being with another artist

Do you think that being partners with another artist [Björk is in a relationship with Matthew Barney] influences you in a way ? When you’re writing lyrics, do you ever think, “Wow, maybe I shouldn’t say that ?“ because it’s, like, a secret ?

Yeah, well, I use all sorts of tricks, both consciously and unconsciously. I’ll write a song, and a few days later I figure, “Oh, it says ‘she’ all the time.“ Then you’ve worked out that you’ve just hidden it. You don’t want anybody to know that it was a “he.“

Good hiding, when you can’t recognize it yourself ! [both laugh]

Also, because I’ve been doing it for a long time, you kind of know who is going to get hurt and that sort of thing. Overall I’m careful, but since I was a teenager, a lot of the times I’ve been with artists. And that’s probably affected me in all sorts of ways. I don’t know if it’s because I’m more of a grown-up now, but the biggest influence is just the mutual respect and the support.

It’s true. You don’t have to explain why you’re going to be all night in a studio.

Yeah, totally. The support makes you strong—you’re being loved, so then you can be stronger when you go and do your work. I think that’s more how the relationship is an influence than “Oh, he’s doing pink this year, so I’m doing pink, too.“ Or something superficial like that.

Interview Magazine - 01.11.2004