Singer/songwriter, Kimya Dawson, one of the main contributers to the Juno soundtrack will be performing tomorrow night at The Granada. The day before the show, Kimya was kind enough to take some time off and talk to us about her music, the busy tour schedule, being a mother to the adorable Panda, and her side projects.
Kimya Dawson: Hey, this is Kimya.
Megan Do: Hey. How are you?
KD: Sorry about that, I was on a tricky part of the highway pulling into Omaha.
MD: Oh don’t worry about it. Are you driving?
MD: Is that safe? You driving and doing an interview at the same time?
KD: I can call you in five minutes when I pull into the venue.
MD: OK, sounds good.
20 minutes later…
KD: Hey, it’s Kimya.
MD: Hey. How was the drive?
KD: It was good.
MD: Well first off, I heard your mom just had surgery. How is she doing?
KD: She’s good. They did the procedure and sent her home the next day. It’s amazing what they can do today with cameras. They can just go in and fix everything without cutting someone up.
MD: That’s great to hear. I’m glad your mom is doing well. So you’re playing in Lawrence tomorrow. Is this your first playing here?
KD: No, no I was part of this show for the Planet X tour. It was a couple summers ago.
MD: How’d that go?
KD: Oh, it was great. It was a fun show.
MD: You’re on tour right now with Angelo [husband], how’s that going? Did you guys bring Panda [daughter] on tour too?
KD: Yeah, we brought Panda and it’s going good. She’s liking the tour. I’m having a good time but there are those moments where we’re completely exhausted.
MD: What’s an average day like for you, Angelo, and Panda?
KD: Well, we’re also on tour with our friends from France. They’re a band called L’Orchidee D’Hawai. Usually, we wake up, do a little driving, eat food, do a little more driving. Sometimes me and Panda will check into the hotel while the boys unload the van. We’ll unload her toys and play in the dressing room at the venue. If it’s too loud there, we’ll go back to the hotel and play and have dance parties. We do a lot of reading in the car.
MD: What are some of your favorite cities to perform in?
KD: New York City is always a big homecoming for me. I have a ton of friends that I bring on stage to dance. I really like Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Chicago. Philadelphia is probably my favorite though.
MD: With the success of the Juno soundtrack, how do you feel about so many people listening to your music and associating it with the movie?
KD: It’s fine. The only weird thing is sometimes it’s people’s introduction to my music so they it’s this glossed over Hollywood type thing. People expect some sort of professionalism from me and that’s not the case at all.
MD: Has the whole Juno experience changed your outlook on projects and how you approach them?
KD: Well, this wasn’t my first soundtrack. I’ve had music on Glue, The Moldy Peaches had a song on the Murderball soundtrack, and there was some music for a movie called Robot Boy. I’m not gonna do projects that are lame. I don’t want to be ashamed to attach my name to a something. There are a lot of movies that send out the wrong message or other weird shit and I don’t want to be a part of that.
MD: Do you have any other projects you’re working on that we can look forward to?
KD: I have a kid’s album called Alphabutt coming out in September. I also met with some people at “Sesame Street” so hopefully I’ll be doing that.
MD: Has motherhood changed your choice of projects and your song writing process?
KD: A little bit. I have less time to be self-absorbed about writing. It’s a very drawn out process and I can’t pull myself of this world with a baby around.
MD: Do you prefer playing solo or with the rest of The Moldy Peaches?
KD: For now, I prefer playing on my own. I think it’s the same for all musicians. If we weren’t all okay with playing by ourselves, we’d be playing together right now.
MD: What was performing on “The View” like?
KD: Well, we played the song. The fact that it was “The View” wasn’t a big deal but the fact that I was going to meet Whoopi Goldberg was huge for me. They were going to censor “shit a turd” so I said “blew a load.” During rehearsal, Adam kept wondering what I was going to say but he knows me too well. If you watch the YouTube video of the performance, when I say “blew a load,” you can see Adam’s face like “Ah. There it is.”
MD: I’m a huge fan of Ellen Page.
KD: Yeah, so am I.
MD:I have to ask, what’s she like in person?
KD: She’s super nice. She’s a normal person. She’s really nice, really smart, funny, and down to earth. She’s exactly what you want her to be. I mean, sometimes you watch a character and hope she’s cool but then she ends up being the complete opposite and you’re like “nooooo!”