Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker slows it down in her new, grown-up band
by Sara Brickner
After four years of silence, Corin Tucker, frontwoman of dormant riot grrrrl band Sleater-Kinney, has returned to the fold with a new band and a mellower, folksier approach to songwriting. Prior to this tour, Tucker’s last out of town show took place in late 2006, after which she took some time off to focus on raising her two children. Now, she’s formed a new band, the Corin Tucker Band, with Sara Lund and Seth Lorinczi.
Though Tucker offers up the same raw, distinct tremor to her vocals in her new project as she did in Sleater-Kinney, the Corin Tucker Band is a different animal. “This is the first time I’ve played acoustic guitar, and that’s really challenging,” Tucker says. “Fortunately, I found this really wonderful Larrabee parlor guitar that’s smaller and it’s just more like an electric guitar. It’s really wonderful to play.” In an earlier interview, Tucker flippantly called 1000 Years, her band’s debut album, a “middle-aged mom record,” a designation most people would reserve for, say, James Taylor. “[I was] just being grouchy about … the traditional image of having to be totally young and sort of this starlet, I guess, to be in music. And I was just sort of being sarcastic about that in a way,” she says. “But I also think it’s sort of my way of saying this record is coming from where I am right now as a person and it does reflect on being a parent, and being a responsible adult.”
And yet, the songs’ themes are relatable even for those of us who don’t have kids: “Thrift Store Coats” is about the recession. “Half a World Away” is about Tucker’s husband, who left Tucker home with their children while he was filming a documentary in Africa. These themes — of absence, of hard financial times — are universal. What people won’t find familiar is the sound. “I think that it is kind of a different record than people have heard from me before,” Tucker says, “but I really hope that a lot of different people can relate to the songs, and hopefully I’ve written songs that touch on things that a lot of people deal with in their lives.”
Tucker, who grew up in Eugene, says she’s looking forward to playing the WOW Hall again on what will be her first tour since Sleater-Kinney went on indefinite hiatus in 2006. “I’m super excited to play the WOW Hall,” Tucker says. “I grew up going to shows there, so it’s an honor to come back and play for people.” Seth Lorenzi’s band the Golden Bears opens up the show, and Tucker implores you all to come early to check them out: “They’re a fantastic sort of psychedelic guitar rock with just the most amazing vocals you’ll probably hear,” she says.
The Corin Tucker Band The Golden Bears 9 pm Saturday, Oct. 9. WOW Hall • $12 adv./$14 door