Petra Haden is one of the few artists working today who can truly be called “a luminary”, yet here we are.
Haden, after all, has released full-length albums using nothing but her powerful, emotive voice (including a celebrated 2005 disc where she covered the classic album The Who Sell Out in its entirety) while also being in the noted ‘90s indie-quirk band That Dog, all while still contributing her considerable violin skills to artists as diverse as Beck, the Foo Fighters, the Twilight Singers, and several more.
Yet even when recording on major label budgets, Haden has still found time to indulge in her love of collaboration, and her latest effort is a band called If By Yes, where she got to meet up with another luminary—Cibo Matto’s Yuka Honda—and make something that can be best described as “experimental pop”: unpredictable yet familiar, alien yet beautiful, all at the same time. To celebrate the release of the band’s debut effort Salt on Sea Glass (which, it should be noted, is filled with guest turns from the likes of David Byrne, Nels Cline, and Cornelius), Haden sat down to answer PopMatters’ famed 20 Questions, here revealing a particular connection to the film Kramer vs. Kramer, a talent for Moonwalking, and how she recently bought ProTools but has no idea how to use it . . .