In part one of our interview with Liz Phair, in town Friday to play the 9:30 Club, she talked about the volatile reaction her new disc, "Funstyle," and a possible follow-up to her iconic '93 disc, "Exile in Guyville." In part two, she talks about music, motherhood, and the curse/blessing of "Guyville."
Have you thought about how a "Guyville" follow-up would sound?
Yeah. I'd make my guitar playing kind of a central feature and I'd pick a theme and get super-trippy into that theme, which I love to do. You know, I'd very, very lovingly put it together -- I wouldn't even care about structure for radio, I'd just get very deep and tripped out about something and keep the production very minimal.
When you toured behind the "Guyville" reissue in 2008, did it give you a renewed affection for the songs?
That was a singular event for me because "Guyville" had gotten some distance away from me. I was smarting from everyone telling me that that was the only thing of value that I could ever do. The whole scene that I was in [when I made "Guyville"] was filled with my bad habits, my lying, my pot-smoking, my weird late nights in bars. I had this whole weird emotional thing about it that I'd kind of run away from.
When we reissued it, the profound thing was [making an accompanying] documentary, and going and actually facing my demons and talking to everyone that had been instrumental in it, whether for good or for bad. And I realized that everyone involved had a big moment with that record. If you were involved, you had your own issues about it. And it took a weight off me, seeing it as this thing that had happened to me. It happened to all of us. And it was like, I got my record back. And I got to share it. Hugs were given and we agreed to disagree with it. It was a beautiful thing.
(On motherhood and Rod Stewart, after the jump.)
Does it make you empathize with Courtney Love, who made one great record and has had to [deal with the public's expectations] ever since?
Well, that is just their problem. It's like, you haven't done your consciousness work. I don't feel that way about my artists. Just think of Rod Stewart doing "Forever Young." That was the cheesiest song ever and certainly most people would say it's a total betrayal of everything he began as. But on a day with a sunset, thinking about my child, I was moved to tears [listening to it]. It's like, [to heck with] people who can't grow. I don't want to be like them.
Speaking of children, you have a teenager now [13 year-old James]. How did that even happen?
I know! He's like a man. When we walk around now he's almost protective of me, and it's kind of nice.
Does it change the way you write? Do you think, I can't curse now?
No, not at all. He doesn't rummage through my catalogue. I think sometimes he gets excited that I'm famous, but it's very rare. He's like, "People even know you in London!" And I'm like, "Well, yeah!" I've been a good mom. I've been around a lot, I've been involved. I don't make my career have anything to do with him. I try to give him what my parents gave me, which is a good, solid foundation. He's so much more important than music. It's definitely hurt my finances, because I don't work as much. I stay home. It's hard to make a living as a single parent.