Jill Sobule took over our radio waves and headlines around the country with her LGBT anthem “I Kissed A Girl” back in 1995. Well, she happened to kiss Fabio as well. Maybe it was the long hair… She worked with the legendary Todd Rundgren on the album and the rest is history.
Earle Dutton: What was like to work with Todd Rundgren? He is Legendary.
Jill Sobule: Well, Todd worked with me on my first ever time in the studio. I was so nervous. Todd also doesn’t have the best bedside manner. I would do a vocal and he would say ‘Umm that was adequate. Let’s move on to the next one.” You have to realize that for Todd to tell you that something was just adequate meant it was really pretty good. It was really hard for me. I think it would have been better for me if I had more experience and self-confidence at the time. He is one of my heroes.
ED: What is it like to have your song, “I Kissed a Girl”, to still be such an anthem to the LGBT community twenty years later?
JS: It is really interesting. I think the generational divide of younger people who only know the Katy Perry song is interesting as well. I think some of my most proud moments are when people tell me that they were stuck in places like Decatur, Alabama and that song empowered them in the 7th grade. At the time, my song was banned on a lot of stations. It was before the first Ellen kiss. It was definitely a defining moment in Pop music history.
ED: Do you think that if you released “I Kissed a Girl” today that it would be as controversial?
JS: Oh God no. We have come so far since then. I was watching a movie from 2002 the other night and it had a lesbian kiss. I remember thinking wow; it just seemed so antiquated even just since 2002. We have come so far in the last couple of years that now it would be like who cares.
ED: Have you heard about the new Little Big Town song, “Girl Crush” that is getting banned?
JS: That is just fantastic. I love that in some areas that still goes on because of the chauvinist goofballs that are living there. It is kind of comforting in a weird way that those people are still around but that they don’t have quite the power now. I think in Country music they have more power than anywhere else anymore. I think they are really losing it all and getting desperate.
ED: T Could you tell me a bit about your current show?
JS: Well, I am opening for Joseph Arthur, whom I have known forever. He is really talented. I will be there with my guitar and voice. I never have a set list so I totally improvise with each show. It will be fun. I promise.
ED: You have worked with some legends and amazing people. Is there anyone that you just dream of collaborating with in the future?
JS: I think it really goes back to who you grew up with and listened to when you were younger. I don’t think you ever grow out of that stuff. The ultimate would be a Beatle! So, it would have to be Paul McCartney. Of course, I have always been obsessed with David Bowie. I would love to work with Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell; I mean who wouldn’t. A little later, maybe even Prince. All of them made such big impressions on my childhood.