Her Best Defense

11.11.2008

By Jason Lamphier

Do you think the questions about 'I Kissed a Girl' and 'Ur So Gay' reflect discomfort with people being gay or bicurious?
I think the world is growing up little by little. Honestly, I have to tell you, I think that the States is probably the worst at it. But I also think that might be a product of us being so young as a country. We're only a couple of hundred years old and Europeans have been here for quite a long time. They've lived more life, maybe. I think that the world is growing up, and I think that the States are growing up, too. You find individual cases of prejudice, but that's just a personal problem with those people.

And yet your songs are considered more shocking than most hip-hop or rock.
It's still somewhat of an unfair society. You can't imagine how many times journalists have asked me, 'How do you deal with all the negativity and controversy?' And I'm like, 'Can you please just turn on pop radio or turn on MTV? And if you're gonna throw a stone at one person, you might as well get everybody stoned.' I think certain parts of the world -- especially in the U.S. -- are just dying to be offended.

You've definitely gotten it from both ends this year. You've been lambasted by some gay advocates and Christian conservatives have been up in arms. Has any of it really gotten to you?
I'm aware of people's opinions, but it won't change how I express myself as an artist. A lot of artists start to get into trouble when they start reading so much of their own press. It changes who they are because they were such an original. Then, all of the sudden they've got 100,000 people saying 'yes, no, yes, no' and they chase their tail into a ditch. Some of the opinions are just from people who are unhappy in their lives, or critics that wanted to be musicians but never fucking made it. We all know that. Unless there's an amazing, legitimate journalist I respect, I don't really take any of that shit to heart.

You've been catching up on pop culture since your sheltered youth. What new discoveries have you made?
I have been watching a lot of movies from the '90s that I have absolutely loved, like The Professional. I watched American Psycho the other day and it scarred me for fucking life. It's the worst movie. But it's also the best -- it's so beautifully made, but it's just so horrible. And I wasn't allowed to watch any of that stuff, of course.

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