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easy to hide in a place of fatalism, but how boring is that?

negative and it’s so easy to hide in a place of fatalism, but how boring is that? Te thing is I certainly have, in my life felt like, “oh, nothing’s gonna work out”, but there was always something in me that was like, “alright, c’mon Joan, sort yourself out. Snap out of it.” It’s scary though, saying life’s awesome because the fact is we’ve got to live with life on life’s terms and there’s a lot of really intense stuff that happens. But everyone has to deal with it, so you might as well go into it thinking, ‘everyone’s gonna die – might as well have fun ‘til then.’

I read a quote from an old interview of yours that said you were constantly trying to get more comfortable with being more vulnerable, but in contrast, you seem to have grown with so much contentment and confidence. You don’t seem like you’ve been tapping in to your vulnerability at all. Hmmm, that’s awesome. It was sort of like an enormous revelation to me a number of years ago, when I realised that self-confidence had nothing to do with self-love. I was born confident and really curious, and wanting to take chances all the time but that doesn’t necessarily correspond to how you feel about yourself. Certainly it can help you build self-love, but it’s when you’re by yourself, when you’re not having to deal with anyone else, or the world that you start hearing those stories that you tell yourself. When I started to feel freedom, then I wanted more. Ten when I started to feel more freedom, I wanted more and more. It’s a lifelong thing, but I definitely do feel a hell of a lot better.

Tat’s great to hear, and it shows. And do you feel it comes naturally with age, or do you have to ride the storm, and decide how you’re gonna get out of it? I think both, and I say this from the standpoint that I’m only getting older! If anybody knows how to stop that process, I’d love to speak to them! But I’m definitely the type of person who

It’s so easy to be negative and it’s so

goes all-in to situations, even if they’re CLEARLY wrong! [Laughs] Even if they’re really, really, really stupid and everyone’s saying, “No Joan, NO! Turn around!” I’m like, “no way, I’m going into this!” Very often I’ve learnt the hard way, which is CLEARLY how I need to learn things!

I read that you’ve nixed the booze, and in other interview I read that you were even trying to give up coffee. Did that work, the coffee thing? Aargh… NAH! [Laughs] I did that for a while, and I used to be insane with the coffee like I was insane with the booze and everything else, and now I just don’t like that feeling like my heart’s gonna explode. [Laughs] But the fact is, I used to really like it, so I feel really thankful that I don’t like it anymore. I had to twist some things that were DEFINITELY gearing up to end my life, and of course I thought I was gonna DIE, and never have a life again when I stopped, but when you stop, of course, you realise the exact opposite.

Joan, you broke our hearts over and over with ‘Real Life’ and ‘To Survive’, and THEN you released ‘Cover’ [a limited release album of cover versions], which was brilliant! To do Britney’s ‘Overprotected’ after an album like ‘To Survive’, was inspired; was it just a case of “let’s just change things up”? Yeah! [Laughs] You know, I was coming out of a really tough period; I watched my mom die and in that time, I’d also gotten involved with THE WORST relationship ever! Right in conjunction with my mom’s health stuff, and erm, I’d made it through that. I was really ready to have fun and not work with my own songs because I get so obsessive and

precious, and like, “oh, it’s gotta be exactly this way.” Tese were songs that had already been perfected, really, by the original artists, so it was like, ‘let’s see what you can bring to it’. Tey’re all fun; they were all in the 100% fun of making music, so yeah, that’s exactly it.

Well it’s funny, because I try and live my life through the internet meme motto, “If Britney Spears can get through 2007, you can get through this.” What…? Oh my lord, that’s amazing! [Laughs]

So Joan, final question – I know I should not objectify you, but you look hotter than you ever have. What’s the secret? WOAH. Oh my God! Well first of all, thank you. [Laughs] Tat’s awesome to hear. I was not expecting that; that was a total curveball. Well certainly that whole cheesy thing of taking care of yourself physically, and also mentally, it affects the radiance factor, you know. When you’re happy, it shows. I definitely think that making music is huge. I also recently took some time off from being involved with anyone. I continually got involved with the wrong person. Not horrible people, just the wrong person. And pouring one’s entire energy into the wrong person, over and over and then having to get UNINVOLVED with that person takes 300 times longer! It’s SO exhausting and you know, ENERGY sucking and distracting. My last experience, the amount of pain that I saw that person go through, I was like ‘alright, I’m done with this. I’m not looking around; I’ve just gonna hang with myself for a while.’ And for almost two years, I poured all that energy that I was pouring into other people, into myself. I know it sounds so bad and it’s gonna look so bad but whenever I used to read stuff about self-love, I’d be like, ‘that is disgusting! Get me away from this article’, or whatever it is. But now I read something and I’m like, ‘it’s so amazing, I just don’t care!’ I’m still punk rock though, I’m STILL PUNK ROCK!


Joan Wasser comes to the Norwich Arts Centre as Joan as Police Woman on March 15th. For tickets, go to Read the uncut version of this interview on /March 2014/ 13

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