lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: dear mr. president


2015-02-27: amy ray of indigo girls, song facts:

songfacts: and i didn't realize you had that connection with pink. you've done a couple of songs with her.

amy: yeah, we sang with her on "dear mr. president," and then we invited her to come sing on our record because of that.

songfacts: did she contact you and want to work with you or was it the other way around?

amy: i think her co-writer, billy mann, who has produced and co-written with her a lot, they came up with the idea together of having us do "dear mr. president" with her and approached us. and we were big pink fans even then, so we were kind of flabbergasted, actually, like, wow! we didn't even think she knew who we were. it was a big surprise.

but then it all made sense. we got together with them and did the song. and pink's an awesome person. she's just really a really great person and such a great artist. when you're in the studio with her and you hear her sing with no band and no effects - there's nothing else going on except for her voice - it's just quite amazing. her voice is tremendous.

it was just really cool. and they were like, "we've been listening to indigo girls for 30 years." who knew? and then i had a song that i wanted her to sing on, so we invited her to the studio and she came and met with us at our studio when we were working in santa monica.

songfacts: it's interesting, because i saw her concert one time and i wasn't really that familiar with her. and before i saw her i kind of put her in that category of pop divas. but after seeing her perform and realizing how truly great she is, she's really kind of the best of that group by far that i've seen.

amy: and it's funny, because a lot of those songs are actually better than you think they're going to be. it's almost like they take this person that's so gifted and brilliant and works so hard, and they have to make it sort of lowest common denominator stuff. so we're not receiving as much talent as they have sometimes. i think there's more people like pink than we know.

songfacts: you're probably right.

amy: a lot of times all the gifts are sort of hidden under these layers, and you sit down with one of those people in a room when they're singing, and you're just, like, oh my god, this person is a powerhouse, and a really good writer. it's just one of those things where they go a certain path and sometimes people don't understand how great they are.

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2016-09-07: indigo girls: lost days, found, the jackson free press:

why do you feel that we don't see the kind of activism at the heart of the indigo girls in mainstream music as often now?

i think it may not be in the mainstream pop world, but you know, pink's song "dear mr. president" (which came out in 2006 and featured the indigo girls) made quite a splash, and it actually made a bigger splash in other countries than it did in the u.s., as far as the charts go. as far as our audience, i don't think you want to hit people over the head with a hammer of heavy, heavy topics song after song after song, but the thing is, with me and amy, these are things that we're interested in as people, and this is what we write about. and we know that the people who come to see us, they are interested in what's going on in the world and respond to those songs and those issues, and i can tell that they do.

i can only know from that that out there are just people who are interested in becoming a part of positive change and that music is a huge, huge part of that. so it's still alive and well, just maybe not in the mainstream pop world. i think most people want mainstream pop just as an escape, honestly. you want to feel good and want to be able to dance to it and listen to it and not have to think too much, and really, that's the way that pop has always been.


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