Bif Naked

November 25, 2002

Are you originally from Vancouver?

No, Iíve lived here for 10 years. I canít see really living anywhere else. Itís pretty similar to Seattle.

Iíve heard Seattle is a little depressing.

Yeah, because of the rain. Vancouver is the same. Ultimately we live in a rain forest.

Give us a brief history of yourself, which is rather interesting.

I consider it a pretty normal upbringing but I guess itís only normal for me.

Itís not every day that a mother gives her child up in India and the child winds up coming through the U. S. and ultimately winding up in Canada.

Yeah, itís kind of uncanny and I actually met my biological mom. That was pretty cool. She lives in Toronto. Itís funny because I think I can tell you pretty much whatís genetic and whatís environmental. All the bad things about me are genetic. My mom who raised me is a polite, quiet Minnesota woman. My birth mom on the other hand is hell on wheels. I think thatís where I get it from. Cool. I like knowing that.

Being hell on wheels is not necessarily always a bad thing. How did your musical career get started?

I donít know. It was so long ago. I was in my first year at the university and got together with these guys in my class who had a band. I dropped out of the university and went on tour and Iíve been on tour ever since.

It started out in college. When did you start going out on your own?

Yeah, I sure did. I put my first record out as a solo artist in í94. That came out in Canada and Europe.

Purge is your third solo album musically speaking.

My third full length record. Iíve got a spoken word record and two EPs out also.

What led you to do a spoken word record?

Iíve done spoken word shows since I was 18 years old. I got so many requests from it after I put my real foot out that I just wanted to do a whole record of it.

Whatís the philosophy behind spoken word records?

I donít know. If I wouldnít of gotten bugged to make one I wouldnít have done it. Itís just talking. I like ---. I like listening and getting to vent over and over and over again. Some people are into it and some people arenít.

Is it like a poetic thing?

Some of them are in couplets. Some of them rhyme and some of itís prose and some of it ranting and raving. Some of it is very political. Thereís juvenile and thereís lot of swearing. Thereís lots of talking about sexual predators. It kind of runs the whole nine yards.

Youíre basically pouring your thoughts out on a form of media that others can listen to.

Yeah, I guess so. Itís cool. Since Iíve been in bands weíve made tapes all the time to sell off the stage so I kind of look at it as the same thing. Itís like writing your little song and putting it on a four track and going and playing a show and hopefully someone will pay five bucks for it. Really itís that basic.

Tell me a little bit about Purge.

Purge I always call my blue period. I was really depressed when I made that record. It was a really transitional period in my personal life and I wrote that record with a completely broken heart. I think itís reflected in all of the songs. Broken hearts are really good because they make for great song writing. I never shy away from taking a risk in love. Youíll never die from a broken heart. Youíll never die from it regardless of what the poets of the ages have said. You wonít. You wonít die and you will always fall in love again. Always. Thereís always going to be, if itís two years or six months or five years later, life after heartbreak. Youíve just always gotta have an open heart. If you are receptive to things, things will come into your life and if youíre closed off to them, they wonít. Maybe itís because after I turned 30 I just went ďoh what the fuck am I so worried about?Ē I donít know if thatís the same for everybody. I just know that when I was younger, I was much more a believer of taking chances and I was much more reserved in relationships. So now I go for it.

I remember being told by someone that turning 35 is a horrible thing in a womanís life. When I turned 35 this past summer, it was a very transitional period in my life. As I get older, I get much more laid back.

Oh my god, I canít wait to turn 35 you lucky devil. Every single year that passes in life always brings more surprises. I canít imagine anyone saying that itís a bad thing to turn 35. I canít wait to be 40. I wonder whatís going to be going on in my life when Iím 40. Itís so interesting to me because I never would have thought some of the things happening now would be happening. Whether itís the boy Iím dating or my dogs or painting my apartment red or whatever it is. Just little things. Life is so cool.

I donít know about Canada but here in the U. S. some people seem to have a fear of getting old to such a point that they actually put botulism in their cheeks so they donít get wrinkles.

Thatís very strange but thatís a North American cultural thing. Thatís all of North America and itís the only place in the world thatís like that. Itís awful. Weíre so obsessed with anorexia and fucking youth. Itís awful.

Itís really weird because I think you should embrace what life brings you. Not be afraid of it.

Exactly.

Youíve been one of the only females in the rock category to headline summer festivals. How have you gotten so lucky on that?

I donít think Iím the only one. I think there was a rock festival in Canada called the Edgefest that they didnít have any girls on. Warped tour and those guys, they put the Luna Chicks on their tours and they put The Donnas on their tours so itís getting better.

Is it interesting sometimes to be the only chick on a tour?

No because when I started 15 years ago, there werenít a lot of other girls around so I was really used to it. I didnít look at it as something that was a hindrance. It was something you had to fight because mostly if you showed up at soundcheck the other bands that didnít know you thought you were there to blow the band. They thought you were a groupie or they thought you were someoneís girlfriend. Thatís something that Iíve dealt with as a female since before I was 21. I think thatís true for everyone whether theyíre in medicine or law. Whether theyíre a daycare worker. Whatever. Itís cultural. I donít think itís just the music business.

Youíve made a lot of television appearances. Are there certain aspects about acting that you like?

Itís pretty easy to do if youíve got nothing better to do. If youíre not on tour and youíre at home and somebody offers you a part, itís really fun to do it because itís like playing dress up all day. Iíve never shied away from that. I was a theater major in college and itís something thatís pretty easy. I think of the performing arts as being kind of all the same.

Do you see yourself in the future getting more heavily involved in acting like Madonna has?

It really depends. We get scripts all the time because as soon as youíre famous, even on a small level, even if you canít act your way out of a paper bag, people will send you scripts. I turn lots of stuff down. Lots of times they just want me to play whores and junkies which is all good and Iím still honored but itís not very interesting to me. When the right thing comes along, Iím definitely up for it.

I can imagine. Youíre into snowboarding, inline skating, BMX riding, and martial arts training. BMX riding, and martial arts training. Youíre a very active chick.

Yeah, Iím pretty active. I really enjoy working out at the gym and snowboarding is easy for me because I live near Whistler. We go every winter.

You have some tattoos on your arm. One of them is interesting. It looks like letters.

They are Chinese letters and are the first line of a Buddhist poem called ďThe SyndakiĒ. What it says is the mind of the great stage of India which actually is the Buddhaís right mind. I really like the idea of having that as a little post it note on my person.

How did you get interested in tattoos?

I canít remember. Iíve been getting tattoos since I was 17 years old. I think it was just all the cool kids were doing when I was young. I only really wanted one. It just kind of went from there. I really like studying eastern philosophy and theology. Sometimes Iím inspired enough to get an image recorded in my skin. Thatís kind of how I see it.

One of my friends told me that once you get one, it becomes addictive and you canít stop.

I donít think itís addictive. I just think that you realize that it doesnít hurt as much as you thought it would. You know that itís no big deal if you get another one.

With some people, itís just their idea of art. For others it might very well be an addiction. Who knows. How has your touring been going?

Good. I just got home yesterday. Iíve been on tour since the beginning of October.

Where all have you been?

We toured much of Canada for a year and a half and I just started touring the U. S. in October. We just got home yesterday. I go back down again February 1st.

Are you doing pretty much all of the U. S. or just certain areas?

Weíre coming down the West Coast and then across the bottom and back up to the top and back to the Midwest. Itís cool. I always have a good time.

Are you doing any shows in Europe?

I hope so. We were very fortunate with the Ibercutus album and did a lot of touring over there really extensively. My hope is that we can do the same thing with the Purge record.

Any other ideas or comments?

Hopefully weíll be coming to Dallas soon. We played there before. We opened for Days Of The New in Dallas. We played with Fuel. We played with The Urge. It was good.

Bif Naked