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Photograph by Tanya Stills

INFORMATION Belly play the Waterfront on 18th July. Tickets available from

bands – Juliana Hatfield, No Doubt, Hole, Babes in Toyland, Belly, Trowing Muses, Sonic Youth, Pixies – it felt like there was a real equality which has disappeared again until pretty recently. Did it feel equal to you at the time or did you struggle to be recognised as both a woman and a serious musician? Early on, when we were teenagers there was more of an issue with that, it was a real novelty, a girl playing guitar! But the tricky thing about the 90’s were the sub textual conversations that people were having that nobody really knew about. Like when we did a radio show they would actually say to our manager “We have too many women on the air right now”. Tey made us take turns. Tey were actual sentences coming out of people’s mouths at the time. I’m not part of that world any more but I would hope that’s not still happening now. It was exciting that the playing field had widened and felt more powerful but meanwhile those conversations happening behind the scenes were still quite sexist. You’ve released your

14 / July 2016/

“I feel uncomfortable hearing my voice.”

Swansong EP’s, supposedly as your exit from the music industry but here you are back in Belly and touring! What are you most looking forward to about the tour? Tat is what I said at the time and I’m not going to deny it; I was in a headspace then where I felt like I haven’t done anything in so long I wondered if I’d retired by mistake! So I kind of decided to throw myself a retirement party and invite all my friends to play – that was the genesis of Swansong. But then I got back into it, and kept writing…I would say that’s probably the last release in my name. From now on I’d like to do anonymous projects because I have to say, out of everything I’ve done, the Swansong series was such a collaboration that

it feels weird that my name is the only one on there! I’m a person who enjoys working and writing with other people..I’m not the artist in the garret tower, so I feel like project names would be better in the future. You have a family and a ‘day job’ as well as being Tanya the Famous Musician. Do you protect your privacy? I know you don’t do too many interviews. I am a private person in terms of my personal life – that’s a very separate things for me. I keep my wagons circled round them, it’s my space and I’m protective of it. But in terms of music I’m happy to talk about that. I understand you don’t listen to your own music – how come?

I don’t know. I feel uncomfortable hearing my voice. Not because it sounds bad but it’s too close, or something. I don’t enjoy it, and I also feel like we worked so hard and long on this and now it’s finished so let’s move on to something new. I don’t really revisit things ever. If I’m going to listen to something I’m going to listen to someone else! What music have you been enjoying recently? It’s all people you’ll already gonna know! Lisa Hannigan, I love her, and I’ve been listening to Te Avett Brothers. Plus a lot of Prince, which has actually been quite joyful.

Lizz Page

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