My Secret Life: KD Lang

Author: Interview by Charlotte Philby

My parents were … My mother is a typical Canadian prairie woman with
a very liberal, open and hungry mind. My father ? who has now passed away ?
was probably a bit gay, and a great singer.

When I was a child I wanted to be … other than a musician, an Olympic
volleyball player and a cinematographer.

The first time I got drunk … there was this tradition in the prairies
where you’d get on your snowmobiles and go out into the middle of a field
and we would start a bonfire and drink hot choc with spirits in it.

If I could change one thing about myself … I don’t think I would.

I drive … a Prius and I ride a 1967 Triumph around Los Angeles. I
like to ride around the city for the hell of it.

At night I dream of … I’m happy to say that my dreams are kind of

What I see when I look in the mirror … A friend, I guess.

My favourite building … I like obscure abandoned buildings. I end up
fantasising about restoring them in some way.

My favourite work of art … I’m an expressionist freak, I like people
like Franz Kline and big art movements like that of the 1950s in San

A book that changed me … The one that had the most impact was by Pema
Chodron. I read it at a point in my life when I was going through a rough
time and had come to the conclusion that I should start some sort of
Buddhist practice. Reading this book aligned my desires and innate

Movie heaven … is ‘Harold and Maude’. Every month my best friend and
I get together to watch it again.

The last album I bought/downloaded … is one of the greatest hits
collections from Sly and the Family Stone. It’s an essential album to have.

My favourite item of clothing … is a Japanese flannel shirt, which is
blue and which I bought in New York.

You wouldn’t know it but I’m very good at … housework.

You may not know it but I’m no good at … academia.

My house … is a Japanese-style cabin. The natural surroundings and
the structure of the house lent itself to the style. And I tend to lean
towards minimalism so it all just worked.

My secret crush … I can’t tell you that.

My real-life villains … are my own desires.

The person who really makes me laugh … is Will Ferrell. His humour is
so retarded, which is very funny to me.

The last time I cried … was just the other day. I had a good long cry
while working on a new song. For some reason as I was trying to come up with
the lyrics, it hit. I didn’t find the right words in the end, the melody
just took me.

My greatest regret … is that it took me so long to be really present
and appreciative. I didn’t get to that point until my late thirties, early

My five-year plan … is to write and record a brilliant record and
then to tour it. I’m moving into a new cycle.

What’s the point? The point is to recognise the inseparability between
you and everything else.

My life in six words … perfectly balanced between heaven and hell.

A life in brief

A Grammy award-winning musician, KD Lang was born in Edmonton, Alberta, on 2
November 1961. She started her career as a backing singer for Roy Orbison
and went on to have a string of hits including “Constant Craving”.
She now lives in Los Angeles with her partner Jamie. Her new DVD, KD Lang
Live in London with the BBC Concert Orchestra, is released on Monday

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