Single file: Le Tigre
Agit-pop band Le Tigre roars at some tunes
Thu Feb 8 2001
Photograph: Dusty Lombardo
The Fall: "Sons of Temperance" (Eagle Rock)
Kathleen Hanna: I thought it was gonna be some cheesy punk band, 'cause it sounded like some of the demo tapes we get. And then when the vocals came in, I was like, "Mark E. Smith."
Johanna Fateman: I thought it was going to be some bad ska band at first.
KH: Or, like, Blink 182.
Kid 606: "Straight Outta Compton" (Tigerbeat 6)
JF: Obviously, he has a reverence for N.W.A. It's not like this is a parody, but I'm not so sure how I feel about white young men distorting the lyrics of N.W.A. I know that it's done in homage, but it's still problematic to hear.
KH: I have no comment. I'd have to hear it a hundred times before I had one. You should play Radiohead, 'cause we would talk for three hours.
The Sisters Love: "Gimme Your Love" (Harmless)
KH: Oh, I saw this '70s compilation [I'm a Good Woman—Funk Classics from Sassy Soul Sisters] in a record store in Europe. I was like, "That's kind of weird, but I'm not sure if it'll be good."
Time Out New York: Do you get a lot of inspiration from '60s and '70s records?
KH: We're really into '60s drunk-driving educational films. That's our new genre—stuff that we can sample without getting in trouble.
JF: A lot of that stuff is in the public domain, or the copyright has expired.
KH: I took a driving class, and they had this really crazy "don't drink and drive" movie from the '60s, and it had all these sexist "dumb blond" characters in it. But the music had crazy good guitar licks.
The Gossip: "Swing Low" (Kill Rock Stars)
J.D. Samson: I saw the Gossip open for Sleater-Kinney at Irving Plaza, and I was blown away. I'm super into them. [Singer Beth's] lung capacity is incredible.
TONY: They also write very short songs, just like Le Tigre.
KH: Part of it, for me, is a reaction against years of playing shows with wanky boy bands with songs that won't quit.
JF: I wouldn't mind writing longer songs. But I don't want to do Pink Floyd's The Wall or "The End" by the Doors.
KH: How bad do the Doors suck?
OutKast: "Ms. Jackson" (Arista)
All: [Instantly singing along] "I am for reeeal...."
KH: I love this album.
JF: Though this isn't actually my favorite song on it....
KH: Yeah, but this is the one that gets stuck in your head, and then in the middle of the night, you're like, "Ooohh! Hooo!"
JF: [OutKast's] Andre is like, fashion, vision and masculinity.
L'Trimm: "Cars with the Boom" (Atlantic)
KH: We actually just got an e-mail that said, "Do you guys do that song 'We like the cars, the cars that go boom'?"
TONY: It's classic '80s cheesy electro—another big influence on Le Tigre.
JF: If you use drum machines instead of drum loops and samples, then it automatically sounds a bit '80s. And a lot of the original equipment we were using when we started was '80s equipment.
JDS: Peaches has an '80s appeal because she used just vocals and a drum machine.
TONY: Did you see her play?
KH: Yeah. There were some guys being total jerks, and one was pushing me, like I was invisible. I was like, "You have to stop doing that—it's really fucked up." And then I figured out that he was a Weezerjack. That's a lumberjack who's really into Weezer—he had the big indie-rock Weezer-guy glasses, and he was totally flannel-looking.
JDS: He tried to videotape us yelling at him—
KH: —but we gave him a little Sean Penn action.
Laurie Anderson: "Oh Superman" (Rhino)
KH: Is it Kraftwerk? No....
JF: Wait, we know this. We do know this.
KH: Oh, it's fucking Laurie Anderson! This is really good. I have to get a book about her; I want to know more.
JH: I saw this movie Mutations; it was about the history of electronic music. They had all these crazy guys in the '40s in Russia making sounds with metal, but there wasn't one woman in the whole movie.
KH: She seems more like a performance artistslashmusician. I'd love to go in a Laurie Anderson direction, but, y'know, electric violin—that's where I draw the line.
Le Tigre's From the Desk of Mr. Lady is out now on Mr. Lady.