OK, when I heard Christina Aguilera had hooked up with someone out of Le Tigre, I was surprised. But I don’t think that pop and underground can’t cross over.
I recently met up with JD Samson of Le Tigre in New York – we went for dinner, and she was telling me about Christina’s album. Apparently, she really liked Le Tigre’s track ‘Deceptacon’, got her label to get in touch, and JD agreed to meet her. They quickly agreed to do a bit of songwriting with her. JD told me that Christina is officially ‘nice’.
I really love Le Tigre, and if you listen to their music, there is a lot of pop in there, although it’s quite raw and mixed with punk – but there’s definitely a pop sensibility within the songs. Also, JD’s done a lot of really upbeat dance-sounding stuff. I did a gig recently with her band MEN, who are really fun. They’re quite clubby and dancey. Obviously, Christina’s a massive star from a different world, but it’ll be interesting to hear the results.
I was a 16-year-old at college when I first heard Bikini Kill. You find out about bands and then they link to another band and another band, and so I found out about people like Moldy Peaches and Kimya Dawson and then Le Tigre. Bikini Kill are my favourite riot grrrl band because they’re just so integral to it.
But I really, really love Sleater-Kinney as well. This music has became so important to me. Sometimes you tend to lose what was important to you as a teenager, but I think it’s become more important being a female in the music industry. It’s meant more and more as time goes on.
Beth Ditto is carrying the torch of riot grrrl today; she’s really outspoken about being a feminist. A lot of girls today are afraid of saying that they’re a feminist – I think that’s a shame. I hear loads of female artists saying, ‘I’m not a feminist’ – they’re scared of the word. Beth Ditto is completely herself; she always does her own thing and doesn’t care what anyone thinks.
As for it being a feminist betrayal for Le Tigre to be working with a sexualised pop star like Christina… Well, first of all, I did like Christina’s ‘Dirrty’ when it came out, I can’t deny it.
But a lot of Christina’s songs such as ‘Beautiful’ are about being individual and being yourself and being accepted and that kind of ties into what Le Tigre would say as well. I don’t think that JD would work with somebody that she thought wasn’t cool.