no. tomi went on tour with her and played guitar and he only said good
things about her. but i definitely plied him for information and he won't give
it up!
lf: are you of the school that madonna is hot?
ar: i am, actually. i can't help it. always have been. i just think she's a
really creative. ... i think of her as more of a businessperson than anything
else. and i think she's sexy.
lf: has fred phelps ever come to an indigo girls or amy ray show?
ar: fred hasn't but he's certainly sent his people. we were at a south carolina
college show, and a bunch of his people came and we were doing like a q&a and
talking to students and phelps' people were there. and we always have protestors
in seattle; i don't know why.
lf: did they at least buy a ticket?
ar: no, they stand outside as people come in.
lf: you co-founded indie label daemon records, and indigo girls are no longer
attached to a big label. now that gas is so expensive will indie bands be able
to tour anymore?
ar: i don't know. ... you gotta get a smaller vehicle [ and ] take up
collections for gas money. i'm not sure what to do.
didn't it feel kinder will be released july 22.
precedence: bulk

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