December marks the end of 2011. It has been a year of transition, metamorphosis, movement for us. In 2012, we are excited about the future. When I think of metamorphosis, I often draw inspiration and reference from Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead. From the first days of Blonde Redhead in 1993 to the present, Kazu has gracefully transformed and translated time through her music and inimitable style. A muse to me and to countless many, she has been very kind in answering some questions for us. I’ve been listening to Blonde Redhead since I was a teenager and am currently listening to Penny Sparkle as I write. Such beautiful noise; a haunting voice. When I first met Kazu in New York City, it was a surreal experience for me. As our paths continued to cross, my initial girl crush awe evolved into admiration and respect for a very real person that just happens to be one of the coolest ladies on Planet Earth. Blonde Redhead has been busy working on a compilation album, We Are The Works In Progress, that will be digitally released on January 10. It’s “a 14-song benefit album to support Japan and its ongoing efforts to heal, post-tsunami”. We’ll be continuing our conversation with lovely Kazu in the new year. This is only a blink, a glimpse. We’ll see you in MMXII.
Doris: You’re one of my personal style icons! Who or what do you find sartorial inspiration from?
Kazu: Thank you, Doris…I feel funny hearing that because I only think about being comfortable in my clothes. I love cozy and soft things…I fell in love with a man who always had cozy things on which made me want to touch it (him). I also love men’s clothes. Tailored jackets and utilitarian things are very attractive to me. I grew up in school uniform from six to the end of high school and literally grew in them. It was huge at first and slowly busted out…I love that. Even now I enjoy things totally oversized and sometimes wear things too short in every which way.
D: Tell me your favorite outfit to wear while taking Colette (Kazu’s feisty, adorable dog) for a walk.
K: It is not my favorite but I often find myself wearing trousers under my nighty ’cause of her urgency…skirt and pants combination.
D: If you could collaborate with any musician, past or present, who would it be?
K: There are artists I admire and it would be amazing to work with any of them. But it seems to me that it is profound how people come in and out of your life and that’s how collaborations start too…I can trust it more. For example, I have been listening to Ryuichi Sakamoto & Alva Noto’s record a lot…and I love it. Then I heard when I was in Japan that Alva would like to have me sing on his music and was blown away that he even knew me. It could just be a rumor…haha. In this compilation [We Are The Works In Progress] we are putting out has so many people I admire...Four Tet, Pantha du Prince, John Roberts. Any of these artists would be incredible to work with…especially because they don’t really sing.
D: The holidays are coming up—what dream gift would you want to find underneath the fir tree?
K: A pony…I would like my horse Flagmount Cliff(Harry)’s sister. Her name is Flagmount Ivy!
D: Describe the perfect wintertime meal and who you would share it with.
K: I love making soups in winter. The soup I love now has leeks, bacon, mushroom, potato with bit of milk and I add bok choy in the end. That with red wine and salad…I would love to have that with him…but can’t say who he is…:)
words Doris Ho-Kane
images Drew Brown