An interview with Corin Tucker

Corin Tucker’s name has almost become synonymous with the Riot Grrl movement. As the front woman for bands like Heavens to Betsy and Sleater-Kinney, she played a huge role in raising consciousness for feminist issues to a new group of young women, all with her characteristic growl. When Sleater-Kinney decided to retire back in 2006, Corin took time away from music altogether and focused on her family and a regular full-time job.

Recently, though, after playing a few new songs at various benefits, Tucker was urged to put together a solo album and that’s just what she did. 1,000 Years came out last week and, while it is a departure from her Sleater-Kinney days, it is still uniquely Corin. Did you have intentions of making this album differently than the SK albums and do you think motherhood has changed your creative process at all?
Corin Tucker:
Well I deliberately set out to do something differently with this project. Try different styles and different instrumentation than I did with SK before. I definitely wanted it to be something I hadn’t done before to bring something different to the table. I kind of think a lot of different things influenced it. Being a mom, getting married and just getting older, I think, sometimes can sort of expand your musical outlet a little. You might want to enjoy different kinds of music.

I’ve kind of always liked some of the great folk players like Lucinda Williams and I love Wilco – so I’ve always liked that kind of music and I already was on hiatus – I didn’t do music for a while – so when I came back to it I thought, well if I’m going to do this, I want to do something different.

AE: Are your kids listening to any particular kind of music?

My son loves Green Day. He’s into really great punk rock bands but Marshall also likes the classical composers. He goes to an arts-focused school so we’re trying to show him a lot of different kinds of music. Marshall has also taken piano and now he’s doing trumpet in school and I think music is a really important thing to learn when you’re young.

AE: When you aren’t making music or taking care of your family, what do you spend time doing?

Well I also have a job. I do web development and marketing and training videos for a medical devices company.

AE: That’s for your dad, yeah?

Yeah, my dad started the business in, I think 1992; so it’s been a really great and a really flexible job for me to have with all the parenting responsibilities and being able to do music too, it’s been really great.