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This article was written on 12 Feb 2012, and is filled under Interviews.

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Kathleen Hanna: Love, Lyrics & Babes In Toyland

I recently had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Kathleen Hanna!! She was so honest, candid and all-round lovely. I’ve been waiting to speak with her for over a decade! Here’s a little of the chat:

Didn’t you go to a Babes In Toyland concert and that experience opened things up for you and you realised you could do it too?

KH: Yeah definitely! I was with Tobi [Vail] and Kathi [Wilcox] from Bikini Kill too. We really bonded on the fact that we had just experienced such an amazing, life-changing thing. That show! Kat Bjellend played guitar better than Greg Sage from The Wipers! She was wearing a tiny dress with a huge bow in her hair and she looked so beautiful and so fucked up; she was doing the craziest shit with her voice. Lori Barbero hit the drums harder than anyone I had ever seen and Michelle Leon was just sexy as hell and could totally play the bass. I was like, wow! You really can have it all! You can make this amazing music which was about how beautiful anger can be to me. I’d never heard anything like it and haven’t heard anything since like it. It was just at somebody’s house in the middle of the woods.

Afterwards we went outside and there was this bonfire. I didn’t really know Tobi and Kathi very well but somehow we ended up standing together because everyone else at that show was talking about how much they hated it and how bad the band was. They were like, “They’re too pretty”. That was the big thing: they’re too pretty to be in a band. I didn’t even get it. They were totally stunning women but that wasn’t the main thing to us, it was definitely the music. It was also the fact that they were women and they looked how they wanted to look, they didn’t have to hide the fact that they were women to play this totally intense music; the combination of the femininity with the strength in the music in saying that femininity and strength weren’t the opposite of each other. It was really an intense experience. Me, Tobi and Kathi were like, that is the best thing we’ve ever seen! Everyone else thought it was the worst so it kind of became clear that we were going to be in a band together. No one else probably wanted to be in a band with us.

To read the full in-depth interview please go to: Collapse Board 

I cannot wait for the new The Julie Ruin record! I loved the lo-fi TJR record she made in 1998!

The art is by: Jhonny

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3 Comments

  1. jr
    February 14, 2012

    lovely stuff! thanks for using my illustration! xoxo

  2. […] There was a serious lack of girls in rock. Women like Kathleen Hanna and Brody Dalle were pioneering females who paved the way for girls to rock in the music […]

  3. […] Hanna, the singer of hardcore punk band Bikini Kill and the frontrunner of the Riot Grrrl movement, often cites a Babes in Toyland concert as the catalyst for Bikini Kill’s conception. Thus, Babes in Toyland […]

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