It is a play-date fever dream and a 2013 MTV VMA wish-fulfillment miracle that none other than the legendary Kathleen Hanna and future-legendary Grimes (also known as Claire Boucher) interviewed each other for our All Access Live stream. We’ve included the clips for you of this fascinating chinwag but the best part is that the conversation topics ran the gamut from deceptively subversive Beyoncé lyrics and contemporary misconceptions of feminism.
Hanna, who blazed the trails as the lead singer of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, is currently the front woman for Brooklyn band The Julie Ruin, whose debut album Run Fast will be released on September 3rd on TJR Records. And of course Grimes, who will also be hosting our Red Carpet show later today with designer Rachel Antonoff, is best known for her Faery Queen musings and manifestos on various social media platforms as well as her status as a critical darling amongst the music cognoscenti for her peripatetic influences and how her voice feels like air conditioning on your face.
They were both excited to meet each other and backstage they admitted to not having prepared any questions which ended up being perfect. The chat meandered from why Grimes elected to experiment in electronic music (“It was the cheapest option and required the least technical prowess.”) and what happens as a female musician the moment you label yourself a feminist (“Why aren’t guy bands asked to play women’s shelters? And Why aren’t guy bands asked to talk about sexism and homophobia?– Kathleen Hanna).
As the two compared notes, Kathleen noted how surprisingly little had changed since her first foray into music and what Grimes is experiencing over the last several years. “It’s not something that you are, it’s something that you do in the world,” says Hanna who deliberately sought to becoming the “Pied Piper of feminism” when the movement had been largely considered “dead.” Grimes went on to mention how any discussion of the topic requires exhaustive explanation of your interpretation and definition of the term, and both vented frustrations on how certain things are considered hypocritical and how makeup and feminism aren’t mutually exclusive.
This perfectly dovetailed into how Beyoncé—who pointedly hires an all-female band and promotes a feminist message—epitomizes glamour and commercial appeal. Basically, the take-away was that myopic, exclusionary definitions of feminism are garbage and retrograde, “guilty pleasures” signify taking someone else’s judgment too seriously, and that pop isn’t evil and devoid of quality, especially if you like it.
Grimes and Kathleen Hanna show off their shoes.
Also, on that subject, not for nothing. I loved their shoes. I know Tamar Anitai from Buzzworthy was holding it down and DEEP THOUGHTS were being examined, but I was SLIGHTLY distracted by how Grimes’s adidas slides looked great on the red carpet and how badly I wanted Kathleen’s INCREDIBLE Jil Sander wedges (“I love them, they’re like f***ed up nurse shoes,” she says.). Altogether a blissed-out talk. I could watch HOURS.