You recently did a video for Border's where you went around the store and picked out your favorite albums and books.
My name is Jennifer Hopper, and I am the survivor of the South Park attacks of July 19, 2009. For the past two years, I have been known as "the surviving victim of the South Park rapes and murder," or simply as "Butz's partner." And for the most part, I have been grateful for the protective bubble given to me by the media. Most recently, I felt that revealing my identity might somehow cloud the focus of the trial of Isaiah Kalebu, the man who on July 1 was found guilty of entering uninvited, as we slept, into the home that Teresa and I shared in South Park, where he raped us, murdered Teresa, and attempted to murder me.
In fact, having learned how to survive this may even have made me stronger and more able to manage the normal, workaday ups and downs. I realize that interest in this crime and its consequences will probably fade after he's sent to prison, and before that occurs I want to use what interest remains to say a few things.
Mostly, I no longer want to give off the impression that I'm afraid to be known, or that I might be ashamed of anything that happened that night. While I'm saying all of this under my own name, which is new, I'm saying it without my image attached, which is as it's been since the attacks.
I spent the last couple of years writing this record in a sort of discontented place.
But I was able to really transcend the place I was in because it was inspiring; I was on a tour bus -- and that's inspiring to me, but it might not be inspiring to everybody else in the world.
It's a very candid album -- probably your most candid. I learned a lot about who I was in the past and who I want to be in the future, which was something that I've been trying not to do.
What did you learn about yourself while you were writing it? For years now, I've been trying to live in the moment, and I had to leave that moment to make this record.
All I ever wanted was to sit in a room with Elton John when he's wearing hot pink sunglasses. When I saw you on this past tour, you admitted to having a hard time writing happy songs ' and even when you do there's this slight cynicism or pessimism. But, of course, being a control freak, I can't stand that I can't create from a content place, so I forced myself to do that on this record with a couple of songs, particularly 'If There Was No You.' That one and 'Caroline.' And 'Caroline,' right. I watch the Food Network and I try to cook all the things on there. That's part of our thank you to everybody for being on the road with us. [Laughs.] For more info on Carlile, including a full list of tour dates, check out her website.
You had a bit of an obsession on him growing up, didn't you? That was easy actually, because the truth is I wrote that song in a state of absolutely missing (my niece) Caroline so badly that I couldn't think straight.
Until recently, Brandi Carlile hadn't confirmed that she is, indeed, a lesbian. Since she dropped her eponymous debut in 2005, much of the attention surrounding the Seattle singer-songwriter has deservedly been focused on something far more riveting: a walloping, from-the-gut voice that shreds through songs like it's some kind of singing chainsaw.