Clare Bowditch – The Modern Day Woman

Clare Bowditch will be promoting her recent album ‘Modern Day Addiction' in a National tour throughout June/July with Lanie Lane as support. Jarred Keane took the chance to probe Clare on the tricky issues.


What's your ideal type of venue to play?


In winter, my favoured venue is intimate, warm, somewhere to get out of the night and remember the best things about winter. In summer, it's large and outdoors and noisy.


Do you feel burdened by the importance of image and marketability in the field of music?


Early in my life as a musician, I heavily resented the fact that I was expected to have my face on posters. To me, this made no sense: as an observer of humans, why would I want to give up one of my most valuable gifts, the ability to spy on strangers? Now, I just let it be what it is, and I don't spent too much time worrying about it: a picture is not a person, and if people actually want to know me, they can come to the show and see for themselves.


What's the main emotional force that drives you when you write music and what is the emotional catharsis that you're most often looking for onstage?


Curiosity, and love, and restlessness, and danger, and love. Some days it's grief, other's it's joy.


Tell me about the times when you've regretted something, within the framework of your musical career; have you had moments of crisis?


I've had many, many moments of doubt and crisis: that's just the par for the course. I have never regretted the choice to follow my passion, nor have I ever pretended it is a life "for the faint-hearted".


What was the last album that you personally listened to that triggered a good personal growth?


I guess "personal growth" is really just a side-effect of a life well lived. I don't know that music exactly triggers personal growth, so much as it is us who trigger our personal growth and then subconsciously hunt for music or art to match the pace or texture of our growth. Eva Popov's ‘Hello Satellites' album is one that served as a recent companion to one such period for me.


If you could legalise one currently illicit substance, what would it be, and why? Or, if you could criminalize one currently legal substance or behavior, what would it be and why?


I don't know. It's more the kind of thinking that we accept as "normal" that I have an issue with. For example, I think about women and families and birth a lot. Why do we make it so incredibly difficult for families to choose how and where they want to give birth to their children? Why don't we celebrate and trust our incredible midwives? Why don't we talk enough about the possibility of joy and mind-blowing connection that can come from this experience? Why aren't we honest with each other about the amount of true support it takes to allow a woman to be the best mother she can be? Why do we perpetuate the myth of superwoman? And so on.


Has your opinion of Julia Gillard changed in the months since your Myspace interview last year?


No, my opinion of her hasn't changed. Our collective role is to remind politicians of the bigger picture, and of what matters to us. We have far more power than we think.


What do you make of female role models in our society? Specifically, in the context of women finding a self sustaining notion of themselves beyond the esoteric or genderless concepts of an emotional and intellectual being, i.e. the best characteristics to be achieved or refined while embracing all flaws and failings without simply reacting to ideas of masculinity or sexual orientation?


Big question, too big to answer here. Simply put, we all need role models, and good ones are exceptionally hard to find, so when your gut tells you "there has to be more", commit to the search.


Is it as easy for women to find their womanhood; their layered identity and their strength in our society?


I can't speak for other women. In my own life, the search has been long and ongoing. Don't be fooled into thinking the search ever ends: we are always more than we think.

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