Just in time to finish off the summer, the Indigo Girls will be playing an all-ages show at South Central Minnesota Pride in Mankato on Friday, September 7th at pm.
We caught up with Emily Saliers, who describes what it’s like to be part of the most loved folk duos of all time, discusses her life outside the Indigo Girls, and offers advice to the GLBT community. Kathleen Watson: When did you know you wanted to be a musician?
I already had visions of doing that for the rest of my life. I played sort of “picky” guitar lines, and she was a rock and roll strummer.
She was more drawn to alternative music, and I was more drawn to Joni Mitchell. ES: It’s so funny because Amy has this memory that’s like…(What’s that animal, the elephant or something, that remembers everything? I don’t actually remember the event, but I remember the fear surrounding the time coming up to that point.
All those things, those differences from the very beginning, have worked to our advantage and kept it interesting for us and I think for our fans as well. For me, it’s like I get to live this whole other musical life. It’s not as natural (though I would like it to be more so) for me to write a rock song as it is for Amy. KW: Speaking of different personalities, in our past interview with Amy, she said that you two struggled with the decision to come out until you suddenly opened up in a press conference around 1991 with some college press. My fear was that there would be a stigma, we would be marginalized, and of course all that was true.
KW: Did you ever have a moment where you thought, “We’re just too different. So when I sing her songs, I get to live that musical life. But it just became obviously more important—we had such a large support from the lesbian community and the gay community before we were signed, when we were a bar band—it became much more important to become part of the movement, the evolution of civil rights of queer people.
So once I stepped out of my fear, it was actually not a problem at all. KW: Amy said you just opened up, and she was so surprised and thought, “Where is this coming from? But when they do, it’s kind of like “the truth will set you free.” There was no fear after that. I do believe that if you can find ways to help your courage, it helps everybody for people to come out. It is better for everyone when people come out, but I totally respect the struggle.