I don’t think it’s possible to not have an interesting interview with Ms. Chan Marshall. Spin gets Cat Power to open up about drinking, depression, playing live shows, SNL and her upcoming projects.
How much were you drinking every day at your worst?
Well, it was always a fifth of Scotch. And then it was a fifth of Scotch and two Xanax. But that was normal. I mean, fuck man, there are 21-year-olds who go to NYU who probably drink like that five nights a week.
Your next record will be another covers album. Whose songs will you be doing?
Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Cole Porter. I’m going to record it in Mexico City in January, release it next summer. Then I’ll have time to audition for Saturday Night Live.
You want to join the cast of Saturday Night Live?
Yeah. I met Molly Shannon when I was playing a show in Brooklyn. I didn’t know what to say, so I said [imitates Shannon’s voice from her SNL cheerleader skit], “I love it! I love it!” She didn’t laugh. I think she was embarrassed. But four years later, I saw her again and told her this story about my friends getting handcuffed, and Molly was laughing. She was like, “Oh my God, have you ever thought about acting?” So I might ask her to forward my audition tape.
Can you tell me about Sun, the album that’s due after your next covers album?
It will come out in spring of 2008. I’m producing it. One song is called “Leopard,” I used to sing it when I was 26. There’s another song, a spiritual song called “Mountaintops.” And there’s a really sweet song called “Funny Things” that’s like a little kid’s tap-dance song about having special secret thoughts: “Funny things in your dreams/Can you whisper talk to me?” And then there’s “Silent Machine,” which I actually wrote a long time ago. There’s another song called “Oh Time.” It’s about my ex and it’s about forgiveness. My friend Susanna always cries when I play it.