Grammy winner k.d. lang is no stranger to collaboration. The pop star has shared the stage with everyone from Tony Bennett to Elton John.
But that doesn’t make every collaboration easy — even when it was her idea in the first place.
“It was excruciating,” lang said when discussing the writing process that took place across the span of three years and a 3,000-mile distance between her and her collaborators Neko Case and Laura Veirs.
amNewYork had a chance to chat with lang about their new collaboration, case/lang/veirs, the writing process and her thoughts on the current LGBT movement.
How did this collaboration come about?
I had moved to Portland, [Oregon,] and soon after met both Neko and Laura. And I just thought, that would be an interesting combination. So I emailed them both and within a half-hour they both wrote back, “Let’s do it.”
Was there difficulty trying to lock in a sound with writing spaced out so far apart and everyone living in different places?
We knew writing would be difficult, but it would be the only way forward. Laura and I started writing like 2½-3 years ago. Neko came out a few times and wrote, but it’s been a long process. We just kept hammering away until we had it.
You were an early activist for LGBT rights — how gratifying is it to see so much positive change occurring during the past decade?
Oh it’s great. It’s wonderful. There’s a lot of people that have been paving the way and I just happen to be a part of it. But I take a lot of pride knowing I was in there.
How is it compared to the early ’90s?
That’s a hard question to answer because it’s both extremely different and, at the same time, there’s no difference at all because I’ve lived out since the age of 17. I think society is becoming more open but we still have a long ways to go. We’ll see how we go next year [laughs].