Home' LOTL : September 2004 Contents SOPHIE B. HAWKINS
effort and I knew I risked losing everything, my career and all
the touring but it seems like it's coming back to me now and
I'm really glad 'cause I worked hard to bring it back.
M: You've been through a lot of things that would destroy most
people. You were sexually abused as a child, anorexic at age 9,
you moved out of home at 14 ... What keeps you going?
S: I think it's music. My absolute love of creativity. You know
when I'm really tired, and on the road and stuff, I still wake
up early thinking, oh, I want to write that down, or I want to
see this or that. I always feel like I've never done anything and
I have to do something. I have to write a great song.
M: Speaking of great songs, a local radio DJ recently played
"Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" saying you wrote it for
S: (Incredulous) Asshole! First of all I've only met her once,
way after the fact.
M: So it's not true?
S: No, it's not true at all!
M: Then it's an urban myth.
S: Actually, I have to say it's kind of funny. He was joking, right?
M: He thought it was true.
S: It is not! ... But she would love that because she's such
M: There is something really lesbian about that song. Did you
intend that at the time?
S: This is a good question because that song actually marks a
very big transition in my relationships. I was definitely open
to my feelings towards women but my only really strong love
[until then] was a man.
M: Your lyrics are always open. On Wilderness you sing "Sweet
sexy woman, I was born to love you ..."
S: It's all about this soul connection. I haven't had many
relationships and when they hit me, they hit me really hard.
And I don't care about gender.
M: You use the term 'omnisexual' to describe yourself.
S: I love that term. And let me tell you something: I've been
vindicated by the word because the director of The Hours
recently said, "I think that Virginia Woolf was omnisexual".
M: And you coined that word.
S: I did! I was really blown away. Because I've taken so much
shit for it because people say, "Why can't you commit?" And
the reason why I can't commit to gay or straight or bisexual
is because I love all sexes. It's all so political when you start
talking about your sexuality.
M: In America.
S: Yes. Why isn't the myth that I wrote "Damn I Wish I Was
Your Lover" about Catherine Deneuve?
M: Is that who you wrote it about?
S: Well, I could've. (Pause) I wouldn't mind if you printed
that. She's more the type, she's more mysterious and she
would actually suit the mood of the song better. And she is
the first woman I fell in love with. And if you want to know
something that I've never told anyone in my whole life: In
this 8-year relationship with a man three times my age (I was
14 years old when I met this guy, madly in love with him),
when I saw The Last Metro with Catherine Deneuve I told
him, "I could completely be in love with Catherine Deneuve.
In fact, I am." And he didn't care at all.
M: She's very sexy.
S: She's unbelievable. Even at this age!
M: Do you have a lover right now?
S: Umm. You know -- yeah. But I don't talk about it. I hope
you don't mind.
M: I don't mind. I was just being cheeky.
S: (Laughs) Okay.
M: Animals are also important to you.
S: I have to tell you something: I've learned how to treat my
lovers better because I notice how well I treat animals.
Technically, I have only one dog called Virginia and one cat called
Owl but everybody brings strays to my house so we have to
endure all these animals -- but I really love it. In the song "Blue"
there's a black dachshund having a solo. I'm in love with this
dachshund. She sits on top of the piano and starts singing.
M: A while ago you moved from New York to LA.
S: I love New York so much but there's a lot about me that's
very dysfunctional there. I had a major addiction in the form of
an eating disorder. I felt that I needed a change, I needed to get
away from my family. I needed to grow more and be challenged.
I found a really interesting life in Venice, California.
M: A healthy life?
M: And it must be physically, you have a wonderful body.
S: That's really nice of you!
M: Fantastic thighs.
S: (Laughing) That's awesome! That's really great!
M: How did you get them like that?
S: I don't know, I think I was born that way. I think I'm half
man, half woman to be totally honest with you. I like swimming
and yoga, I like to be barefoot. And I go running sometimes.
But I'd much rather play sports, I love the excitement.
M: So are you a big Martina fan?
S: Well you know (laughs), I don't know how this Martina
thing happened! I am actually a huge fan of hers. When I was
a little kid she inspired me a lot. I had a newspaper clipping
on my door. Actually it was when she went on a losing streak.
The caption under the picture said: "There's nothing wrong
with me physically. It's all emotional." And for some reason
that moved me so much as a kid. I think I related to it 'cause
I had a lot of emotional things going on. And I put that up
on my door so that's what everyone had to look at when they
came into my bedroom.
She laughs huskily. As for Sophie Ballantine Hawkins, she is back
on a winning streak, out of the woods and where she feels at home
-- The wilderness.
Wilderness is available in record stores now and online.
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