A Conversation with Neko Case
Neko Case: Hold on one moment. I have a call on the other line, and I'm going to tell her I'm going to call her back.
Puremusic: Okay, thanks.
NC: Hold on one second. Hello.
NC: How are you doing?
PM: I'm fine. I'm up early.
NC: Oh? Where are you?
PM: I'm in Shanghai.
NC: What are you doing in Shanghai?
PM: Well, I do music and music business in Nashville, but a small band of us came here trying to do some TV.
NC: Oh, wow.
PM: Yeah, yeah. It's a real adventure. And learning Chinese is fun, and just being in a completely alien environment is just a good exercise for the brain.
NC: Yeah, it is. I love that.
PM: Yeah. Where are you?
NC: We are currently driving through Merrill, Indiana, going to Cleveland, Ohio.
PM: A gig tonight?
NC: Yes. We're passing Chipchiwanna right now.
PM: [laughs] So who's the live outfit at the moment?
NC: The Sadies.
PM: Ah, The Sadies...
NC: Yes, and myself.
PM: Yeah, we're super big on The Sadies and talked to both of the brothers and had them on the cover. We love that band.
NC: I know, I do too.
PM: So you're all in your van, or a couple of vehicles? How are you--
NC: No. Well, the ladies, today, are driving in my van, and The Sadies left earlier because we had a bunch of mail-out stuff to do, so we left a little bit later. But we'll be hot on their tail.
PM: Oh, wow. Oh, you mean, the whole Tigers band and the backing vocal section are all touring?
NC: Yep. Kelly Hogan is along as well. Carolyn [Mark] couldn't make it because she's ridiculously busy right now. We have the lovely Kathleen Jud, also, with us today. [tour manager, if we got that right]
PM: I see. I've got to come to the States on Monday night to help write a business plan. But if I finish that, I hope to fly out and catch a date.
NC: Well, we're playing in Toronto tomorrow night, and then we start our next tour on February 11th. We go from Montreal all the way down to Atlanta and Louisville.
PM: Will Nashville be--
NC: Are you going to be around?
PM: In February, I might be.
NC: I don't think we're playing Nashville.
NC: Well, no, because nobody wants to see us. People always say, "Come to Nashville, it's going to be awesome." And then we go and then people just couldn't care less. So we were like, "Nah, we're not going anymore."
PM: Nashville can be so messed up that way.
NC: I know. I love going there to hang out, but playing a show there has been hard on us.
PM: I saw you once there. I had to cover a couple of shows that night. But you were playing the Slow Bar. And I came in and caught the very last song.
NC: Oh, that was the show that made us go, "You know what? We're never doing this again!"
NC: I like the Slow Bar, I like the people that run it, but Nashville has all these built-in crowds of people who just--they come to the show and they yell over the top of it. They don't really care what's going on.
PM: It's just too jaded. There's too much music every night.
NC: I don't even think they're jaded, I think that they're totally unaware.
PM: Yeah, yeah. I thought it was really great. I mean, some of us at the webzine really think you may be the best woman singer working today.
PM: Yeah. We're real Nekophytes.
NC: Ah, thank you. No one's ever said it quite like that before.
PM: What was the other word that came mind--oh, yeah, Nekophiliacs.
NC: [laughs] How dirty! How very dirty to say.
PM: It's only right... You know, I love the way you sing because I'm moved by how much you put into a song. I always feel like you're actually giving the listener something, as if saying, "Well, here I am. Here it is."
NC: Ah, thank you. I try. If you were inside of my body you would be going, "I got to hit that note, oh, my God, they're going to know I'm a fraud! Lift that note! Lift that note--ahhh!"
PM: I think the new CD is one of the best live discs I've ever heard.
NC: Thank you.
PM: It's a beautiful spirit, not only--
NC: Is it my birthday today?
PM: Every day. continue