Q&A: Carla Bozulich on paragliding in the Himalayas, her new solo album, seeing Parliement Funkadelic as a child, and more



Carla Bozulich - photo by Jennifer Kitner 
Carla Bozulich has been “a vanguard on a deconstructionist mission for the last two-odd decades,” as the Village Voice puts it, and her intrepid quest brings her to LPR next Tuesday, September 23 for her first full NYC show in three years. We caught up with the Geraldine Fibbers and Evangelista founder via email to pick her brain about her new solo album Boy, her earliest concert memory, highs and lows (some literal, some figurative) and more. Scroll down and enjoy.
LPR: What was the experience of writing and recording “Boy” was like?
Carla Bozulich: The album was made over two years of traveling. Most of it was pieces put together by myself and collaborator John Eichenseer as we went from concert to concert taking lots of time in strange places when there were no shows—basically you can thank our booking agent from that time for some of the styles you can randomly hear on Boy….. : )
Paragliding in the HimalayasJohn’s a paraglider so we always did fun stuff…this is what I looked like seconds before I flew off the Himalayas on my 25th “clean birthday”. I’m sure that helmet is older than me—but the boy on my back couldn’t have been more than 15.
What inspired the album’s title?
The album is named Boy in tribute to fighting and dancing and fucking and whatever else!!!!!!!!!! What we do to find ourselves when everybody around looks normal and terrifying! And it’s also dedicated to some boys and girls that did not win against those demons. I was in a punk dance band in the early ’90s. Homophobia stalled out the progress of HIV drugs by millions of lives. The number of boys we…. me and my friends….. have in gold frames and little lockets and immortalized in song is really fucked. And it’s also dedicated to me—because I NEVER felt like a girl OR a boy and I AM NOT.

Watch the new video for “One Hard Man” from Boy.

You recently finished up a string of shows with Swans. How was that?
Those guys are a bunch of softy bunny rabbits.
What’s the earliest concert that you remember seeing?
I saw Parliament Funkadelic at the Hollywood Bowl when I was 9 or so, but being the child of a mom obsessed with jazz and funk and soul, that is only the first one I remember. FULL STAGE SHOW EXTRAVAGANZA.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a musician for a living?
I wanted to be a veterinarian. When my life became heinous I went more for sort of Christiane F. thing which was a David Bowie movie about a junkie child in Berlin. Now, though I’m long clean, I feel somewhere in the middle. So that means, yes, you guys are the animals I’m working on.
What have you been listening to lately?
Well, I’ve been checking out a lot of Nina Simone again because Michael Gira’s got some idea—some sort of thing he’s been wanting to wrangle from my voice for many years. Her perfect, unapologetically hi-fidelity, yet pure earth kinda thing, voice-driven records get mentioned……He has a vision for it. I thought the last album, Boy, would finally be it. I was so excited to send it to him when it was all pretty and mastered “here’s the voice record!”. He wrote back: “I’m pissed.” HaHa that’s so fucking funny. It’s funny to see someone not get their itch scratched.

What can people expect from your upcoming LPR show?
I never keep anything for myself, ever. So the real question is what can I expect from you?
Expect to make your way to LPR next Tuesday 9/23, when LPR and Wordless Music present Carla Bozulich co-headlining with Nashville’s William Tyler (Lambchop, Silver Jews).
posted by John