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It's 'Those Girls From Sleater-Kinney'

Making punk rock 'n' roll in a post-9/11 world.

Interview Jenny Tatone

"Some of the lessons you learn from being in a band are the same lessons you learn from being in a relationship; the important lessons — compromise, always say you're sorry, appreciate your partners." — Janet Weiss
Jenny Tatone: Do you think about the ways joining a band has shaped the person you are today? Do you wonder how you might be different had you never joined a band? It seems there are certain characteristics you form in childhood that you carry throughout your life, and then there are those you get from less-lived experiences, such as being a successful musician. How has that influenced who you are?

Corin Tucker: It's funny, because I was at this party the other day that was all these people I had grown up with and their family friends. Now when I get introduced to people, it's like, 'Oh, that girl from Sleater-Kinney.' I think it definitely changes you when you're in a band that gets recognized. It's definitely a feeling of success, I'm really grateful for it. I would be very frustrated, I'd be a much less happy person, if we hadn't been as lucky as we have been.

Tatone: You've been together for about eight years. Do you ever look back at some of the goals and dreams you had in the beginning and see how much you've changed? Have your perspectives or viewpoints changed much since you first started out?

Janet Weiss: As a musician, your goals are naturally gonna change year to year. When you first start playing, your goals might be to play a show, as simple as that, or maybe to find someone to play with. It seems like when you first start, it's a much simpler endeavor. It gets more complicated as you go along. With each record you make, within yourself you have to define why you're doing what you're doing, streamline what's the most important to you about playing music. Because there's a lot of external, outside forces that sidetrack you, as you become a professional musician especially.

Tatone: You were saying about the record defining what you're doing. What do you mean?

Weiss: Keeping sight of those original goals of like communicating an idea, pushing yourself musically and staying true to how things began, trying to play within a community and not strike out on your own to get rich. That's not really what it's about.

Tatone: What are some of the lessons you've gained from your experience being in a band that you couldn't have gotten anywhere else? Do you have any regrets? Would you have done anything different if given the chance?

Weiss: Bring a sound person on tour [laughing]. Some of the lessons you learn from being in a band are the same lessons you learn from being in a relationship, the important lessons — compromise, always say you're sorry, appreciate your partners. Being in a band is not so unlike, except for the technical aspects, other parts of life, so the lessons are general forgiveness.

Tatone: And are you forced to learn those lessons faster because being in a band is maybe more intense?

Weiss: If you wanna stay together, yeah.

Tucker: I think so. It's really hard for a band to stay together.


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