Jill Sobule "Kissed a Girl" First

More than a decade before Katy Perry "Kissed a Girl," Jill Sobule made waves with her song of the same name. Now she's back with a new studio album paid for by her fans.

BY Bryan Buss

May 11 2009 12:00 AM ET

You rewarded them based on the increments donated. When
someone donated $1,000 you would write them a theme song. What
were those like?

They were 30 seconds, but I went overboard and gave people two
different choices. One was kind of 007 spy-ish, and the other
was kind of
Mary Tyler Moore

. [
Laughs

] For instance, do you know the guy who hosts
Dancing With the Stars

?

Tom Bergeron?

Yeah. He's an all-time fan and he donated and I wrote him a
song... "You're really famous, but you're not a dick." [
Laughs

] Those were the first lyrics of his theme song.

How was it working with Don Was on the new album?

What I love about him the most is, you know, people can get
jaded, and he still seems like he's that junior high school kid
that's just so excited about music. And I hope I'm that way
forever. It's easy when it's your business, it's easy to get
burnt and jaded and not want to listen to stuff.

Did last summer's Katy Perry hit "I Kissed a Girl"
up your profile any since you wrote the original "I Kissed
a Girl"?

Yeah, people mentioned it. What I loved were the "I Kissed
a Girl" wars, like "Kissed a Girl" classic
versus the [Katy Perry song]. But the one thing that was great
was having some young girl accidentally iTune mine instead of
hers. [
Laughs

] You know, people kinda push me, like what do I think, and I
always hate to bash another artist, and the song was really
cute. I remember someone sent me an interview [with Perry]
where she said she dreamed up the title. And no, she wrote that
with a professional team, The Matrix, who are older, and she
was signed by the same guy that signed me when I did
"Kissed a Girl." So that was a little
disingenuous.But I have no bad feelings. And I'll say, I still
think it's great to have a song, if I was a little girl, and I
heard Katy Perry's "Kissed a Girl" and I had those
kind of feelings, which I did, I would still feel like, that's
great, that's wonderful. But I will say that maybe mine was a
little more, just a touch more queer than
Girls Gone Wild.

Maybe.

You have an unbelievable pop sensibility, yet you also have
interesting arrangements and a depth lacking in a lot of pop
music. How do you feel about some of the poorly trained monkeys
that are passed off as pop stars and then revered as icons?

Well, you gotta stop yourself from being, "They're no
Chrissie Hynde or Patti Smith." You gotta keep it to
yourself, but with the way recording is now, it's almost like
back to the '50s when you had your singers who were just like
the star-maker machinery, rather than artists themselves. And
also with auto-tunes, someone doesn't really have to know how
to sing. But you have other pop tarts who are like frigging
amazing singers. So it's a mixed bag. There are some that will
probably have legs, and some that will be disposable, but
they've made enough money you don't feel bad about 'em. And
also you want to see how people grow too. It's funny how I was
watching some show and they said, "This generation's
Beatles," and they introduced the Jonas Brothers. [
Laughs

] But you know, they're young and you'll see how they grow. Who
knows? There are people like Justin Timberlake who was in a boy
band, but he became an artist. I've never watched
American Idol

, but Kelly Clarkson's got a fucking great voice.

Tags: Music

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