We’re in the run-up to the release of St. Vincent’s next studio album, and Annie Clark will be going through the relentless promotional cycle as lots of musicians are forced to endure. Interview after interview, asking more or less the same questions about influences and process, with some awkwardly forced banter.
In a series of Instagram posts, the musician has released some vignettes that satirise the promo run – Clark sits in a chair, flanked by camera operators and a production team in fetish gear, and answers banal questions (some not even fully formed) with increasingly bizarre quips. For example: “Insert question about what it’s like to play a show in heels”, “Are St Vincent and Annie Clark the same person?”, “Insert question about what she’s been reading lately,” and “Insert question about the one album she would take on a desert island”. For the penultimate question there, it’s old Playboy mags... but just for the pictures.
“Insert light banter,” another vignette reads.
Clark also provided some thoughts on politically-charged music. She says: “I think relevance is an act of political fluency and my goal is to stay relevant as an artist. All political art is not great art, and great art is not all political. Art will always be judged in relation to the time and place in which it was made.
She continues: “If an artist claims if they are apolitical, then I feel they’ve already lost the battle. An audience is more damaged, I think, and betrayed by voids rather than substance.”
When asked to offer some advice to young would-be musicians, Clark says: “I would tell young musicians today to get into the film industry.”
A recent New Yorker interview revealed details of the project, scripted by Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein as an “interview kit” to “avoid the ‘festering self-loathing’ that comes from answering the same questions from journalists over and over.”