Q&A: Kathleen Hanna Talks About “The Punk Singer”

Photo via the New York Times. Photo by Shervin Lainez.

In today’s New York Times Kathleen Hanna spoke about why she cooperated with having a documentary, “The Punk Singer,” made about her life, and why she is so open about herself in the film. “The Punk Singer” will be in theaters starting next week. There’s a clip from it below.

You really opened up your life, from late-stage Lyme disease to your relationship with your husband.

Mortality looming over you really changes your personality in such a huge way. I thought I was dying, so I was like, “I don’t care anymore — I am vulnerable. I’m sick of being guarded!” Adam really got me through coping with Lyme: every day, he would place every single one of the 39 pills I had to take in my pill case so I didn’t have to do it. He’s the person who changed my IV bags, kept the house clean, cooked every single meal for me and kept everything running for two years. Besides the fact that he’s hot as hell, really talented and has the best sense of humor of anyone I know, who else would change an IV bag for you while you’re laying on the couch having a seizure?

“The Punk Singer” begins with footage of you performing an early confessional spoken-word piece where you describe the importance of “screaming what’s unspoken.”

I’m standing in a coffee shop with Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto of Fugazi, rocking back and forth and saying all this stuff about incest! When I see it today, my stomach drops and I want to hide under a blanket. At the same time, that’s what I was like — Mr. Confrontation.

For more, head to the New York Times.

About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael has had three novels published that comprise the "Freak Scene Dream trilogy": "True Love Scars," "The Flowers Lied" and "Untitled" which can be ordered here. His new book, "Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey," can be pre-ordered from HoZac Books. In November Backbeat Books will publish "Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg," which can be be pre-ordered here.

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