Over two decades into their influential career, Sleater-Kinney have recently gone through a big transition: longtime drummer Janet Weiss left the band shortly before the release of the group’s new album, The Center Won’t Hold, in August. Sleater-Kinney are now getting ready to go on an international tour, kicking off next month.
Ahead of the band’s Oct. 15 show at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul, guitarist Corin Tucker spoke by phone about some of her favorite songs, what’s coming up for Sleater-Kinney, and the group’s new drummer Angie Boylan.
So you recently released a new album. Tell me about a song you’re really excited about.
There’s a song called “Bad Dance” that’s actually really fun to do live. It’s got a really cool swing beat in it and I think it’s almost more fun live than it was to record. That’s always fun when you take a song and you create it, but then when you actually play it live it has this whole other dimension to it. It’s really fun and bouncy and I think it’s going to be a really fun live song.
Sleater-Kinney are coming to the Twin Cities next next month. Does the band have a Minneapolis connection?
I think there’s a really great history of music there that we’re drawn to. We’re super big fans of music like Prince and the Replacements and Babes in Toyland and Zuzu’s Petals, and now Lizzo was on our last tour. I think there’s a great music history there for a long time.
The last show you played in the Twin Cities included a lot of older songs. What can fans expect from your upcoming show?
It’ll definitely be a mix. We’re working on the setlist right now and there’s a lot of discussion over what works. We are really excited to play the new album, but we always try and mix up songs from our catalog going all the way back. We definitely like to keep things fresh and pull different things out and so we’ve got some cool old songs that we’ll throw in as well.
Is there any song in particular that you’re excited to throw in?
There’s actually a song called “Step Aside” from the album One Beat that we’ve never really played much apart from that tour, but because we have additional players now and have keyboards that can do the horn parts, we can do that. It’s also just really big-sounding and fun.
What’s coming up next for Sleater-Kinney?
We’re just super excited to do this tour, get out there and actually play this music for people. That’s kind of where we’re at right now and there’s a lot we can pull into it. We’re also doing some really cool stuff with visuals on this tour that I think is going to be really fun.
Next year we’ll be going to Europe for a tour over there as well and then we’ll see what the new year brings. We’re excited to get out and play these shows and play this music for people.
Have you heard anything from fans about your new drummer on tour?
We played one show in North Carolina at a festival called Hopscotch and people had a really good time. You know, I think people have a lot of respect for Angie. She’s been playing drums for 20 years. She’s an incredibly hard worker and had worked really hard to learn our whole catalog. She’s just a really steady, fun person to play music with and I think people really get that vibe from her at live shows.
We just got super lucky to find someone that was just grateful to be there and who really dug in and did a lot of the hard work to make this record and our whole catalog come alive.
Simone Cazares is a student at Metropolitan State University. Originally from Miami, Fla., she survives Minnesota’s cruel winters by immersing herself in the Twin Cities music scene.