Kaki King is 5'1, but her music is big, with mesmerizing experimental guitar playing she's been nurturing since she first started playing as a child in Atlanta, Georgia. She abandoned the instrument for a while, opting to play the drums in bands before relocating to New York to attend NYU. She came back to the guitar then -- because it was easily transported into the subways, where she played for tips instead of working a day job.
King's dirty work paid off -- Velour Records took notice and released her instrumental debut album, Everybody Loves You, in 2003. Three more albums followed, and she gained fans from the most respectable of rock musicians: Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam asked her to collaborate on the score for Oscar nominated film, Into the Wild, and she was a featured player on Tegan and Sara's The Con, and the Grammy-winning Foo Fighters album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.
On her new album, Dreaming of Revenge, King adds vocals to her orchestrated melancholy pop break-up. Even though her songs are heartbreakingly sad, she remains well-adjusted and light-hearted, even, discussing her possible relationship with Tegan and/or Sara, and that being a lesbian just doesn't make her that special.
Out: I tried to get some quotes from people you've worked with in the past year and the Foo Fighters' publicist just wasn't having me.
Kaki King: I could give you some quotes from Dave Grohl. I got a text message from him saying, I had make-out dreams about you all last night and I think it's because I hugged you with my shirt off. He always says, God I wish you weren't a lesbian. Just make-out dreams, though -- he has a wife and a child.
Are you dating anyone?
I am single.
But you might be making out with Dave Grohl.
I'm platonically the gay girlfriend of Dave Grohl.
I read on the Internet that you were dating both Tegan and Sara.
I was involved with the wrong one -- I won't say which one. Maybe, I won't say. Maybe I just did, I don't know.
Well, I wonder why Sara offered to give a quote about working with you. That's all I'm going to say!
That doesn't mean anything -- that could mean Tegan hates me because I completely broke her heart and she doesn't want to associate with me. It doesn't, but it's possible. But oh god, their fans are insane. Their fans are going to come and rip me to shreds.
I'm sure you have some crazy fans to that would do that to them.
No, they're all men!
Yeah, I don't have any really crazed awesome lesbian fans. I wish I did.
Kaki groupies -- that would be so funny!
I have some really weird MySpace people. They're so normal in real life but then they go on MySpace and write the weirdest stuff.
Does it ever get tiring to be called a virtuoso?
It does because it doesn't feel very accurate. I wouldn't describe myself as that, but that's what they say.
So who is the revenge in the title Dreaming of Revenge against?
It's not me that's dreaming of revenge.
It seems like sort of a break-up album.
No more comment on that, huh?
You know, it certainly...it was. I had just had a bad break up and gone straight to my parent's house in Georgia and had written like seven songs that had everything to do with what was happening at the time.
You're an out lesbian, yet it seems like your music has always been recognized above your sexuality.
Being gay isn't really that interesting, but being a good guitar player is. There are a lot of gay people. That's what's weird to me that a lot of people in the gay community think that because of that, because you're gay, you're special. You aren't -- you're totally not!