Amy Ray Takes Your Questions


Photo credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Q: I have problems with depression, and during my worst times, your music (solo and Indigo) always makes me feel better. I’ve wanted to ask you, if this is true and you do have similar issues, how do you keep going? How do you push through and keep creating and helping others create? Sometimes I feel as if I can’t move forward, yet you always do. You inspire me and I have often wondered how you do it. — Christy
I have depression problems. I go through those times. I turn to music, because that’s what I do. That’s the thing that helps me get through. I write a lot when I feel that way, and I do a lot of hiking and just mountain climb.

Q: You have a great alto voice, but in some of your new
songs, you use a higher range, which also sounds excellent. What has led to
your writing some of your new solo material in that higher range? — Lynne
I’ve always wanted to develop that
range, and I’ve really been working on it. I wanted to wait until I got better
at it to do it. It’s more vulnerable that way. It was a challenge, and I
started writing in that way [to challenge myself]. I’ve been listening to a lot
of male artists using their voices in that range, like Antony and the Johnsons
and the Shins. They use the higher parts of their voice. My voice is a tenor;
it’s not even an alto! It is definitely a stretch for me.

Q: What
is the inspiration behind the song "Kid Fears"? — Noa
When I wrote that, I had some very close friends who were
battling a lot of problems: health problems and drug problems. It inspired that

Q: Are you still into
motorcycling and bikes? And if so, which one are you riding at the moment? —
motorcycle is a Honda EB500 from 1990. And I’m still riding a little [bicycle]
from literally 20 years ago. I love it so much!

Q: At a recent show
in Veneta, Ore., you were wearing a T-shirt with the words "Love
Hurts" and a nailed hand. It contained the full text of a Bible verse, 1
John 4:10. So my question is, have you become a Christian? And if not, is there
a story that goes with how you got that shirt and why you wear it? — Doyle
Wow. I was raised a Christian, so I have more of a pagan relationship
with Jesus. And so I do have a tie to Christianity from a Southern aspect, and
I have a lot of love for the story of Jesus, and he is a revolutionary spirit
and for me it means a lot.

I bought that shirt at a thrift store because of what it
says … because love does hurt! And I don’t even know how to put it. It’s sort
of a proclamation of the way Christianity is viewed in culture. … Part of it is
what that shirt means with the crucifixion and "Love Hurts." It’s
like yeah, that’s true!

Q: What was the last movie that made your cry? — Vanessa
A movie called Lars and the Real Girl. The story line made me cry.

Q: In several of your
songs, you write poignantly of the loneliness and isolation of life on the
road, and deeply missing loved ones and connections back home. I am pondering
taking a job that will require lots of travel. Do you have any advice about how
to maintain closeness with family, partner and friends when you’re gone from
your hometown for 20 weeks at a time? — Susan
I don’t have any advice. If she has any for me, I’ll take it! [laughs]
For me, I have to remember to keep my family in mind and my partner and where
they’re coming from. That’s what my life’s about. … I’m a homebody but I’m also
a traveler. I’m both of those things.

For more on Amy Ray,
visit her official website.


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