jackson.metromix.com: Q&A: Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls
original publish date: 15 january 2009
by kyle doherty, the clarion ledger
Amy Ray, otherwise known as half of the Indigo Girls, embodies the do-it-yourself spirit of punk rock, operating her label Daemon Records since 1990.
She released Didn’t It Feel Kinder, her third solo album, in August 2008. Catch her at Proud Larry’s in Oxford 9 p.m. Saturday.
What’s it like doing solo albums when you’ve been doing the Indigo Girls for so long?
For me it just felt really freeing and kind of opening a new door. And it gave me a lot of energy with the Indigo stuff as well and it let me collaborate with the community I’ve been a part of. It really improved my writing with (bandmate) Emily (Saliers) to have this other creative outlet.
Your new album is much mellower than your previous two. Did you feel a need to mix things up?
It was just the writing. Partly (also) because I made the conscious decision to use a producer to challenge me and broaden my musical horizons and from that came a more melodic approach along with more punk rock songs.
You’ve had your own record label for almost 20 years now. From that perspective, how has the industry changed?
Oh wow, it’s so different. When digital came out it really shifted access to resources. It opened a lot of doors. With media (companies) like radio and print media and TV in ’96, there was a lot of deregulation so it really hurt the artists’ chances to get exposure because the record labels all merged together.
When the Internet came busting through with all the DIY and social networking, it kind of helped the situation.
One of the things with record labels themselves is that they came from the perspective of developing artists in the ’80s when we were coming up and it just shifted into doing short-term contracts and didn’t give them the time to develop their craft.
We got kind of the benefit of coming up at the right time.
Do you think the Internet is the solution to that or is it more with small labels like your own?
The problem is that you have to really know how to manage yourself. You need someone sometimes to give you perspective … And also, nothing can replace the touring and live music.