Being able to interview and write about women in music is the most wonderful thing. For our latest print Blogzine 7, punkgirldiaries got to speak with Kristin Hersh; we wouldn’t call it an interview exactly, because it was like a conversation between friends; Kris is sharp-witted and warm-natured. She also has that amazing wisdom and understanding of the music industry that comes from having lived with major record deals and the relentless quest for the Emperor’s New Clothes in music. Now independent, releasing new music with different bands and communicating more directly with fans, Kristin still loves live performance and genuine connections with genuine people. On her birthday, we hope Kristin has a fun day and we hope that we’ll be able to see her on tour very soon.
Kristin’s website lists over 60 shows she played in 2019, including two visits to the UK. There are tickets now available for US gigs solo and with Kristin Hersh Electric Trio in November. What is also very interesting is the way that you can support Kristin via the ‘Strange Angels‘ subscription or make a donation on her website. Like a lot of crowd-funding projects, people who make a substantial gift or subscribe become stakeholders, with guest-list spots, exclusive downloads and studio visits on offer. In our zine, Kris talks about how freeing it is to be self-contained and not dictated to by global businesses that never really understand music as an art form.
There are lovely messages too on the website that help to explain how sponsoring Kristin is a smart move that brings joy to both sides:
“It’s one thing to buy music after its made. It’s totally another thing to say “Here’s some cash, go make some more music.” This is believing in someone, believing in the person and process. This is putting your money where your mouth is. (You can quote me).*wink* I truly smile when my deduction comes out of my account. Feels good to be a part of the larger effort. Feels good to walk the talk.” -S
It is so refreshing to come across an individual (nevertheless famous) who shows their gratitude and heartfelt appreciation, I thank you for that! Also, knowing the illness that you have struggled with has given me (i have severe depression with anxiety) the strength and courage to persevere in my life. You are truly an inspiration and although I was not introduced to your music until I met my husband (a well devoted fan), I quickly fell in love with your story and life outlook. It is no surprise to me that you have many devoted fans, you deserve more, and I hope you realize that you are as special to us as we may be to you.”
So, a lovely birthday present for Kristin Hersh today would be for a few people who love the music of Throwing Muses, 50 Foot Wave or Kristin’s solo projects to take a look at her website and consider taking out a 3-monthly subscription that would help to bring about even more music. If you want a non money option, then maybe follow Kris on Instagram or Twitter @kristinhersh, where she frequently posts sublime nature posts and studio chat. There are also great books, music and T-shirts you can buy – Kris’s latest, Seeing Sideways: a Memoir of Music and Motherhood isn’t available on the site but can be found in shops or ordered.
Happy Birthday Kristin Hersh – thanks for all the music, the inspiration as a female guitarist and singer, and what you have taught us about getting through life with integrity, humour and passion!