While watching John Doe harmonizing beautifully with singer Cindy Wasserman, I couldn’t help thinking how he ALWAYS has a female counterpart, starting with Exene Cervenka (also his ex-wife) in legendary LA punk band X.
After his set, I couldn’t resist asking him why. John said he wants to tell the “other side of the story”. I asked how he finds his collaborators – if they just happen upon each other or if it’s a process. He says he actively seeks out specific singers, particularly ones he’s worked with before, and he dropped the name of who is on his wishlist for the future: PJ Harvey.
John was telling me about his duet with Neko Case on his 2005 album “Forever Hasn’t Happened Yet”. It was a song called “Hwy 5”, which he actually wrote with Exene, and I got this feeling that his collaboration with her really opened him up to the idea of having female singers on all his recordings in the future. (truth be told, my favorite still has to be Kathleen Edwards on “Golden State” from his album “A Year in the Wilderness”.)
Speaking of the Golden State, he told us how much he’s enjoying living in Northern California and his newfound satisfaction in life (and love) is reflected in his new album. As he said, there’s a difference between an angry young man and an angry old man. The mellower, gentler John Doe was in studio today and it was a great performance you can hear online in the archives.
p.s. Oh, John did mention at the very end that, while touring in South America, he and Exene talked about writing some more music together. Sounds like we’ll be hearing more from X soon!
Don’t Forget How Much I Love You
Giant Step Backward