Interview: Liz Phair @ WOMADelaide

I had the chance to catch up with the multi-talented Liz Phair. We chatted about the 10 year anniversary of her first record, and her upcoming trip to Australia for the WOMADelaide festival. Jonathan: You’ll be heading to Australia soon and playing at WOMADelaide, are you looking forward to that? Liz: I’m extremely excited about coming to Australia, I’ve only been there once before and I loved every moment. It’s really exciting and I’m so thankful for the opportunity. J: Are there any other artists that you’re planning on checking out at WOMAD? I haven’t had much of a chance to go over the line up yet, but I’m very excited. I think of Australia as a real songwriter’s paradise, the songwriters from there are a cut above in my opinion, so I’m looking forward to the trip. J: What makes you say that Australia is a songwriter’s paradise? I think that Australian songwriters, especially pop songwriters, are amazing. The hits that come out of Australia are crafted so well, the lyrics in particular. The music is sophisticated in ways that other styles and genres aren’t. J: You’ve had quite a lengthy career, are you having any thoughts of slowing down any time soon? No way! *laughs* Not at all, in fact I would say I’m sort of speeding up at this point. It’s a boring thing to say, but my son went off to college a couple of years ago and I’ve been working a lot more since then. I had responsibilities as a parent before, but now he’s grown up I can go back to doing my own thing. J: You played with The Smashing Pumpkins in 2016, what was that like? That was incredible, what a show that was! They put on such an incredible, theatrical production. I opened for them with just a guitar in the opera house, which was kind of terrifying. It was beautiful, and it was incredible to watch them every night, I loved that tour. J: It’s been 25 years since the release of your debut album, I’ve heard there’s a re-issue coming out in a box set, could you tell us about that? It’s a gorgeous and comprehensive box set with an LP and a booklet with interviews, as well as never before seen photos, and also some different versions of the songs on that record. There’s even a story I wrote in there, it’s a gorgeous little collection. J: You’ve been a musician for a long time, what’s one of the major changes you’ve seen in the industry in your time? One of the main things is how many women are the authors of their own vision in the music industry today. I’ve connected with so many young women who are making new music, and they’re in control of everything they do, whether it be the music they play or the way they perform on stage. When I was coming up into the scene, it was the opposite, men were generally the gatekeepers. It’s very exciting for me to see this, it’s like night and day compared to when I was younger. It makes me feel very much at home and welcome. J: Other than playing at WOMADelaide, what else will you be getting up to in Australia? I’ll be running around doing all sorts of tourist things *laughs*. I intend on experiencing as much as I possibly can while I’m down there. I’m a bit of an adventure type of girl, I like exploring outside and going to museums and galleries. J: Do you have any messages for your fans down here in Adelaide? I’ll be playing a lot of hits, new and old. Some will be for the very first time live, and it’s going to be an amazing show for you guys. I’m so looking forward to getting down there and saying hello to everyone. You can see Liz Phair, along with a wide array of other artists, at WOMADelaide 2019 on March 8-11 at Botanic Park. Get tickets here.

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