chickfactor: when did you first publish wiglet and why?
gilmore tamny: started it in november of ’90 after I’d moved to cleveland. I’d been writing stories in college and giving the whole trying-to-get-published thing a whirl, which, ugh, was seeming pretty miserable. my boyfriend showed me some zines — they were a complete revelation — and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
cf: what sort of things were in wiglet?
gilmore: interviews, comics, a confessional or two, essays, short stories.
cf: what thing in wiglet were you most proud of?
gilmore: ah, I think it had a really specific feel to it.
cf: why did you stop wiglet?
gilmore: I’m glad you asked me that. I’ve felt bad I’ve never written back to the people who’ve asked for issues of why I stopped putting it out. it was a convergence of miseries, really. I was having problems which I didn’t feel comfortable writing about, it didn’t fit into the wiglet idea, but couldn’t really talk about anything else, either. so I just sort of shut down and played guitar all the time. also, the person who had been the inspiration for wiglet had gone crazy a few years before and was going in and out of jail and institutions, which was just depressing as hell and I kinda needed to put an end to that era of my life. that’s all kind of grim, but I don’t know, it worked out for the best, I think I was getting ready to do something else anyway.
cf: what is so great about columbus [ohio]? do you find it funny that people are moving there cause of the scene?
gilmore: there’s a good chance at having a reasonable sort of life here — it’s cheap, there’s lots of interesting people, good stuff going on, good places to hang out, no distracting panorama either (that last bit of snideness is affectionate really — it is awful flat though. actually I’ve found myself wondering how people stay focused in stimulating landscapes — mountains, oceans, large urban decay, so on. columbus isn’t ugly by an means but it’s mor e reassuring than inspiring). I hope more bands move here! it’s exciting, that new blood.
cf: describe your fondest memory of yoyo a gogo:
gilmore: the bloodthirsty butchers kicking my ass. kissing lois on the cheek and telling her how great she was the night before. those blue pompom flowers.
cf: everyone hates to be asked about their name, but tell us what is a yip?
gilmore: “the yips” is a golf term, meaning, as I understand it anyway, choking on the green with a self-destructive, uncontrollable spazz that ruins your putt. I guess it can dog golfers for years.
cf: what is going on with the yips? are you being courted by many major labels? when will the intercontinental tour commence?
gilmore: ha! well, the yips have a lot to share with this great nation, but haven’t figured out exactly how to do it yet. we have finished a second record though — the blue flannel bathrobe butterfly — that we’re excited about.
cf: who are some good writers and lyricists?
gilmore: writers: beverly cleary, denis johnson, robertson davies, e.f. benson, raymond chandler, louise fitzhugh, p.g. wodehouse, virginia woolf, dorothy parker, charlotte bronte, agnes rossi, mona simpson, paul auster, the guy who wrote hurlyburly. lyricists: tom waits, mark e. smith, lois, ron house, bill callahan, kathleen hanna, david bowie. marcy mays asked the best rhetorical questions in rock, hands down.
cf: who is the most influential person in your life?
gilmore: it’s a 3-way tie — my sister, my best friend suzy, and jon from the yips.
cf: are you still working at the banana cappuccino place? how is that? better than a “real job”?
gilmore: well, actually I quit the coffeehouse. I’m working for the department of education through a temp agency, doing almost comically menial work — giant amounts of stamping, envelope stuffing, etc. often people walk by and say in a conspiratorial way, “bored yet?” “you still awake?” “christ, what do they have you doing now?” but I don’t really mind, there’s a nice freedom in being the drudge. I get left alone, mostly.
cf: what is at the core of the reason men and women misunderstand each other?
gilmore: hmmm… mistaking the hurts and fears of your ego for the absolute truth.
cf: what’s the worst thing about being in a relationship with a boy?
gilmore: fear. distraction. obsession.
cf: when did you begin writing poetry? who are your favorite poets? do you ever read aloud in public (without music)? how many copies of the small time smirker did you make?
gilmore: I actually don’t read very much poetry and I tend to like individual poems rather than an author per se — I know this is a very unsatisfying answer — but I think I have a lot of the impatience and prejudice most people have about poetry, which is too bad beause really it is a wonderful thing. I like the “j. alfred prufrock” poem a lot (many people’s favorite, I think). I’ve done readings a few times, which are ghastly, but kind of fun too. there’ll be 500 copies of the small time smirker and fluffy clouds, the book, when it comes out.
cf: how would you describe an absolutely perfect day?
gilmore: a mix of intense adventure, excitement, ordinariness, and rest.
cf: describe your fantasy soul mate:
gilmore: the usual — smart, kind, cute, amusing, honest, independent, appreciative, soulful. someone who wants to be close by for good reasons.
cf: what irks you about the indie scene?
gilmore: ah, sometimes it feels like you’re in church, all the hysteria over what’s good and what’s bad. I admire the passion for integrity and everything, but still, it doesn’t interest me that much. and the old boy stuff, whether on the young or old — that’s tiresome.
cf: when did you start playing guitar? why? self-taught? what kind is your first guitar?
gilmore: started at 22, then seriously started playing at 24. I realized playing guitar was a perfect mid-point between doing the bills and watching t.v. but mostly I liked the way it felt. yes, I surely did teach myself. I started on and still play with a cort guitar which is a gibson copy.
cf: what records do you play frequently?
gilmore: that’s a tough question. funhouse by the stooges is the album I’ve listened to most, excluding my david bowie obsession in high school, and the rest is a revolving door so I’ll just leave it at that. CF