lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: put it out for good

2008-09-03: possibly 4th street 17: indigo girl amy ray, the village voice:

i want to ask a question about the lead track from your last album, prom. "put it out for good" suggests a turning point. and there's a lot of people who lead full, happy lives and have full, happy careers, but for a million dollars they couldn't tell you where the turning point was in either. did you experience a specific turning point in your life and is that what the song's referring to?

that song refers to a turning point in sort of my early, like, high school years where i sort of switched from being . . . i mean, i was very, like, involved. class president, you know. all that kind of stuff. but i really shifted from being a little more conservative, as a person, to letting my inner beast kind of come out. and that's what song was about. it was my senior year.

and what was the trigger?

i think it was just that moment where you break away from your parents, you know. and the trigger was i had fallen in love with a girl and i probably started drinking and smoking pot [laughs]. you know, it was like i was letting myself be free in some way, and i was hearing music. you know, like i think i heard patti smith that year. i may have heard the pretenders. i think i was hearing things that were sort of synching with me better than what i had been listening to before, and i was just feeling that thing, you know. and emily [indigo partner saliers] had just graduated the year before and was at college and i had gone to see her and we had played in new orleans on jackson square and i just felt this, like, 'yeah, i'm really going to do this' kind of thing, you know. not 'i'm going to make it,' but 'i'm really going to do this.' it had nothing to do with making it.

we've done a few busking sessions for possibly 4th street, and i would think the indigo girls are more likely buskers than most other bands. did you do it for long? did you do it often? were you pretty good at it?

we didn't do it that often. we were pretty good at it. we did it in jackson square. we did it in washington square. actually our car was in the garage and we didn't have the money to get it out so we busked for the money and got it. and we did in atlanta, at piedmont park during the arts festival, we would go busking. and i went busking by myself a lot there. but it wasn't for the money. it was just for the fun, actually. it makes you better because you have to project more and you have to like, you know, learn how to play and sing basically.

was it different, dynamically, busking with emily as opposed to busking by yourself?

yeah, i mean, it's always easier when you have someone with you because, you know, there's another person there and you can look at someone. they're just another warm-blooded creature beside as you're trying to attract other people. it's nice. and it attracts other people. people are more drawn to two people playing than one person playing because it's very embarrassing for one person to go listen to one person, because you have to be the first that's willing to do that.

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