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It’s really near where the twins and I grew up; we all lived in the area, and we’d all get up every morning and carpool or just stay overnight there. I’d love to do an album of duets with current country artists that I love — and then some of the older country artists that are hanging around Nashville that probably wouldn’t give me the time of day. Being lesbian, do you think the country genre would welcome you with open arms?
Many of your childhood influences were country artists, and you’ve gradually moved into that genre. I haven’t made any strategic moves or decisions to move toward a more country-defined flavor in my music or in my lifestyle.
and Melissa, Ellen, Elton John, and Freddie Mercury -- really laid it out on the line and demanded nothing short of acceptance from people. I spent a few days in New York City with Amy around the release of her record, and I saw her doing all these interviews for gay publications. I don't talk about my relationship because my partner didn't really make the decision to be part of my craziness. [Laughs.] Well, talk about this then, because I don't think a lot of people know that you actually did background vocals for Melissa Etheridge's Lucky album. You've met a couple of your idols -- the Indigo Girls and Elton John. I've always been a fan of Ellen, since she was doing stand-up -- before I knew she was gay. When I first saw you in 2005, you performed for an obnoxious group of drunks.
Is the 'drunken screams' reference on the song 'Dying Day' a little dig at all those trashed people you used to play for? Tim [one of the Hanseroth twins, Carlile's bandmates] wrote that song, so I think he's probably definitely taking a little shot at them.Anyway, she was talking about the leaps and bounds that we've made as a community -- not that we don't have a long way to go -- and how much harder it was then when the Indigo Girls were coming out. [Laughs.] I'm actually not sure she knows it, because I was working out in a studio doing background vocals for people -- like an ambiguous voice, basically -- and her CD came through, and it was just something to sing onto.And I could see by talking to her that they -- along with k.d. So I'm not even sure she knows I'm singing onto it.It's a very candid album -- probably your most candid. I learned a lot about who I was in the past and who I want to be in the future, which was something that I've been trying not to do.What did you learn about yourself while you were writing it? For years now, I've been trying to live in the moment, and I had to leave that moment to make this record.
I spent the last couple of years writing this record in a sort of discontented place.