We were delighted to have the chance to interview Kristin Hersh of Throwing Muses. I’ve been listening to Kristin’s music for over twenty years, and Throwing Music were right alongside Pixies as my favourite bands during my teenage years. It would be difficult to put a figure on how many times I listened to the Real Ramona and Hips and Makers. You can see the results of our interview below…
Purgatory/Paradise by The Throwing Muses (The Friday Project, £11.99) is available now’
Why was there such a long wait for a new Throwing Muses album?
No money 🙂 But we also felt morally obligated to no longer participate in an industry as shallow as the music business. That sounds kind of snotty; really we just knew we didn’t belong…we wanted to make “real” music, not fashion-sound. So we played shows here and there, and released an anthology and toured it, but it wasn’t until we became listener-supported when our manager, Billy O’Connell, started CASHMusic that we realized we could make a record without playing the game.
Do you write differently for Throwing Muses to your other musical outlets?
I write 50FootWave songs on my SG’s or my Les Paul, solo songs on my Collings acoustics and Throwing Muses songs on my Telecaster or Strat. I’ve been told by my bandmates that this system is “stupid.”
Your new album comes with a book and artwork. Are you trying to move away from the traditional CD format and make something that people would like to own in physical form?
Yeah, we like that it’s more of an offering, like a gift. Pressing a CD into someone’s hands is a little bossy, but giving them a book is still considered a friendly gesture.
You’ve written a couple of volumes of autobiography now, was that a process that you enjoyed? Should we expect more?
Just one, actually (“Rat Girl” in the States, “Paradoxical Undressing” everywhere else). It was my teenage diary, which I only kept for a year, so it didn’t seem to be about me anymore, it was so long ago. And I did enjoy it, yeah. I was basically turning that year into a non-fiction novel so that if a kid needed help, they could follow the storyline if not the over-arching concepts.
I was intrigued by the foreshadowing, character development and story arcs that kick in when you begin to take a real life apart. I thought movies made those up.
We’ve seen Julian Cope evolve from autobiography and non-fiction into the realms of fiction, is that a route that tempts you?
I have two-thirds of a work of fiction written, but I have a brain thing when it comes to stories that aren’t true. I think of them as “false.” Should probably get past that.
You were early to embrace digital media as a means of reaching out to fans, and your level of interaction with fans seems almost unique. How did you hit upon this model?
Again, our manager, Billy O’Connell was at the forefront of digital media serving music. Mostly because his hands were tied regarding other marketing routes when it came to this difficult band. I mean, we’re nice people but we dig our heels in when it comes to doing the stupid stuff that’s often asked of people in the entertainment industry.
Interacting with fans is an honor when you view them as listeners rather than fans. We do our job and they do theirs. It’s a humbling circle of gratitude.
Have other artists talked to you about doing likewise? Do you think that this will become a necessary model, given the decline of the record label?
Passing the hat is a time-honored tradition, so is supporting your music habit with a day job. Honorable lives make for honorable soundtracks.
And finally, I’ve never seen a bassist bounce like Bernard live, how has he sustained that level of bouncing over the years?
He says he wears invisible genie pants. Also, he’s a cyclocross champion, but I think it’s the genie pants.
FORTHCOMING UK TOUR DATES:
17 September 2014
-Throwing Muses –
Glasgow, UK — Oran Mor with special guest, Tanya Donelly
18 September 2014 -Throwing Muses - Leeds, UK — Irish Centre with special guest, Tanya Donelly
19 September 2014 -Throwing Muses – Manchester, UK — Academy 2 with special guest, Tanya Donelly
20 September 2014 -Throwing Muses – Holmfirth, UK — Picturedrome with special guest, Tanya Donelly
21 September 2014 -Throwing Muses – Norwich, UK — Waterfront with special guest, Tanya Donelly
23 September 2014 - Throwing Muses – Bristol, UK — Trinity with special guest, Tanya Donelly
24 September 2014 -Throwing Muses – Brighton, UK — Concorde 2 with special guest, Tanya Donelly
25 September 2014 – Throwing Muses – London, UK — Islington Assembly Hall with special guest, Tanya Donelly
26 September 2014 – Throwing Muses – London, UK — Islington Assembly Hall with special guest, Tanya Donelly
Purgatory/Paradise by The Throwing Muses (The Friday Project, £11.99) is available now’.