Interview Outtakes: Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon

Jul 16, 2009 at 9:05 am

Yes, tomorrow is finally the day when Sonic Youth opens this year's Live on the Levee series of shows! Just a heads up on time: Awesome Color goes on at 6 p.m., and SY is on at 7:30. (In other words, expect nearly two hours of SY goodness -- no setlist spoilers from this current tour from me, though I will say that new LP The Eternal is well represented.) In this week's paper, Jaime Lees chatted with Kim Gordon. She got to the bottom of Gordon's clothing line, Mirror/Dash, discovered that drummer Steve Shelley won't eat less than five hours before a show and debunked a Wikipedia myth. (Whew.) Interview outtakes are below; our review and photos will be up over the weekend.

Jaime Lees: When I was researching you the other day it said that your mom worked at a school in Ferguson, which is a suburb of St. Louis. Is that true? Kim Gordon: No, that's not actually true. Maybe my dad did? He went to Washington University. My mom was a librarian. My mom's family was originally from California and they moved to Kansas at some point. And she met my dad there. Eventually he was like a dean at UCLA in Education and Sociology but he basically taught every grade at some point, so he might have taught at Ferguson, but I don't know. And I think they did live in St. Louie, but I don't know.

Well, Wikipedia said your family moved out of the area in 1958 or something so you probably wouldn't remember that anyway- you would have been too little. [Facetiously] Yeah-- I wasn't born actually. [Laughs]

So with Mirror/Dash, are you drawing it and picking out all the fabric and stuff? Well, I wouldn't say drawing, but going through things I have and thinking about what works and what doesn't and stuff like that. And thinking about what it'd like. And then i take it to Jeffrey Monteiro, the designer we work with, and he sort of interprets that and shows it back to Mel [Melinda Wansbrough], my partner, and she and I discuss it. She works in sales so she knows what we should do. She'll say "We need to do another dress'" or "We need to do a dress in a print, and if we do a print then we can use it for a blouse."

Yeah, like "Purple is the new black now design!" [Laughs] Yeah, purple is the new black. [Laughs]

You've been in art before you got into music, right? Is it frustrating when people think of you as a rock chick before they think of you as an artist? Yeah, it's a little hard to break through. And to be seen as something other than, like, a musician who does art as accessories. [Laughs]