The early 1980s were a time that highlighted some major changes around the United States. We had a cable channel that exclusively started rotating music videos twenty-four/seven called MTV. A scrappy group of hockey players representing the United States took down the mighty Soviets in the Winter Olympics. In 1981, rock band The Go-Gos released their debut album Beauty and the Beat. For six weeks straight, the album stood on top on Billboard; the band’s popularity sky-rocketed almost overnight with singles “We Got The Beat” and “Our Lips Are Sealed”. The band would go on to break up in the mid-80s, but the legacy will be forever forged in history.
After spending some much deserved time away from the spotlight, guitarist/singer Jane Wiedlin has found the passion for music again. Collaborating these days with musician Pietro Straccia, their project Elettrodomestico (meaning ‘appliance’ in Italian) is about to release their first album If You’re A Boy Or A Girl. Their elettro/psyche/pop sound has been compared to bands Metric, The Mamas & The Papas, Abba, Garbage, The Flaming Lips, The XX, Phantogram.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Wiedlin to chat about her newest venture in the music business, her time away, and much more. Here’s what she had to say.
The two of you met in 2016 in Oakland. How did your initial meeting come about?
Actually, we met in San Francisco in 2014. Pietro recorded a solo album at my studio, Robot Recording. I sang some backing vocals on it and we became good friends.
The untimely passing of musician David Bowie shocked everyone that loved him, personally and musically. What sort of emotions did you both experience when you learned of the unfortunate event?
David Bowie was my lifelong idol. I was utterly shocked and devastated when I learned that he had died. I sunk into a very deep depression and the only way I knew how to deal with it was to write. After I wrote the first lyric, Rabbit Stew, I contacted Pietro to see if he was interested in collaborating on it. We were so happy with the results that we continued to write for the rest of 2016.
Having been collaborating for little over a year now, what has it done for you two?
It’s been very rewarding to be writing again, especially because we did it simply for the joy of it. We didn’t decide to form a band until the end of 2016!
In the middle of August, there was an appliance challenge going around the internet with your project. You were giving away the first single ‘Aloha’ to the first 100 people who sent their favorite or strangest appliance photo. What were some of the some of the submissions that were the strangest?
Someone submitted an antique vibrator that looked just like an old tube microphone! That was probably the funniest.
Jane-you spent some time away from music recently. What did that time away do for you personally? Did it allow you to fall back in love with music?
Absolutely! I moved to Hawaii for two years to recharge. I spent my time swimming in the ocean and rescuing dogs. Since the catalyst of Bowie’s death, I’ve been making music nonstop again with Pietro.
With If You’re A Boy Or Girll’ there are plans to release videos with each song. What was the thinking behind doing this unique idea?
We are part of a great tribe of creative people in the Bay Area. We decided to enlist our artist friends, none of whom had made a video before, to bring their vision to a song of their choosing. It’s been tons of fun and inspiring to work with all these people who we both respect and adore.
Jane-are you still heavily involved with your activism on the treatment of animals?
Absolutely! Wherever I live, I have to help animals. It’s so important to me to try to help those who are suffering and can’t speak for themselves.
There are some West Coast dates on the horizon. Are there plans of doing a longer tour?
We are fully committed to playing as MUCH as possible for as LONG as possible!
Elettrodomestico debut album If You’re A Boy Or A Girl is set for release on October 20.
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