Friday, July 12, 2024 
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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

"Carrie sings a lot more on this record and that flushed out a whole other perspective, like a richer sound." — Janet Weiss
Tatone: "Far Away," I wanted to talk about obviously being about Sept. 11. And less obviously, "Combat Rock" seems to reference it as well. I'm sure you were horrified, as we all were, but could you talk about your reactions to how the U.S. has responded and the patriotism that resulted?

Tucker: It's sad that we don't, as a culture, have a way to mourn or grieve as a group. I think the tragedy and the shock got channeled into this really intense nationalism and consumerism that I just did not feel akin to and I don't feel it suited the situation. Now, it's like six months later, people are being able to begin talking about the stories and grieve about them a little bit more.

But, again, I think the machinery that the U.S. government has in place to react to an attack on the U.S. is in some ways really outdated for the world that we live in today and should be questioned at every level. For example, the fact that the military accidentally bombed a wedding in Afghanistan. I don't think that's an acceptable outcome of war — that all these innocent civilians die and they just say, "Oh that's what happens in war." With the evolution of our society, I think our defense mechanism should evolve as well. Obviously, it is a real threat; it is an important threat that should be addressed. I'm glad that we're talking about more security and more intelligence. I don't think having only the traditional military response is suitable. We need to evolve in terms of leadership and in terms of our defense mechanism as well.

Tatone: Do you think about it specifically? Like what exactly you'd like to see done?

Tucker: I think it'd be great if the U.S. was more involved in the UN and didn't see itself as irresponsible to the international group of countries. If we could work more intimately with other governments in terms of having a criminal force that saw terrorism as a criminal act and something that's cracked down on internationally. That's a huge problem. People are operating in all these different countries, and I think they should be treated as criminals, obviously. I don't think it should necessarily be seen as a condition of war — it's not.

Weiss: In certain ways, the government is the problem to begin with. There's so many covert actions that we don't even know about. We don't know what kind of side deals governments are making with each other and why they're making them. I feel like it's a really hard thing to battle, 'cause we're completely in the dark about what's really going on. And, the rest of the country, most people are happy to be that way. If you told them what really happened, they wouldn't believe it. They wouldn't believe it if you told them why things really occurred. So, in that way, to me, it's depressing to try to figure out where to go from here. If people could be more compassionate in the government I think it would really help the situation [and] the human condition in the world. It sounds really simple but it seems absolutely impossible. This is all about money. I don't see any other thing that drives the government, in my opinion — money is a religion of our culture.

Tatone: Yeah, it sometimes seems like corporations have more power than our government.

Weiss: Oh, definitely. What do you really know about corporations?

Tucker: And when you do find out, you're like, "You've been lying and cheating? What a surprise!" What a shock!

We've really gone on a rant in this interview — I like it! Have some coffee! Caffeine! [laughing]


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