The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
CD Reviews  |  Classical  |  Live Reviews  |  Music Features

Interview: Amanda Palmer

By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  September 25, 2008

And let's be honest, no one really felt bad for rock stars who weren't making the millions they deserved or whatever.
I'm sure their mothers did. But it was, you know, musicians were just not as informed. But nowadays, if you don't know what's going on with your business, you really just look stupid. Because you can know, and if you don't take precautions, have a good lawyer, make sure your manager's not screwing you, all of thsoe little steps — if you don't take responsibility for that, you just lose. And it's so hard, I mean, that's the thing that's so ironic, it's that — well, maybe not ironic, but unfair, is that is why is a musician expected to negotiate all of that? Whoever wrote into the rulebook that, "Oh, if you write songs, you also need to be able to like, negotiate lawyers, managers, booking agents, publicists, and labels"?

Well, I guess if you want to write songs, you can write songs. But if you want people to hear them, and you want to get paid for it, and want to get credit for it . . .
Yeah, that's really — that's a question that, umm, I think about all the time, because I spend the vast majority of my time not working on music, I spend it behind the Mac [holding her laptop]. We have a much closer relationship than I have with my piano. It can also be very tempting to e-mail instead of write music, because e-mail is very instantly gratifying, and there's a lot of wonderful feedback and connection and blogging can also give you that wonderful jolt of connection with people, and I think, "Wow, I remember when I used to be a songwriter." Now, I seek connections between things in the world and I take those images and put them into my blog. I don't put them into songs — "Songs take so long, no one's going to hear this shit for ten months, if I do this blog thing now, someone will write back to me on their reflection of it in ten minutes." And that's very dangerous, because it can strip you of the private internal intimate relationship you might have with your music-making. And that's something I have yet to figure out, how to balance these two machines.

Yeah, but that's kind of the sophomore thing, right?  Once you've done The Thing, and you have to do The Next Thing —
Yeah, but there's this wonderful thing I've noticed happening, which is that there is a hump that you do get over where you can kind of let things run by themselves, and also —

Songwriting-wise or business-wise?
Business-wise. Which allows you to step back and breathe a little bit and read books and maybe write more music that you would because you start trusting — not only that things will sort of happen because you set up a team, but you also care a little less. Because when you make your first record, it has to be perfect. And when you make your second record, that pretty much has to be perfect too. But by the time you're on your third record, you just don't care as much.

Because you know there'll be another one?
Because you'll have another one, but also because you've proven yourself to the world and to your fans and you can let up a little bit and experiment a little bit more. This is not to say that I was not a complete anal perfectionist with this record, but I was willing to stretch a little bit more and say, "You know, I'm not sure about this, Ben, but sure, let's do it."

Do you think that you were in a different musical head space when you did this solo album?
Oh yeah, totally. First of all, it was a different collection of songs, and it was all about finding a new voice, literally. I was having vocal problems. I think one thing I noticed was that I didn't feel the need to be as loud.

Yeah, I can hear that. The vocals are different, lots of double-tracked parts.
Yeah, and it's not as screamy and poundy. It's a little more, for lack of a better term, more grown-up. When you realize that you don't need to be scream to be heard and you just back up and speak quietly and go "I have something to say, if you feel like listening, then that's great," instead of "Fuck!  I've got this problem!" you know? That's the evolution that hopefully— one of the things that I always fear is that i'm going to wind up one of those terribly boring adult contemporary artists where they music gets really bland and your life is suburban and it's not fucking interesting and you don't have anything to talk about and this doesn't relate to me, and I listen to artists who get into their '40s and '50s, and i'm terrified of that. But then you hear other artists, like Tom Waits, or David Bowie, or Björk, people who just don't go down that road at all, that just keep creating. And I think that gets back to that idea of access: as long as you can access power and drama and sadness and depression and anger, even if you're living in your little cottage in Ibiza with your nine servants and your boat — fucking right on!  That's actually all that it's about, that you can say something interesting to me.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |   next >
Related: Fun Funeral Rite, All dolled up, Eat it, High School Musical!, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment, Depeche Mode, Nick Cave,  More more >
  • Share:
  • Share this entry with Facebook
  • Share this entry with Digg
  • Share this entry with Delicious
  • RSS feed
  • Email this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Today's Event Picks
--> -->
Share this entry with Delicious

 See all articles by: DANIEL BROCKMAN

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group