Sleater-Kinney fans were surprised when the band’s drummer, Janet Weiss, announced that she had left the band due to their “new direction,” back in July. During a recent interview with the Trap Set With Joe Wong podcast however, Weiss revealed that her departure was due to her diminished role within the trio, and that she was no longer a “creative equal,” within the group.
“The rules changed within the band, and they told me the rules changed,” Weiss said of her former band mates Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker, according to Rolling Stone. “I said, ‘Am I just the drummer now?’ They said yes. And I said, ‘Can you tell me if I am still a creative equal in the band?’ And they said no. So, I left.”
Weiss went on to explain:
“I thought about it a lot. I mean, I will never play with two people like that again. They are totally unique, incredible, intuitive players. It’s a lot to walk away from. It’s my sisters, my family. But I couldn’t be in that band and have it not be equal, especially with what it represents to me. It represents equality… How can we be fighting for equality and not have it in our band; it just became a disconnect.”
Weiss also explained that her role started to get diminished during the recording of their latest album The Center Won’t Hold, which made it difficult for Weiss to perform the songs during their tour. “The new record was made sort of without me and it would have been challenging to get up there on stage and deliver those songs like they were mine, when they weren’t mine at all. It just got real lonely for me,” Weiss explained.
The drummer went on to clarify that she believes their decision was not caused by malice, but just by creative differences. She explained that her input may have put her at odds with her former bandmates Carries Brownstein and Corrin Tucker, who she explaned, share a lot of creative ideas.
“I don’t think [Brownstein and Tucker] saw it like that. They’re not evil people, I just think the two of them are so connected and they really agree on almost everything, they just thought, ‘We’re gonna take this band somewhere and we want to be in charge of that, the two of us.’ I think I was a threat to where they wanted the band to go, and who I am, and that felt bad to me.”
Weiss was scheduled to perform with her group Quasi earlier this year, however her dates were cancelled following a car accident.
Photo Credit: Owen Ela