Saturday, July 19, 2014

Jenny Lewis talks about 'Just One of the Guys'

(In case you missed it, 'Just One of the Guys' music video with Kristen)

- NPR: In a conversation with NPR's Kelly McEvers, Jenny Lewis says making the album ultimately got her through one of the most difficult periods of her life — and not just because it gave her an excuse to get Anne Hathaway and Kristen Stewart dressed up in drag.

The video for that song has actors in it: Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart, Brie Larson. There's a fifth person in the video — who is that?

Jenny: Tennessee Thomas, drummer of the L.A. band The Like and one of my best friends. And daughter of Pete Thomas, who plays with Elvis Costello.

For part of the video, you guys are all in drag: wearing these skeezy mustaches, ball caps, track suits. You directed this video; can you tell me how it all came together?

Jenny: I'd been thinking about a video idea for the song for quite some time, and I reached out to some of my friends. Annie is one of my best friends. Years ago I had a bit part on a TV show (Get Real) that she was the star of, and I played a pregnant teenager.

It's a funny concept to see you guys, people we think we know, dressed up as dudes, acting like dudes — but I think there's something more going on, right? The song says, "No matter how hard I try to be one of the guys / There's a little something inside that won't let me." Is the song about trying to be one of the guys in the music world?

Jenny: It's about many things, but in the end, for me, the song centers around the bridge: "I'm just another lady without a baby." I think the song is really about the freedom of choice. You can be a professional woman, and you can choose to not have children if you want to. And the pressures you feel from that, which are inevitable, it's ultimately your choice. And it's cool either way.

I've been singing this Rilo Kiley song on tour the last couple months called "A Man/Me/Then Jim," and the opening line is about suicide. I'm opening for Ray LaMontagne and playing to his audience every night. And I'm like, what are these people thinking? "Who is this maniac up here in a rainbow suit, singing about suicide?" I've always just had sort of a dark take on life, I suppose, and hopefully the music transcends that in a way.

- The Huffington Post: Why did you choose Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson and Kristen Stewart specifically?

Well, they’re my friends. Annie and Brie in particular were some of the first people that I played my record for months ago when I first mastered it. Kristen I don’t know as well, but got to know her on the day of the shoot. Tennessee Thomas, who plays drums, is one of my best friends as well. We dressed them in track suits and they were so open and great to watch. They’re just so good that it made my job really easy. We had a blast. We were laughing all day long.