It’s now Monday, four days after our first attempt at an interview. Nick, frantic at Karen’s stoned intransigence, has agreed to sit in on the studio’s extension line. Karen still sounds very stoned. Hey, I don’t care – it’s their dollar. The remainder of the article is taken from an amalgam of the two phone calls.
1.25 WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A MALE IN A BAND?
Nick: “Um. Well, uh. Um.”
Nick: “I don’t have any experience with the other to base it on. I don’t know. It’s all right. Sometimes I wish I could experience what it’s like for Karen.”
Do females complain you can’t rock because you’re not female?
Nick: “I wish. It would be nice to think we’re more equal. The only girl who ever commented on my guitar playing was Carrie from Sleater-Kinney. Maybe that’s because there aren’t too many outgoing female guitar players that want to speak to me.”
1.3 HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT WRITING A SONG?
Karen: “Why don’t you ask me some questions about Nick and Brian?”
Nick: “Don’t you have a little intern to type your tapes up for you?”
No. You can get arrested for that over here.
1.35 DO YOU GUYS EVEN CARE ABOUT MUSIC?
Nick: “Oh yeah. Of course… is this a trick question? That is preposterous.”
Is Karen a front-woman for scheming male musicians?
Nick: “That seems obviously incorrect. If there’s a stereotype it means there’s a long tradition that’s become the norm – incorrect, and you can’t compare Karen to any other front-woman. There are three women that Karen is often compared to – PJ Harvey, Siouxsie Sioux and Blondie…”
She isn’t nothing like PJ Harvey. Believe me.
Nick: “And Courtney Love…”
I’m not qualified to comment on that.
Nick: “Karen could be playing Billy Joel songs and people would say she sounds like Tori Amos.”
1.4 ARE ALL YOUR SONGS ABOUT SEX?
Karen: “This interview could go in a terribly wrong direction if I go this way. They trust me to do a good interview with you. I’m at a point where I don’t know what to talk about… I want this to be really, really… I was dreading this interview because I respect BB Gun and I had a feeling I wasn’t going to…”
Trust me I’m a critic.
Karen: “Er. I don’t know.”
Tell me about Brian.
Karen: “These are terrible questions.”
You came up with them.
1.45 ARE ALL YOUR SONGS ABOUT MASTURBATION?
Nick: “Maybe in one sense. We have a couple of new songs – one is a love song.”
What kind of love song?
Karen: “It’s one of those ‘don’t go’ love songs. Stay.”
[This sounds way funnier on the phone than in print.]
1.5 WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT ALL THE HYPE ABOUT YOUR BAND?
Karen: “You know, I really don’t think there’s any such thing as… hello…I don’t know.”
Karen: “Let’s talk about something else for a second. What else is there to talk about? Is that sound, you typing? You’re like a nerd-freak, typing as fast as you can.”
I only use two fingers.
Nick: “People write about us because other people write about us.”
Karen: “The domino effect.”
1.6 IS ‘OUR TIME’ ABOUT SEPTEMBER 11?
Karen: “Oh God. Why am I always hearing these questions?”
1.7 WHY DO YOU SMILE SO MUCH ON STAGE?
Karen: “What kind of stupid question is that, man?”
It’s yours. I’ve never seen you play. I was drunk remember, and insulting random local musicians. How would I know whether you smile or not?
Karen: “So. Oh man. I just can’t…I’m not… I don’t know…”
Tell me what you did last night.
Karen: “I was in the studio last night. There’s no getting around it. I need a break. I went out a week ago, to a place in Manhattan, nothing out the ordinary.”
Did you get dragged out screaming by your hair?
Karen: “I don’t know, maybe a little. What are you writing right now?”
Karen: “Read it back to me.”
[Me]: “‘What are you writing right now?’ Stuff. ‘Read it back to me.’”