Kat Bejjalnd intreview / retro fetish.
Retro Fetish interview
February 11, 2012 at 11:33am
What are the members of Babes in Toyland up to these days?
The last time I spoke with the drummer, Lori [Barbero], she was DJing and spinning at bars, and in a band called Koala. Michelle [Leon], the bass player, lived in New Orleans. The last time I spoke with her, she was in a U-Haul with her dog coming up from Hurricane Katrina. She said, “It’s just like in the Bible.” The other bass player, Maureen Herman [who replaced Leon], lives in Chicago.
Can you talk about your current musical project?
I kind of have a studio in my basement. I don’t really know how to operate all of the digital equipment yet, but I can get around the wires OK. Adrian and I are trying to teach ourselves. He’s playing drums a bit, and there’s pre-recorded drum loops, too. The music is really heavy — probablyheavier than Babes and Katastrophy Wife. I’ll play guitar, sing, and use three amps with lots of feedback.
Is it true that the song “Bruise Violet” is about Courtney Love?
No. Maybe a couple words or a line can be about someone. Maybe that we shared the name “Violet” as a spiritual ghost that we both used as a muse. Once in a while my lines will get angry at someone, but that’s all old hat. I’ve been corresponding with Courtney by e-mail, but that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Are there any current bands that you absolutely love?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Tegan and Sara. I listen mostly to blues and I have lots of vinyl. The last concert that I went to was the White Stripes, which was really good. Sometimes when I’m writing music I try not to listen to rock — maybe classical so that I have a clean brain palette.
When did you feel like you had made it as a musician?
[Babes in Toyland] played Reading Festival in England. I was late and taking a black cab an hour into the festival. There were thousands of people there. I got there about a half hour before we were supposed to play, jumped up on stage, the crowd’s roaring. And then the amps don’t go on! But after that we played with Sonic Youth and Nirvana. We were with all of these bands who I admired and respected as musicians. We were talking to John Peel and MTV all at once. John said that he was weepy when he met us. That was pretty great. They made a movie out of [the festival] called The Year Punk Broke.
What have you learned from being in the music business all of these years?
That all people are fairly insecure. I met lots of fans, especially in England — I call them “the face grabbers.” The girls and guys get so nervous when they meet you. I just usually have to sit down and buy them a drink. My little goal in life is to make sure people don’t feel like there are people above them. That they’re equal. I’m just a person. The bad part is the biz. The exploitation — just like in the old days. You have to be pretty savvy.