KATHLEEN HANNA: Yeah I was really sick that night, it was a hard night for me.
INTERVIEWER: What did you make of it all? To have a tribute to someone when they’re still very much …
KATHLEEN HANNA: Alive! [laughs]. It was really, really weird. I will say there was some great things that happened at the show. There was this guy Dan Fishback who did a performance with a bunch of other guys of this really obscure song I did on an album. Mike Watt [Minutemen, dos, Firehose] did this record in the 90s and he got all these people like Eddie Vedder to do a song with him. I think there weren’t enough girls on the record so he asked me. He came to see us play at a punk club in New York. I did this whole thing that was an answering machine message and I talked about Annie and I basically refused to be on the record in an answering machine message but it was all fake. The piece was kind of about the absence of women on the record. I had a real quandary. I feel like I was kind of being tokenised, that I was just being asked to be on this record because I was a women. At the same time I don’t want to say that I am being tokenised so that there is not very many women on the record. I’m not calling him a sexist at all. I just felt like I was filling a void on the record because there wasn’t enough women. I thought, how do I record my absence? The answering machine message came out very much me talking in my ‘Valley girl’ accent [puts on the accent], like oh my god Mike! I don’t want to be on your stupid fucking record with Henry Rollins. Fuck you! [laughs]. He put it on.
These guys led by Dan Fishback redid it as a spoken song with harmonies. It was so funny! And I don’t know if you know Toshi Reagon? She’s a really incredible singer-songwriter, she did ‘Keep On Living’ by Le Tigre and she did it in a whole different way with an acoustic guitar and her singing, getting the audience to do the choruses.
To hear songs that I’d been a part of redone by other people was the best part of the night. It was so exciting see Kaia Wilson do ‘Pretty Is’, which is a really obscure song I did with a side project band. That part was really gratifying. I wrote songs for Joan Jett a long time ago and seeing her stand on stage and sing my lyrics was thrilling. I think it’s almost more thrilling than being a performer, to watch someone else interpret something you wrote.
INTERVIEWER: Especially when that person is Joan Jett!
KATHLEEN HANNA: I know like, whoa! Come on, the Queen of Rock! You can’t do much better than that!
Posted on Sunday, February 12th, 2012 at CollapseBoard.com