I think that's such an important message, especially for younger women, to know, 'I don't have to come out of the womb painting like Frida Kahlo. My very first thing that I make isn't going to be an around-the-world sensation.' You have to paint a hundred really ugly, barfy, diarrhea paintings before you come up with that one where you start to really get into your groove.
In 1985, I was living with my sister in Virginia, and since I was still in high school, I worked at McDonald's to save money to get an abortion. It sounds really terrible, but it was the best decision I ever made. It was the first time I took responsibility for my actions. I messed up, had sex without contraception, and got pregnant at 15.
Me and my friends in high school were the only girls who went to hardcore shows. It was three of us, and the rest of the audience was male. We didn't really think about it. We weren't thinking we were alienated or whatever, but eventually, as there started to be violence in the scene we were in during high school, we started to be turned off by the violence.
I get emails every day from people saying, "I never heard your music. I don't know anything about you. I just happened to watch this on Netflix. I hope you're feeling better. More power to you." It just shows you, I don't know, how generous and wonderful people can be
The only thing I collect is art. I collect it because I like looking at it. A lot of it is really personal stuff that my friends have made, paintings that my husband's mother made, and things that I bought. I buy abstract art on eBay, and I buy some outsider art on eBay, or what is called folk art, I buy a lot of. I have a lot of professional art work as well as more stuff my friends' kids make. To have a wall of art to look at, I feel really surrounded by love, because so much... Read more »
When you speak up about any sense of unfairness or injustice, you're told that you're overreacting, you're too angry, too silly-shut up already. It takes a tremendous amount of fortitude to be able to live in this world as a woman, let alone a woman who wants things to change.
Not to rag on myself, but when people say, 'What does it feel like to be an icon?' I'm like, 'My dog does not think I'm an icon, my cat does not think I am an icon, my cousin does not think I am an icon.' I have a really lovely group of friends, and I just don't think about it.
What (some) bands do is go, 'It's not important that I'm a girl, it's just important that I want to rock.' And that's cool. But that's more of an assimilationist thing. It's like they just want to be allowed to join the world as it is; whereas I'm more into revolution and radicalism and changing the whole structure. What I'm into is making the world different for me to live in.
I'm really annoyed by the wave of country music that's just a list of stuff. It almost sounds like L.A. people writing country music, because it's just a list of stuff: 'My pickup truck and my cowboy boots and my Levi's jeans and my girlfriend with the short shorts.' It's so boring!
I've always thought that "punk" wasn't really a genre. My band started in Olympia where K Records was and K Records put out music that didn't sound super loud and aggressive. And yet they were punk because they were creating culture in their own community instead of taking their cue from MTV about what was real music and what was cool. It wasn't about a certain fashion. It was about your ideology, it was about creating a community and doing it on your own and not having to rely on, kinda, "The Man" to brand you and say that you... Read more »
Younger feminists actually care about stuff that came before them, the same way that I totally cared about and loved and felt so lucky to have access to the feminism that came before me. To have younger people take what me and my friends have done, and to say 'We have access to that, but we're going to put that through our own Internet generation filter and we're going to make it into something that speaks to us and is a lot smarter.'
Most of my records are never going to be commercial successes, and I don't expect that. It's just all a learning process to me. If something appears as a failure, fine. If there's success, fine. I like the record, and my friends like the record, and that's kind of all I can really care about.
Certain people are like 'Oh, here come the Feminazis!' You end up acting 10 times nicer than you even need to be, to be the opposite of the stereotype like 'You're the man haters!' We're always bending over backwards being extra nice. And I don't know if being nice is my legacy.
I talked a lot early on in my career about intersectionality and how racism and classism and sexism and homophobia and capitalism are all connected with each other, and they're these crazy systems that are feeding on each other and are also damaging. I can't even go into the whole spectrum of it. But I feel like kids today are so much more savvy about that conversation. And I'm so thrilled when I get to meet younger people who are doing that so much better than I did.
But see, my idea on the whole thing is, hey, it's not the responsibility of marginalized, oppressed people to educate everyone. I personally wouldn't put myself in that position and go out there and do my schtick in front of the Red Hot Chili Peppers fan guys... because, you know...
Part of being in a band, being a painter, or starting a nonprofit is that you're going to make horrible mistakes and look like a total idiot, but you're never going to create that thing that really connects with people if you don't fail over and over and over again.
I was lucky enough to go to college for four years. At what was supposedly a hippie school with no tests and no grades, blah blah blah, I wasn't learning that. I was taking photography classes. That stuff just wasn't talked about. It was like, "Does this picture have the right about of grey in it?" It wasn't even an art school. It was a state-run school.