Liz Phair | photo by Josh Pelta-Heller for WXPN
Liz Phair chats about theatrics, stage fright, and 30 years of ‘Guyville’ on the WXPN Morning Show
The rock icon’s tour celebrating a milestone anniversary of her landmark debut comes to Franklin Music Hall on November 22nd.
On the phone this week from sunny Southern California, rock singer-songwriter icon Liz Phair called up the WXPN Morning Show to chat about the 30th anniversary of Exile In Guyville — an album that many fans have called a cornerstone, the soundtrack to their lives.
“It’s an incredible experience to revisit this album 30 years later,” she says. “It feels like a momentous thing, because we might not be speaking about this at all, so it’s incredibly rewarding to hear that people are still excited about this record and it means so much about people.”
With grace and humor, Phair reflected on her ambitions in making the record, which were admittedly rather modest. “I think I wanted to impress about sixteen guys in the neighborhood. That was my goal. ‘You can do that? I can do that too.'”
She reflected on the many full-circle moments she’s experienced this year, including marking the album’s anniversary date in June with family and friends, and making plans for a theatrical staging of the album anniversary tour with creative director Kevin Newberry. Phair says “we’re digging deeper and more immersively in the emotion of the album. And when that’s over, we’ll have fun.” Referring to the show’s back half with fan favorites from across her catalog, she refers to the concert as “business up front, party in back.”
In our conversation, Phair also talked about having stage fright as a young artist, and how she still can’t believe that for someone who contended with that early on, she gets to do this as a career. “No one can save you from stage fright,” she says. “You have to get out there and do it over and over again.” She also talks about the rapport she’s developed with her fans over the years, describing a great live show as a collaboration with the audience. “We both make it happen. You need to give the audience energy, and they return it to you.”
We also hear fun stories about her plans for finishing second memoir and more; listen to the interview in full below, and check out an anniversary spotlight on Guyville below. WXPN Welcomes Liz Phair’s Exile In Guyville 30th anniversary tour to Franklin Music Hall on November 22nd; tickets and more information on the show can be found at WXPN’s Concerts and Events page.