Carole Pope and Rough Trade at the South Stage (Church and Wood), Saturday (June 25), 8 pm. Free. www.PrideToronto.com.
Carole Pope's been living in L.A., and, yes, she says, the lesbians over there are just like the ones on The L Word.
"It's exactly like The L Word!" she laughs, methinks just an itty bit sarcastically. "Well, there are these women who are just incredibly gorgeous, and they're all insanely fucked up, and you can never get any of those women, and if you do, too bad for you, because they're all wack anyway.
"Anyhow, The L Word is shot in Vancouver."
We're talking on the phone even though we're actually about a two-minute walk from each other, because both of us are too damn lazy to move. So sue us.
Pope is back in Toronto to play Pride and some other gigs. She's also promoting two solo albums, Transcend and Transcend: The Remix. The first is a guitar-driven electronica-slash-alt-rock offering.
"It's just a lot of material I've been playing for a while, and I got a couple of great players to play on it." The second is (duh) remixes of the same.
"Melody Melody and DJ Ian got a bunch of DJs from all over the world to do remixes, and there are about 18 tracks on it."
It's cool when people wanna do your stuff. Speaking of which, there's that cover of High School Confidential by Lesbians on Ecstasy, who are sharing her Pride bill.
"Oh, I love that. When I heard that, I asked the Pride Committee if they could do the show. I thought it was very funny and kinda hot. I saw the video - they're kind of taking the piss out of every dyke band there is. They said some people weren't amused by that, but Kevan and I were thrilled."
For the Pride celebration, Pope is hooking up with Rough Trade collaborator Kevan Staples, something they do now and then.
"Every once in a while we'll play. Like, last year we played the Toronto Jazz Festival, and there was some big pop festival thing outside Winnipeg with Journey" (which makes me squeal until I realize it was a Perryless Journey. Ha! Get it? Perilous... oh, never mind) "and the Doors of the 21st Century."
But they have never played Pride. And now she's being honoured by the Pride Committee for her contribution to the arts, which leaves me wondering whether it's her gay contribution or her artistic contribution and whether you can really separate the two, what with all these queer bands being mired in the big gay pigeonhole these days. Lesbians are all the rage in the indie music world.
Would Carole Pope be Carole Pope if she weren't such a dykon?
"I believe it is my artisic contribution. Y'know, being gay is part of it, but that doesn't drive my art.
"I mean, it does and it doesn't. Yes, I certainly write about gay subjects, but a lot of my songs are just love songs or political songs and they can be taken either way - unless the word 'pussy' is in them, and that gives you a clue that it might be about a woman."
But I have to point out, it is a big part of what made her famous.
"Oh! Absolutely! We certainly spoke to gays, and our material was very sexual. So, yeah, I did tromp around in the bondage suit and sing about masturbation and chicks."
Now everybody's doing it.
"Yeah, but I was the mack daddy of all that shit."