AE: The talent you’ve got performing at the event is just incredible – I’ve had the pleasure of seeing everyone but Juliette Lewis perform so far – how easy was it to get all of them on the bill for the night’s festivities?
LP: Well last year Heart was amazing. I asked them on a Tuesday and they got back on a Thursday. It was so great. I really thought because I’ve been on tour that it would be difficult, because it is a struggle to get people to commit. So, I knew this year I wanted the show to be a bit edgier.
AE: Well Sarah Silverman will definitely help with that.
LP: Yeah! So Juliette [Lewis] is a friend of mine and I called her up and said hey I want you to perform at my event – and she said absolutely! I’ve been trying to do something with Cat Power for the past few years abut she’s always been busy on tours. So this year I called her or emailed her and asked and she said yes. So I was like, “F–k yeah! Oh my God! Now who am I going to get as my headliner?” So I was thinking about who would be edgy but will basically cater to the older women who are a little more conservative – because that’s who the majority of the funding can come from.
So for me, there was no one else but Cyndi Lauper because she’s conservative but edgy, but very respectful and respected. She’s very giving and has a huge heart. She fights this battle as well with her True Colors program. So when I called up Lisa Barbarese, she already knew about the event, which was awesome to be able to now call people and have them know about the event already is a big score for us.
Last year I had to explain up the ying-yang to get people. Sarah Silverman has been a part of it both years and she’s doing it again. She’s so amazing, I love her for that. She had another commitment and she just — you know, she’s just awesome. I can’t even — she’s just so funny. Kat Von D has been a massive supporter as well. She’s donated money to cover the cost of all the printing, which is a lot of money. She buys tables and comes every year, she’s just really amazing. She auctioned off a tattoo last year, it’s pretty cool.
AE: The invite says cocktail chic. As a lesbian hipster who doesn’t know anything about fashion categories, can you explain to our masses what that means? You know, just so no one is embarrassed when they show up in their prom dress?
LP: That just basically means, don’t come all dorked out in black tie and dresses. It’s rock ‘n roll chic, class it up a little. Just don’t show up in flannel and jeans.
AE: I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask about your new band Deep Dark Robot. Ypu recently spoke with one of our other columnists at AfterEllen.com and — first of all — I have to say even if it sucks for you, it’s refreshing to know that even Linda Perry has girl problems sometimes. It’s good to know that even our idols are humans, too.
LP: [Laughs] Yeah we are — very human.
AE: I’ve always kind of wondered, I’d imagine writing the songs on this album and maybe even performing them is a cathartic process – but when you do press about it, does it ever stir things up to a point where you get sick of talking about it?
LP: Well, I knew going into this that it would be something of interest because it’s basically the subject matter at hand. I don’t have any weird feelings about it because it’s something that’s already done in the past. Performing it, do I get emotional? Yeah, of course I do. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get emotional in the middle of a set. Love hurts and love feels good. You go through all these different types of emotions. Inside love there’s all these different types of emotions.
I feel good, I wrote a great album. Tony and I are an awesome band, and we’re playing great shows. So I can’t be upset about that. She ended up being a great muse.
AE: It’s been almost twenty years since “What’s Up” came out. How are you doing on that constant journey of getting up that hill of hope for a destination?
LP: Like right now I’m looking at it like if life is ten steps, I’m on my second one. It’s a constant journey it’s a constant struggle. I’m not a content person, I’m not someone who will just sit here and be content with my life. I like to move forward and just keep pushing. It’s in my nature to achieve things — like right now, I could be all cush and happy in my studio. I have a great life. It could be exteremely comfortable and content. I’m not driven by money, I’m driven by achievement. Now it’s like, OK, time to start all over.
Yes, I’ve been around and I have a name but it’s not helping. When we go out and play shows, nobody knows who Deep Dark Robot is and people don’t really know me as an artist. They know me as a producer and someone who has written songs. So now we’ll play shows where there are hardly any people there. And I’ve been down that road a long time ago, twenty years ago. It’s hard but it’s fun. I’m f–kin’ having a great time and I couldn’t imagine life any other way. My destination? I’m not too sure. If I knew what my destination was, I think the journey wouldn’t be as exciting. I didn’t plan on making an album or being in a band, the universe just threw it at me. I’m not going to plan anything, I’m just going to let the universe throw things at me and I’m gonna go with it.
An Evening WIth Women goes down in Los Angeles on April 16 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.