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Three questions with Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead

Spencer Patterson

Would it surprise you to know that out of 28 acts on the Vegoose bill, you are one of only two female musicians scheduled to perform [M.I.A. being the other]?

No way. Really? There’s a lot of women around, and this summer I’ve played a lot of festivals, and there were girls anywhere. So I think it just happens to be that way [for Vegoose], because it’s not like that all the time. I’ve actually seen M.I.A. around. She looks great. I didn’t hear her carefully but she looked good.

Your latest album, 23, sounds quite lush and dreamy compared to past efforts. Was that what you guys were shooting for when you opted to self-produce for the first time?

Yeah, we definitely didn’t want it to sound realistic. We wanted it to sound really unrealistic. But not too sad—we wanted to have the driving element to it, too. So I hope we’ve done that. It is good to have another person’s opinion at times, and we didn’t have that. Sometimes it’s hard to step out like that, but maybe you’re not supposed to be stepping out.

Did you feel like this album would edge Blonde Redhead toward a larger listening base?

I’ve stopped trusting myself in that aspect, because since, maybe, the second album I’ve always thought we made the most accessible record [laughs], but nobody ever agreed with me. So I think my judgment is totally crooked. I’ve always thought, “I could hear this in the supermarket or in an elevator,” and people will be like, “What? You’re so out there.” But that’s how I feel about it. We’re certainly not trying to play music that’s hard to understand or experimental. I want to be really genuine.

Blonde Redhead > Saturday, 2:30 p.m., Snake Eyes Stage.

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