AE: Every one of these songs â€“ â€œBlenderâ€ and â€œDriver Educationâ€ to name a coupl– rocks as energetically as say, the new Green Day, yet because of Clear Channel stranglehold on the airwaves, they may never be heard by the mass audience they deserve.
AR: (laughs) They probably wonâ€™t.
AE: As an artist who operates and records her own independent record label, how do you get beyond that?
AR: We just say weâ€™re going to do college radio. Weâ€™re going to try to get it on a couple of rock stations. It probably wonâ€™t because Iâ€™m gay and Iâ€™m female and Iâ€™m forty, which is a big three strikes against me for rock and roll stations. Radio play is icing on the cake for me when I finish a record. The great part of it is feeling really proud of the experience of playing with Kate and Jody and Donna and Nineteen Forty Five, people that I really admire and Iâ€™m even nervous to play with at first. Just having gone through that process is a big deal to me. And then I get to go out and play the songs live; thatâ€™s the fun part, playing in clubs and having a band. The radio and the fact that it will never be a big record like Green Day, thatâ€™s life and thatâ€™s my choice.
I choose to go down a certain path. I choose not to try to appear straight, when Iâ€™m gay, and to make a certain kind of music that is not as acceptable from women. I just hope that in the spirit of The Distillers or some of these great female-fronted bands, that radio would recognize some of it. Itâ€™s not just–there are a lot of women making great rock and punk music. Somebodyâ€™s got to break some ground and you hope you can help do it.
AE: I recently interviewed Lea DeLaria about her new jazz vocals CD and we talked about how Starbucks, of all places, has become a venue for people of a certain age to discover music that they wouldnâ€™t otherwise hear on the radio or MTV. Do you think there is a place for Prom on the counter at Starbucks?
AR: Probably not (laughs). I donâ€™t want to dis Starbucks too much, I have so many friends who work there and they have great benefits and stuff. And every time I say something about how we should go to our local coffee shop instead of Starbucks, theyâ€™re all like (angrily) â€œAmy!â€ (laughs) I agree that it is a place where you are going to hear stuff that youâ€™re not going to hear on the radio, and thatâ€™s a good thing. But at the same time, itâ€™s this whole world of lifestyle marketing.
Starbucks markets this certain kind of music that creates this interesting atmosphere and community within their shops, but itâ€™s all in the name of profit. It feels funny to me. Indigo Girls were asked to do a couple of things and I said no. There was one thing that we were included on–I think it was love songs picked by Sarah McLachlan–and that was cool. It was one of Emilyâ€™s songs, so she had the say-so on that. I still havenâ€™t figured out that piece yet. I think that that company (Starbucks) is the lesser of evils as far as companies go, in a big way. But itâ€™s still wiping out interesting little community coffee houses in certain areas. I donâ€™t necessarily believe that if youâ€™re really good youâ€™ll survive that. Itâ€™s hard to survive in hard economic times.
AE: And finally, because of the albumâ€™s title, did you, in fact, attend your high school prom?
AR: Oh, yeah. I was very involved in high school (laughs). Thatâ€™s whatâ€™s so weird. I was a real black sheep, but I was president of my class and I went to the prom, whether I had a date or not. I had a boyfriend for a few proms, and then, my senior year I had a girlfriend, but I didnâ€™t take my girlfriend to the prom. It wasnâ€™t that far along yet. I think we went â€œaloneâ€ and met up there. Yeah, I went, I was involved. I went to the football and basketball and baseball games. I played sports and was really active. It was still that high school time, where everythingâ€™s hard (laughs).