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Kimya Dawson – The Collapse Board Interview

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Kimya Dawson foot

For sure. How did you learn to play guitar?

I took some lessons when I was 16 but I had a totally shitty guitar, it was the wrong guitar for me. I just thought that I could never play guitar; I thought my hands couldn’t play guitar. I was doing Moldy Peaches stuff and then we took a break for a while and a friend of mine was like “I want you to keep playing music” and he gave me his guitar that he learned on. It was a slightly smaller guitar with a skinny neck and really light strings and I realised that I could actually hold this with my little arms and my tiny fingers. It doesn’t hurt me! [laughs]. I went and brought a book of chords and started strumming to that. My younger brother and I were sharing a room at my parents’ house – I was 26 and he was 22 – we were both living back at home and we’d just pass the guitar and the chord book back and forth. He and I would just make up songs. I feel lucky that I didn’t learn when I was 16. I feel like if I had stuck with it when I was sixteen that I would have just played a bunch of cover songs. The benefit of being self-taught and just learning from a book is that I developed my own strumming style, my own way of doing it, instead of playing in a more traditional way.

Have you always sang?

I did chorus when I was a kid. If I was in a group of people I used to sing really quietly. I’d sing alone in my room. I was terrified to sing in front of people. When Adam and I recorded the first Moldy Peaches songs I had never sand in front of anybody. After that I started doing karaoke if I was drunk enough [laughs].

In an older interview with you commented that you didn’t really get as scared anymore performing in front of people. How did you overcome that fear?

After hundreds of shows you just get used to it, I guess. There are still some shows where I get nervous. I did two shows on Saturday for children and whenever I have a show that is specifically for kids I just tend to get a little bit more concerned than other shows – they have a shorter attention span, that kind of thing. It got to a point where I was like, I wrote these songs for me and chances are that at least one other person in this room needs to really hear them. When I play, I try to think about that one other person in the room that’s having some shit go on in their life and that they really need that show — I play for that person.

Walk Like Thunder by kimyadawson

KIMYA touring Australia with AESOP ROCK – OCTBER 2011.

SUN 16 OCT – Brisbane THE HIFI

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