Anna: I was catching up to myself. With That Dog, I didn’t even want to be on a label, really. I didn’t want to be on tour and I didn’t want to sign to Geffen. I wanted to keep things small, and reasonable, and within my comfort zone. I really just wanted to make records. I didn’t even want to perform.
Josh: But That Dog had been performing before you signed, right?
Anna: For a couple of months, and they [That Dog] really wanted to. So, I did. It was like gangbusters. Within a couple months of playing shows we had every label calling us. It was insane. It was kind of like, “Well, let’s make the right business decision…at nineteen.” I think, ultimately, we did make the right decision, because at that time Geffen was…. We were in cool company. We were in great company. We really wanted to be on 4AD. That’s what Rachel and I wanted.
|Josh: Was that an option?
Anna: They were the only label that never called. The day we signed with Geffen, 4AD called and we were like, “Fuck, what do we do?” They [Geffen] ended up saying, “We’ll just give them the UK for the first record,” and we were so thrilled. Either way we were in good company, but I think there were so many bands around us that were breaking and we weren’t. And everyone kept saying, “You’re gonna be the next big thing, I promise.” And we were kind of…. I was always like, “I don’t care.” It got to be like, “OK, we’ve been doing this for six years,” and “What are we doing this for?” and “What am I doing this for?” and “Let’s just go for it.” That’s when I started to buy into stuff like units sold and radio stuff. That’s also when I bought into the bullshit that people say to you, which I didn’t know was bullshit.
Josh: Do you feel like being around the industry when you were growing up shaped your expectations?
Anna: No, that had nothing to do with anything. It only affected my view of being in the studio. Lenny [Waronker] didn’t bring home any business tactics. I remember asking him five years ago, “Do you even know how to read a contract?” And he was like, “Not really.”
Josh: So you bought into the bullshit.
Anna: I did buy into it. Then, when I quit That Dog, I thought about it. It was Lilith Fair time and I was like, “Well, either I try to make it and do that or I just do my own thing and figure it out.” And that’s what I decided to do. It wasn’t about the number of people I would reach; it was about reaching anyone and how it affected them. I would always get positive reinforcement in that way. You know, like, “This song helped me through a summer when I was really miserable,” or whatever. Stuff like that. That matters to me more.