k.d. lang and her most successful album, Ingénue came out twenty five years ago. The album touched the hearts of many inside and outside of the LGBTQ community. It encompassed lang’s full spectrum of emotions and attire. She really proved that we could all be who we want and need to be while maintaining our community.
She has worked with Roy Orbison, Katy Wells, Tony Bennett, Leonard Cohen and more. Ingénue Redux is truly a celebration of all of her successes, talent and adventures. She begins the tour with two fundraising shows at the Vashon Center for the Arts (February 23-24) and then on to Seattle for her show at The Moore (February 26th).
lang took some time out of her schedule to speak to Equaltiy365 about the tour, music and life. See below:
Earle Dutton: Okay, let’s start with something fun! How was your experience on “Portlandia”?
k.d. lang: Oh my goodness! Wow, they are full improv geniuses! They just roll with it. The takes can be fifteen minutes long. They just go off. You are just sitting there trying to keep a straight face. It was fascinating to watch them work.
ED: I know it is the big anniversary of Ingenue. What made you decide to celebrate it in such a spectacular way?
kd: Well, it was my most successful album. It was a big watershed moment in my career. Me coming out was a big moment in the LGBTQ community as well. It was a big turning point in my life and a big shift for me. It feels good to go back a revisit that record. I deliberated for a long time in preparing for the tour on how to approach the songs. We are playing the entire album in its entirety in sequence right off the top of the show. I sort of came to the point where I am singing them in a pretty neutral way, not unemotional, just not superimposing my own emotions on the songs. I don’t want to exclude the audience’s emotional relationship to the music.
ED: Do you have a favorite song to perform live right now?
kd: Yeah, it is funny enough that there is a sequence between “Season of Hollow Soul” and “Tears of Love’s Recall” and “Outside Myself”. I just never performed those songs that much, but now that sequence becomes this very deep musical exchange. It is now my favorite part of the show.
ED: Do you have a favorite song to perform live that isn’t on the album?
kd: It is hard to say this but probably, “Hallelujah”. There are just so many covers of the song. People kind of roll their eyes when someone is going to sing it. My relationship with the song has been really intense. I sang it at the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010 and as a request from Leonard Cohen. It’s a difficult double-sided coin in a way. I think society is kind of getting tired of it. At the same time, with Cohen’s passing last year, and my relationship to this song, it is hard not to do it. It is a powerful song.
ED: You have worked with some amazing people from Leonard Cohen, Elton John and Bonnie Raitt. Is there anyone out there that you would like to collaborate with?
kd: There is and I have no idea who it would be. I would have never been able to predict that I would work with Roy Orbison, Kitty Wells or Tony Bennett. I love how life unfolds in unpredictable ways and I am always open to the experience.
ED: How did it feel when Tony Bennett said that you were “the best singer of your generation”?
kd: He is a very generous person. He is a sweetheart. Being a vocalist is so subjective to the listener. You can’t take that stuff seriously (laughter).
ED: You have been performing this album either in full or part for the last twenty-five years. What would you like the audience to take away from this show?
kd: Hmm, that again is so subjective. I would like to just offer people an antidote to the craziness that is out there in the world. Just come in and relax. Be soothed by music. It is a space where all are welcome.
ED: Since we touched on the LGBTQ community, I was wondering if you had any advice for LGBTQ youth or even drag queens/kings that dress and perform your music?
kd: (Laughter) Live your truth and live your desires and creativity. I think in general the thing I would like to express to the gay community. Well, not just the gay community it would apply to the straight community as well. Maybe society in general, there are people that don’t understand differences in people. I think as the LGBTQ community, we are challenging people on a daily basis. I think the fact that we are ahead of the game in terms of living an “alternative lifestyle” we have to have patience and compassion for people that don’t understand us in a way that you would for a child or animal. Evolution of acceptance is slow. I would just say, be compassionate but live your life as you wish. Be compassionate for those that are less advanced in accepting differences.
Get more information on the tour and tickets here.