AE: When you look back on your catalogue as an artist do you feel like your songs are a journal of your life during those times?
M: Very much so. Sometimes even when I feel uncomfortably exposed and that’s not necessarily because of the subjects of each song you know — who I was talking about or what was going on in my life — but more so my voice has been a public commodity since I was in my early twenties and sometimes I’ll listen to the way that I sounded in my early twenties and I don’t like it as much. But that recording of that person and that voice is still me and sometimes I feel like it’s strange because having your work be like such a direct imprint of yourself and your growing up and it’s catalogued and accessible to everyone.
Sometimes it feels strange. Actually I don’t think about it that much. Mostly I just wander around and I don’t think about carrying this weight of a public persona. I mostly don’t think about it but when you ask me to think about it, which you just did.
M: I think, whoa I really have been baring it all haven’t I? And then I think, that’s great because I have benefited and learned so much listening to the music and hearing the growth from all types of artists and I admire them and what always attracts me to the people I admire are their honesty. Being able to observe their true personhood and that’s kind of what I am doing.
AE: Yeah, it’s kind of like getting paid to voice your own therapy session.
M: [Laughs] Right! Actually.
AE: What’s your personal favorite song off of this album? And what does it mean to you?
M: I love how that first track turned out.
M: Yeah, it was totally different than anything I have ever done before and it was a totally different thing than what Thao has down before because that was the one that Merrill had the most imprint on. I love exploring new sonic territory with my songs and with my voice and with my work. I think I love it because it is so far from what the sounds that come out of me naturally. And also because all three of our voices are so prominent on the song and I like that.
AE: I just saw your cover of Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield.”
AE: It was a great cover. What made you choose to cover that song, other then the fact that it’s a total jam?
M: It’s true, love is a battlefield. We actually came up with that idea a long time just because I was watching some music videos with my friend Christopher who I will be making a music video with. I was looking for inspiration to make one and I ended up watching these Cyndi Lauper videos and they made me cry. Cry in a good way because they were so incredibly nostalgic because I’ve loved Cyndi Lauper since I was kid. I was literally crying.
AE: So good.
M: I was just on YouTube and Pat Benatar came up and that video came up and “Love is a Battlefield” is so awesome! That’s like the era where I was in elementary school and I was just starting to listen to pop music and steer away from my parent’s music, which was all really great. But the 1980s, that era of the ’80s, really was what started my love of pop music and I’ve always had a soft spot for it. I just love the song and that video.
AE: Thank you so much for your time. I hope it was painless for you.
M: Yeah it was fun.