The Julie Ruin
Sunday, 3:30pm, Orange stage
In 1997, Kathleen Hanna reacted to the breakup of Bikini Kill by retreating to her Olympia, Wash., apartment and futzing around with electronic sounds and layers.
"I was trying to discover who I was as a person separate from the bitch from Bikini Kill," she explains.
The project morphed into feminist-queer electroclash trio Le Tigre, where Hanna nevertheless found herself adopting a familiar stance from her riot-grrrl days.
"It was very audience-based, trying to get girls and women and guys to learn about feminist art and theory and history. It wasn't about writing a pretty song."
In the end, Hanna, who's married to Beastie Boy Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz and now lives in New York, realized that she wanted something different for herself. Something just for her.
"People were handing my husband bags of weed after shows and I was getting poems about incest. Part of that was exactly what I wanted, but part of that was like, 'When do I get to just be in a band and have a good time?'"
A diagnosis of late-stage Lyme disease further clarified matters for Hanna. Time to reboot. The result is Run Fast by the Julie Ruin, a fully realized album and band featuring Bikini Kill bassist Kathi Wilcox. Like their predecessors, these new vehicles trace Hanna's process of self-discovery after a difficult period.
"This time I went out and met my friends and they supported me and we worked together. I didn't have to go into hiding."