Egnew's music career hasn't been swinging at nothing
since the Montana-raised songstress stepped into the
limelight. From "kicking butt and taking names"
with the all-girl band Pope Jane, to releasing her first
acoustic album Red Lodge, the Los Angeles-based
singer-songwriter is a hugely talented musician. She
came away with the Best Pop-Alternative Female Guitarist
Award at the All Access Music Awards in 2006, and won
Best Keyboard Player in Pop-Alternative-Glam in 2007.
what are you excited about these days?
am profoundly excited about the release of Red Lodge.
I did everything on that album: bass, mandolin, violin,
guitars, all the percussion.
It is different from the
kind of music you've been putting out?
Pope Jane -- who are back in the saddle for Montana
Pride this June, which is really exciting -- and Junkie
Cousin were alt rock, heavily produced, lots of sounds.
This album, Red Lodge, is the first album of
an acoustic nature I have released. I love it.
video for "Swinging At Nothing" is on MySpace.
Tell me about that song.
song has done really, really well. We shot that video
about 10 miles out of my hometown, in Billings, Montana.
The piano I played in it was the piano I grew up playing
in my mother's house. It meant a lot to me.
is a song about letting go, isn't it?
is about having someone that is so dynamic in your life,
that you just love to death, but you know they're not
going to stick around. They tick backwards and you know
that they eventually are going to be gone.You can't
keep the shadow after the sun sets, so you just have
to enjoy what you have.
came first, women or music?
Women, at about 18. The music thing came at about 20.
I was a musical theater major at the University of Arizona,
and I couldn't figure out why I had such strong attractions
to women in my theater company. Finally, some of the
graduate students said to me, "Well, uh, it's because
you're gay." I grew up very conservative in Montana...so
I said, "No I'm not, what do you mean?" But
then one kiss and I was like, "Wow, OK, I'm queer."
of your heroines is Annie Lennox.
grew up listening to The Eurythmics. Annie Lennox is
a Royal Academy of Music Graduate, and an exceptional
composer, producer...she is an exemplary talent. I just
saw her at Hugo's [in Los Angeles] six months ago, and
I had my only big star-struck moment. She was walking
by and she looked at me, smiled. I was thinking, that
is the human being that formed who I am as a musican.
I just started to cry.
You did Vagina
Monologues with Jennifer Beals last year.
an extraordinary experience. The Vagina Monologues is
a body of work that is a phenominal healing tool. I
did not know that until I got into it. Yes, Jennifer
Beals is a very charismatic woman, highly intelligent.
have a side career as a paranormal. Are there
have run into turn-of-the-century women who killed
themselves, some of them because of sexuality
issues. Some spirits who lived during what I call
"religiously archaic times", like when
homosexuality was forbidden, think they are going
to go to hell. They bring that to me. So I have
this conversation with them and say, "God
is not going to spit on you, you can go, you can
ghosts can't listen to NPR?
don't. They are stuck in the last trauma that
occurred. If you were taught that if you crossed
the street, you were going to go to hell, then
you'd never cross the street. And if I come from
across the street and say, 'Hey, there's a great
club over here, you should really come across
the street [I can make change].So it is a matter