Ani DiFranco: There’s something very tender about this song. This song is one of many that she feels didn’t come to fruition as well as she had hoped to record.
I think it’s a recording of Grace Maybe the album was born at a time that wasn’t the right moment for me. It was an unfocused Ani who recorded that song, and I kind of regret it because I think it’s a terrible little song. And I still play live often. It’s usually the moment in the set where the whole thing feels pretty subdued and there’s plenty of room to let something very quiet and subtle get in the air.
Oddly enough, I wrote this song in Japan, but it feels like a long time ago now. I was there on a tour and ended up staying for a week to do some sightseeing. I went to Kyoto, and I went to Hiroshima, and it was very shocking.
Best Fit: Oh, that explains why there’s a tree half-destroyed by the atomic bomb on the album cover.
[looks surprised] Oh yes. I forgot!
Well, while in Japan, I met a Frenchman in a cafe, and it was a brief, timeless, bodyless encounter for both of us. So this song was born. I wanted to write about a fairy tale-like encounter, but rather, I wanted to write briefly about an encounter where two slightly hurt people intersect and comfort each other. It may not be beautiful and it may not last long, but it is real.
I was also thinking about the world of soulless commercial art and music that so many people ingest. And maybe in this song I’m positioning myself somewhere out of that world. You know, I might be a little rough, but I’m real. I get it.
Sorry if I’m wrong. But I think this song relates to another important stage in your life. Because it was the first time you worked with Mike, whom you later married.
Well, it was definitely the turning point for me. that’s true.you are much better at understanding the situation than I am [laughs].
We organized a recording session in this little apartment in New Orleans where I was living at the time, and I remember it was probably poorly planned, but it wasn’t quite right. There wasn’t much atmosphere in the studio, so it was a little chaotic.Anyway, I flew with the engineer and Todd [Sickafoose], my bassist, was due to record in the first week of January. However, of course, I went out with friends on New Year’s Eve and got fatally ill. I was so full that I couldn’t sing at all.
It was a real shame because this was the only time we had a recording session scheduled and people flew in and we couldn’t do it. Everything was a blank slate, so I had to start over. That’s when Mike, who was a new friend at the time, stepped in and became an engineer because the first session didn’t go well.
Interestingly, you were forced to finish recording the song later that year due to Hurricane Katrina. Grace Located in Buffalo, New York. So we had two recording sessions, but they didn’t go well. No wonder I had trouble concentrating. A lot was going on.
Oh yes. To be honest, it was a long time ago, so I don’t remember the sequence of events very well, but I’m pretty sure it happened at the same time.
Also, the song starts with a muffled, distorted gunshot-like noise, and I was wondering what that meant.
Oh yeah, I didn’t go back and listen to the album recordings before doing this interview, and it makes me sad, so I don’t remember much of the details. But hey, I had this gizmo that made a lot of crazy sounds and I was really into it at the time. I was just messing around with samples, so maybe I needed someone to tie my hands behind my back…
But as you say, this was my first attempt at working with my husband. After that, when I gave her husband more authority, I think things got even better and more effective.Moreover Grace For the album, I was still adamant about making my own wild and questionable choices. [laughs].