Published May 01, 2001Vancouver-based singer songwriter Veda Hille follows her literate and artistic muse through art, dance and music. Her new album is called Field Study, and she will tour throughout Canada this spring and summer.
Owls, Andy Kaufman (read Bill Zehme's bio!), Errol Morris films, Grado, headphones, my Yukon parka, sesame oil.
Mind-altering work of art:
"Riddley Walker," by Russell Hoban. And the fight scenes in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Matrix, and X-Men.
Most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
I saw Cornelius at a festival in Ireland and they knocked me out. Incredibly fast and tight, lots of weird instruments (rock'n'roll theremin!), amazing drummer, everybody playing their hardest and all in synch with a high speed psychedelic/lo-fi Planet of the Apes video. It was everything I want.
What has been your career high and low?
High: playing the same Irish festival the year before with my band all drunk and perfect, and knowing that Nick Cave was watching. Later drinking whiskey and trading songs with Mr. Cave on a late night stage.
Low: Probably the night in L.A. where the promotion of the gig had been handed over at the last minute to a heavy metal hair band. They didn't speak to us, actively discouraged people from coming into the gig, and then left during our set with what little money there was.
What should everyone shut up about?
No shutting up! More talking! Although I'm a little tired of the Napster conversation.
I would drop everything to play a benefit for:
Independent bookstores, record stores, co-operatives, etc.
What trait do you like and dislike most about yourself?
I can be funny and I'm a good cook. I'm too self conscious and I just can't keep on top of the laundry.
What would make you kick someone out of your band and/or bed, and have you?
Well, whenever someone in my band ends up in my bed it doesn't work so well. Hasn't happened for a while.
When I think of Canada I think:
Long, long drives and lots of head room.
What is your vital daily ritual?
I think the only truly essential and consistent things have been breathing and eating. Coffee and good conversation help too.
How do you spoil yourself?
Magazines and single malt.
What was your most memorable day job?
Playing accordion in a samba band for giant dancing puppets.
If I wasn't playing music I would be:
A completely different person.
What is your greatest fear?
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
To always look good no matter what. No no no, world peace. How about the ability to finish written interviews in less than three days?
What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
Sharp wit, enthusiasm, butch girls and fey boys.
Music and sex: Is there a difference? Why?
Of course there is you ninnies. Otherwise I'd have to spend an awful lot of money on birth control at every show. But if you want to discuss whether being a professional musician is akin to being a prostitute, go talk to Ford at fordpier.com.
Strangest brush with celebrity:
I sold bagels to the Fonz. And I have a signed photograph of Olivia Newton-John in which she endorses my marriage.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
Okay, how about Oscar Wilde, Björk, David Byrne, Janeane Garofalo, and ee cummings (then we could be seated boy girl boy girl). Let's say it's a summer party, I'll start everyone off with gin and tonics with a splash of Cinzano and this great Thai basil eggplant dip I've been making. Then we could move on to a nice soup and a salad with Bocconcini and greens, and after exchanging a few more pithy witticisms I'd bring out a cherry pie with honey ice cream. A couple more drinks and everyone would end up dancing on the table to Beck's Midnight Vultures.
What does your mom wish you were doing instead?
My mom is envious of my life. I think she's doing pretty good too.