Interview: Amanda Palmer

By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  September 25, 2008

Well, I think with the Dresden Dolls if you consider your self-created categorization as "Brechtian cabaret punk," the Brechtian part implies a breaking down of the wall between artist and audience.
Yeah.

So now that you're putting out a solo album, there's this audience that was a part of The Thing, and they are probably wondering if that's still true, or what their role is now that things have changed.
One of the wonderful things about having such a loyal fan base and a really intelligent one at that, who want to stay involved, is that they just come along. Most of them are really interested to see what i'm doing and they're really willing to give it a shot.

So you don't feel a need to give a big fuck you to an audience defining you or whatever?
Oh, no. I don't really get much of that, so I don't really need to feel defensive. One of the things that I've been really trying to pay attention to, apropos this last thing we're talking about, is how real and fundamental my relationship with my fans with, and how direct. The internet has made that possible. It used to be totally fucking impossible. With my blog, with the way music is distributed, the way everything happens, our fan's ability to get the word out instead of relying on marketing and promoting. I mean, it really has fundamentally changed in the last eight years. And for that, I feel insanely grateful, and all I need to do is, if things aren't doing well with the label, or with some publicity thing, or some sort of detached amorphous promotional something from above, all I have to do is remember that I have a mainline to all of these people, and that that is so much more valuable than getting press in Rolling Stone or being on MTV or, you know — those things, they're so meaningful. But they're becoming more and more antiquated. Like I'll talk to bands at my level, and we'll have this discussion where I'll say, "Oh, you get so much more press than the Dresden Dolls, you're always in Spin magazine," and they'll turn to me and go, "Oh, but you're selling twice as many tickets as we are." And we'll sit there looking at each other and go, "Hmm." Well, who's actually the lucky one, right? And it's hard to wrap your head around because you just need to look at the solid numbers and the actual dialogue going on with the fans and remember that what's being dictated, that we're so used to the charts telling us what's going on, and MTV telling us what's going on back when I was a kid, the radio telling us what's going on has less and less and less to do with reality. And I said as a child of the '80s where there were megastars and a very defined pyramid of success and fame and popular bands, that's all gone out the window, and I just get to sit here and cherish the thing that we've built and appreciate it, and that's been blowing my mind lately, you know?

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