Dangerous Doll

Amanda Palmer, best known as one half of Boston's cabaret sensation the Dresden Dolls, crowd-surfed off the stage at this year's Coachella festival to talk with Advocate.com about her new art project.

BY Neal Broverman

April 26 2009 11:00 PM ET

Advocate.com:Are your performances usually so interactive?

Oh yeah. Festivals are a little weird because it's not my
fan base, so I don't know if they're gonna actually bring it,
but they were good… There was enough of them out there who were
believers.

Do you like playing festivals?

They can be more fun if you're in the right mood and have the
right energy. It's probably the same way for the fans and
the press -- it's like, if you're a little worn down and
you just need to focus, it's a terrible place to be. But if
you're full of energy and you get the right slot and the right
crowd, then it can be explosive and it can be better than a
headlining show. But usually I feel festivals are commercials
for yourself. You kind of go out there and go,
This is what I do

.
If you like it, come and see a real show.

But there's also something about the festival vibe, especially
in Europe, where people are just committed to being insane. You
don't really feel that at Coachella -- it's a much more sedated
crowd, but it's cool, and the way the festival is run is
way more civilized. This is pretty clean, and they take pretty
good care of their artists. They know what they're doing.

Is it more freeing to be a solo artist, or is it just
different?

Both. It's way more freeing, but that's obvious. It's
like I can do whatever I want, I'm not part of a democracy, I'm
a one-woman dictatorship. I miss Brian. And
there's a very concrete negative part of being solo --
especially in a festival where you're competing with sound.
Drums are very useful, because they drown a lot of things out.
So sometimes I miss the power, especially the loudness of the
drums. When I'm totally solo I miss having an ally on stage,
and it's part of the reason I love touring with [cello
player] Zoe or other musicians -- it's like,
there's a loop that happens when you have more than one
musician onstage. It turns more into a conversation,
which I like.

Tags: Music

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