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Liz Phair wants recognition for being cute and deep

Liz Phair: Exclusive Interview

My Favorite Weekend: Liz Phair

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Liz Phair has extraordinary plans for her next single.

By Corey Moss, with reporting by Ritesh Gupta, September 2, 2003

Liz Phair has extraordinary plans for her next single.

The rocker will follow up “Why Can’t I?” with another tune co-written by the Matrix, “Extraordinary”.

“‘Extraordinary’ speaks to me because I feel like in my life I’ve always struggled against being kind of the girl-next-door to people, and always wanting people to see me as maybe having more depth,” Phair explained. “And fans are like, ‘What are you talking about? We think you’re extraordinary.’ But in my life, I don’t walk around as ‘Liz Phair’, I walk around as myself. And you know, people either respect me or they don’t, but I’m looking for recognition for being able to be pleasant, nice, cute, and yet still deep, intelligent, whatever.”

Phair has been dealing with how she is perceived a lot lately. Before her self-titled fourth album was even released in June, she was dealing with the backlash of making pop music and working with the same producers as Avril Lavigne. Still, she says she has no regrets.

“I’ll tell you what makes it easier for me to read all the crazy reviews and the controversy,” Phair said. “They said lots of bad stuff about [Exile inGuyville back then too, people just don’t remember. So, in a way, it’s OK with me because I always think it’s good to get people stirred up. They’re talking about good issues. They’re talking about like, what a woman should be, what she shouldn’t be. Is it OK to be sexy when you’re old? Is it not? Is it OK to sell records? Is it not? It’s kind of like, good stuff to talk about, and I think my goals are separate from what the reviewers say. So it’s been OK, actually. I mean, it’s not fun, I’d rather everyone be saying good stuff, but I’ll take it rather than a yawn.”

Phair has also taken slack for releasing her music on Capitol Records after beginning her career on the indie label Matador, but again, she is confident in her move.

“Way back in indie-ville, everyone was plotting about how huge they could be and all this crap, but nobody wanted to sober up enough to get up in the morning and actually find out what business is all about,” Phair said. “My feeling is, your album will be sold through a distribution mechanism, whether you participate or not, and I think it’s more revolutionary to be part of that. And help control that and learn about it and accept reality rather than kind of hide from it and just say, ‘I want no part of it, yet please buy my record.’ What I do is true to my heart, and my record is what I musically like right now.”

The singer has been promoting Liz Phair on a summer tour with Jason Mraz and will play a few more North American shows before heading overseas in September.

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