Interview: Corin Tucker Band

  • John Clark photo
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From the September 27, 2012 edition

“Groundhog Day,” the lead track on Corin Tucker Band’s new album, “Kill My Blues,” plays like both a manifesto and a reintroduction. In her signature, searing wail, the former Sleater-Kinney singer declares, “I’ve just woken up/ Like Rip Van Winkle in a denim mini skirt.” After explaining her brief hiatus to rest up and have kids, Tucker leaps back into the conversation regarding women’s rights with a perturbed rebuke: “What’s up y’all? I thought we had a plan.”

Musically, the song is a bold extension of the charging, melodic bombast that made Sleater-Kinney arguably the most popular and influential contributor to the 90s feminist punk movement known as riot grrrl. But “Kill My Blues,” the second album by Tucker’s eponymous lineup of accomplished Portland musicians, is less a return to familiar sounds than an exploratory venture. It’s the sound of a fantastically talented musician still surging forward with age. (Tucker turns 40 a few weeks from now.)

From Tucker’s vantage point, the same kind of progress isn’t evident in terms of women’s rights.

“I think that the song just sort of came out organically in terms of feeling a bit frustrated on women’s issues in the U.S.,” she said by phone this week. “It really is important for women to be at the same pay rate as men. It really is important for women to have reproductive rights as part of women’s health care. Those are things that I think have been on the table for a long time, but if they’re going to get done, men and women, we’re all going to have to work together to finish these goals.”

As a musician who always has politics on the mind, Tucker’s visit to this swing state for a show at the Wexner Center this Wednesday couldn’t come at a better time.

“We are super excited about playing there, and we just want to remind people to vote,” Tucker said. “Please vote!”