Kim Gordon Discusses Grimes, Caitlyn Jenner, Chrissie Hynde, Spice Girls With Bret Easton Ellis
Kim Gordon is the latest rock star to guest on The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast, and her conversation with Ellis touches on lots of people who tend to elicit strong reactions: Grimes, Lana Del Rey, Courtney Love, Caitlyn Jenner, Chrissie Hynde, Gordon’s ex-husband and Sonic Youth bandmate Thurston Moore — you know, the Polarizing All-Stars. They also talked Spice Girls and Friday Night Lights! After Ellis scoffed at Grimes for saying she created “Go” to be purchased, he asked Gordon if Sonic Youth ever created art with that mindset. Gordon replied with a short history of Sonic Youth’s humble ambitions and capped it off by implying everyone after Nirvana aspired to fame and fortune:
We didn’t really have expectations about being hugely commercial, and I don’t think ever. And I think everyone else did after Nirvana broke. People would say oh don’t you think your record is going to be as big and we’d be like, “No are you crazy? What’s your logic?”
She also addressed Grimes’ complaint that there are no female recording engineers:
I don’t know, maybe because there’s a certain nerdiness that comes with being an engineer… I mean you’re in the studio for hours and hours. I don’t know maybe it’s just that. Maybe I’ll get in trouble for saying this but. It’s just that the male one-side of the brain at a time kind of focus.
Gordon also elaborated on her critique of Lana Del Rey in her memoir, Girl In A Band:
Initially it was about just seeing something in the paper about, um — or online, I say the paper — about saying something about rock and rock stars should just like kill themselves with drugs, and Frances Bean had really reacted to that and I felt really actually weirdly protective of Frances. And I just started thinking about well, I mean obviously Frances, does she really think that’s her? It’s a persona. She’s just saying this.
Ellis also said Del Rey wouldn’t be as popular if not for Gordon’s book(?) and then went on a detour about sexualized pop stars and Kardashians that led to Gordon commenting on the Spice Girls:
Well I remember I was actually disturbed by the Spice Girls because they took the word girl power and it was used in the most ridiculous way. And Coco was two or three or something, so she hadn’t been exposed to the spice girls but yah I wasn’t really into it because Britney Spears, I mean some of its fun but then its like, really the music I cant listen to.
Ellis asked Gordon about her love of Friday Night Lights — apparently she used to own a Tim Riggins refrigerator magnet? — and she explained thusly:
Well first of all I loved the way it was shot. You know, with the 8 pan-out cameras. It gave it this added element of realism. I thought it was incredibly realistic. I mean what do I know. But I was convinced it was realistic… Each character was pretty well developed you know as an ensemble.
There was also this exchange about Courtney Love:
Gordon:Thurston was the only one who was really nice to her, you know, like who — he did recognize that she had some issues, you know? I don’t know why he was nice to her, but Courtney’s incredibly charismatic, and she can be fun, and you know she says — she doesn’t have a filter. She says what’s on her mind.
Ellis: But punching Kathleen Hanna in the face, why does she do that?
Gordon: I think she was just jealous. Or maybe she was, I don’t know, she was probably — I don’t want to say she was high, but I’m just saying she was pretty out of control and I think you know after Kurt killed himself she was probably just out of her mind.
Ellis also asked whether politically correct policing of how people talk about figures such as Caitlyn Jenner was turning people into “clockwork oranges enthralled to these kind of standards that have been blanketed over us.” Here’s how Gordon responded to that one:
I don’t know I think definitely private and public has gotten flipped around. Just celebrities tweeting, making personal statements to like millions of people on Twitter and Instagramming nude pictures. The whole notion that you’re always kind of on stage potentially, so what do you do with what’s really private? Well, you obviously don’t do that. But you know its weird because at the same time you don’t really see that humanity and culture’s evolving the same way technology evolves. And now we have these niceties and considering the complexities of every person and are careful what to say, but then like you have the United States and Russia both bombing different sides of people in Syria, it just seems like there is a certain thing, things have evolved only in this kind of nice societal way of in the culture maybe but people are still killing in wars and fighting over religion and territory.
Lastly, Gordon chimed in on Chrissie Hynde’s victim-blaming comments that emerged when Hynde was discussing her own rape:
I’m sure most girls and women have had the unfortunate situation of just having sex with somebody you just don’t want to have sex with and getting it over with you know because like you’re, suddenly it’s like awkward. But I think that now girls are hopefully taught that, no you don’t have to do that, and you feel bad the next day whether you’re drunk or, you know. But obviously, if the other person is wasted maybe that equals things out. I mean it’s one thing to take advantage of someone who’s drunk, that’s a totally different thing, and I don’t think Chrissie Hynde has ever really thought much or read much about rape victims. Actually, most rape victims do blame themselves where they shouldn’t, and she’s the ultimate tomboy and I think taking care of herself and being strong and not wanting to be seen as a victim in a way. But she doesn’t realize that she’s written this book and people are going to read it. It’s one thing to have this dialect in your mind but as far as I can see, I think a writer should have protected her a little more, like let’s maybe articulate that a little more. But maybe that’s her stance for herself and she isn’t looking at herself like she’s this icon and she’s supposed to be responsible, and you can’t just ruminate.
There’s a lot more where that came from, which is here.