AE: “Loving You Is Easy” is the first single. Is that autobiographical?
SM: Oh yeah. (Laughs.) They all are, but there’s also lots of creative license in all these songs because life just isn’t that interesting most of the time (laughs.) And you have to create a bit of a story.
Yeah, "Loving You Is Easy" is sort of my first foray into the possibility of a new relationship; that sort of delirious and heady feeling of lust and passion that ensues and that sort of "Wow, I didn’t know I’d ever be feeling this again — great!"
AE: How has songwriting and getting back into the studio helped you deal with the break-up of your marriage?
SM: Well, it’s been a big part of it. Music and writing has always been the biggest way I can express myself and sort through the things that are going on in my life. So it’s been very cathartic.
AE: Switching to Lilith Fair, what sort of impact do you think Lilith Fair has had on female musicians since it first launched in 1996?
SM: I’d like to think that we created a sense of community that didn’t really exist before for a lot of women musicians and a lot of those friendships continued and we dispelled a lot of myths within the industry about not being able to put two women on the same bill, not being able to play two women back-to-back on the radio because people won’t come, or people won’t listen. But guess what, they sure do! And they came, and they listened and they loved it.
We created something I think that took on a life of its own; it was so much bigger than the sum of its parts. The idea of bringing that back again and growing that legacy and the fact that we have a wealth o f new musicians now that we can add to that and that we have the sort of momentum behind us of people sort of remembering, "Wow, that was great." I’m very excited about the possibilities.
AE: What about on the music industry as a whole?
SM: That’s kind of hard to answer without really tooting my own horn. I’d like to think that it helped a lot of artists — it gave a lot of them a platform that was larger than the one they would have had if they were playing on their own, certainly. Again, I think it really helped the industry recognize that women were a powerful force and we make great music.
It’s interesting, too, because one of the things that I sort of felt when Lilith finished in 1999, I think music is very cyclical and it seemed like the door swung shut on the singer-songwriter. That was sort of when Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync were becoming so huge and that sort of prefab bubblegum pop was just taking over everything. That was a little bit disheartening — even though I’m a closet Backstreet Boys fan (laughs), a few songs anyway. But again, the sense of community it created with the artists, the fact that it was incredibly successful, the industry had to take notice of that and recognize the power that women had.