In the end, it was the best thing that could have happened to us. Six years later, when I was done with Hole and the Pumpkins and I decided to make a solo record, Steve was the first person I called. Our friendship remained intact because it was never a love breakup. It was a music breakup. Two of my favorite songs on that record are ones he and I wrote together, ten years ago now. He's my only consistent collaborator. We just toured together for an entire year. That, to me, is a big part of my understanding about love: It can transform.
Do you think we love music for its voyeuristic glimpses into other people's lives?
Absolutely. Music is universal, international, and nonintellectual. It's ours all together. That's why a song can save us. One feeling a guy had 30 years ago and wrote on a piece of paper can save a girl 30 years later from a day of depression. That is beautiful.
On your debut album, you sing frankly about personal things. Was that uncomfortable?
I wanted to make an album that was a patchwork quilt, emotionally and musically, of eight years of my life. Lyrically, it almost had to remain vague. All the lyrics came from my diary, and most of them came from dreams. I didn't even edit them. I'm not particularly proud of them. I just wanted to make music and write cool melodies and use my voice as an instrument. That's why the opening howl on "Followed the Waves" is my favorite vocal moment on the record. On the new record, I'm thinking about the lyrics. Just like starting the blog, I realize the potential of that communication channel.
So how did you tap into what you really wanted to say?