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TEL #002 :: Ani DiFranco Interview



To hear PART 2 please  scroll down, or visit HERE.

KC: Your guitar sounds bigger than most full bands. Where did that evolve out of for you?

Ani: When I was coming up I was a vehemently…ENGAGED person.

KC: Oh really? I never picked that up from you. You’re such a wallflower. Hahahaa

Ani: Oh no? NEWSFLASH!

As a longtime Ani DiFranco fan, I always felt short-changed that so many interviews never went deeper than how many records she has sold on her own, or “why she’s so angry”.

We caught up with the legendary singer songwriter, performer, activist & Grammy winner during sound check at a recent sold-out show in Kent, OH.

Ani’s incredibly open, and forthcoming about everything from balancing her career as a soon-to-be mother of 2, the origins of her (fierce) guitar attack, writing groundbreaking songs such as “The Atom” and “32 Flavors” and more.

Ani also shares insight into her songwriting process, early career, and journey as an upcoming performer and guitarist.

Our conversations are interspersed with recent, as well as classic tracks from her albums.

Recorded on Saturday, September 29th.



The Latest 2012 album, “Which Side Are You On?” is available by clicking the image, as well as in fine music stores everywhere.

All Ani DiFranco music clips are used with permission, and are available for purchase by clicking the album image on the right, or at  https://www.righteousbabe.com -or- www.itunes.com

All songs (c) Righteous Babe Records.

Out of Range” from the album “Out of Range” (c) 1994 RBR
Amendment” from the album “Which Side are you On?” (c) 2012 RBR
The Atom” from the album “Red Letter Year” (c) 2008 RBR
Light of Some Kind” from the album “Not a Pretty Girl” (c) 1995 RBR
Mariachi” from the album “Which Side are you On?” (c) 2012 RBR

To hear PART 2 please visit HERE.

>> For this, and other inspiring episodes Subscribe HERE 0n iTunes.



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30 Responses

  1. Thank you for the wonderful interview with the one and only Ani! I love getting to hear her talk instead of just sing. Don’t get me wrong, her songs are the love of my life, I just like to hear some more.

  2. Right on, Jessie. I completely agree…. We all know she’s a phenomenal artist… But when she’s just able to sit and speak… We’re all wise to listen. She’s just a brilliant, well-balanced, and WIDE-open human being. Highly evolved beyond her music. Which is so ridiculously evolved.

    hahaha. Inspiring. Thanks for checking it out. Much love -kc

  3. Thank you for this interview and congrats for keeping your shit together! Having been a fan for 10+ years, I learned things about her I’ve never heard before. Also props for sharing Ani with your young daughter- what a gift. What a dad. Namaste.

    1. Wow, that's so awesome Alana! Huge compliment from another obviously MONSTER FAN. I warned Ani that I would be like Chris Farley with Paul McCartney:

      "You remember when you sang Untouchable Face that one time? That was Awesome."

      She's so unbelievably open, and cool. Just a rad human being. Yeah, my daughter's jaw was on the floor the whole time. Elliott Carter had her first show at the tender age of 8. We've been singing Mariachi for months around here. Ani added 32 Flavors to the set for her. How ridiculous.

      Love my job. Thanks again for checking it out! Please feel free to share around if you think others haven't tripped over it. Much love, -kc

  4. Killer interview of an artist I’d have thought, incorrectly, would be intimidating to talk to. You really got her to open up, and you’ve made me want to go back and listen to her recent albums again. I’d love to hear more of these. Maybe you could make it an ongoing series!

    1. Thanks a lot, Ken! Means a lot coming from you Music Man. She's just an outstanding person. Totally open, honest, and COOL. You can hear it at the end…she puts people at ease. She's intense for sure, but full of love and laughter.

      I'm like, DID THIS REALLY HAPPEN? hahaha.

      I have another 20 minutes I had to cut it down to 30… Maybe I'll either post that as a follow up or shoot you a Soundcloud link. Her latest albums are great, my fave is Red Letter Year (2008).



  5. nice work, kc. for all us ani freaks, you really need to post that extra 20 minutes. keep well and keep it up, my friend.

    1. Wait, there are Ani "freaks"? Hahahahah. Really appreciate you checking it out, Angie! Yeah, I'll do something with it soon. Subscribe to the podcast and keep an eye out. I'll shoot to get it up next week or over the weekend. Much love, and thanks for listening.

      Fellow Ani Freakazoid.


  6. Phenomenal!!!! I have toured around the Eastern US watching Ani jam at over 20 live shows. Her words and her music have had a direct positive influence on my life and who I have become.

    I felt like I got to grow up with her in a sense. It’s amazing to see a friend be able to interview her and have that awesome experience. I loved all the questions and always love to listen to Ani share her thoughts through any medium. The fact that the medium was you made this even cooler!

    Great job keeping your shit together! I almost lost my shit just listening to it 🙂 thanks so much for sharing!!

    1. I think so many of us share that view Cindy… of growing up with the same soundtrack. As a “dude” her music spoke to me in so many different ways over the years…

      That was my realization in our conversation: when she talked about dropping the knowledge within the gaps of silence… to get attention and then disarm people with beautiful (or harsh) word delivery…

      It summed up nearly 20 years of listening to, and appreciating her music on a deep level. It constantly spins on a dime.

      much love to you and The Fam!


  7. Hmm … luv, Luv, LUV me some Miss Ani interviews! Thanks soo much for the insight of yours. And to reiterate ‘angie’ above, I too am waving my Ani Freak Flag high and hoping for the other 20 minutes. Since moving to AK I’ve been going through concert withdrawl, but had the opportunity to experience something spontaneous and really special in my favorite place ‘in and on the earth’ in Homer, AK in 2011. Your interview brought me back to that place … thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!

    1. Awesome, I see that freak flag a’FLYIN! I gotchu…. at least another 12 minutes coming. Some of the edgier stuff that I originally cut. Good stuff to come. Thanks for the love. Happy to bring you back to your Happy Place, Jersey Girl.

      Much love,


      this epic life

  8. Kris,
    This is amazing! Very professionally done – yeah, you kept your shit together VERY well, my friend! 🙂 I love how you edited between your conversation and her music, giving the music its due! I think we can sometimes get impatient, like when there’s a pregnant pause in a conversation, and try to FILL it up. But, letting the music play made everything you two were talking about that much more powerful! Well played! More please.

    1. Thanks a lot, LB. I was really nervous to pick the songs and weave them throughout…. It's so easy to butcher the production and make it all herky-jerky. Ani's team was so great to work with, and they provided excellent feedback on where I was going with it. As a fan, I was adamant about *NOT* screwing it up. Hahahaha. My goal was to create something that fans, as well as Ani's team (of badasses) would appreciate. Mission: Accomplished. So far, anyway. 🙂

      Can't wait to post aprt Deux. Much love,


  9. always a gift to peek in on Ani’s thinking and passions. I really enjoyed hearing her describe her attempt to have her songs resonate with Republican parts of her family. It takes a strong soul to converse with opposite opinions and work to be understood instead of shutting down.

    Always inspirational, all the while a work in progress, Ani reminds anyone willing to listen that there is a way to hold onto self respect, allow yourself to make mistakes and still make great music!


    1. Thanks for checking it out Jeremy. You nailed it… she comes through as a total work in progress, but is completely wide open to working her ass off to improve… to "…get closer and closer and closer to what she meant to say" as she describes it. Powerful example. Thanks, -kc

  10. Love this. Thanks, KC! My 3 year old daughter is wearing her favorite righteous babe tank right now- Little Folksinger. She’s a huge (tiny) Ani fan as well.

    1. Ha, awesome! I asked Ani for any guesstimates on how many young women are now named "Ani"…. I know at least 2. Thanks a lot for checking it out. I'm hoping to post an additional 10-15 min our conversation sometime soon. Much love -kc

  11. I love this interview! It made me feel like I was catching up with an old friend.

    While listening to the interview I was able to see all these facets of Ani: artist, activist, musician and mother, etc. that other interviewers don’t always connect with.

    The two of you seemed to have a genuine and very organic rapport with one another and that can be heard in your conversation with her.

    Thank you, Kris!!!!

  12. It’s a really fantastic interview. When I think of Ani I think: real. She is very straight forward when she speaks, writes and sings. Her presence is very powerful.

    what a mind-blowing person she is!


  13. Hey KC,
    I found you through Jess Lively’s podcast and couldn’t believe you had two Ani interview links on your main page. She’s been my favourite musician for 15 years and I came *this* close to interviewing her back in 2005. What a great coincidence, and well done on a great interview!

    1. Wow, Georgie! Either way I’m so glad you found it. The craziest part is that Ani and I became good pals after this conversation. Truly crazy to hang with one of my all time heroines. 🙂 She’s a fantastic person, obviously. Hope you enjoy it! I’ve been told it’s many peoples’ favorite interview with her. Much love, -kc

      1. I’m glad I found the interviews too! That’s so great you guys are friends now, how fantastic.
        I remember the promoter who was meant to organise our interview saying ‘she’s kind of hard to pin down’. That of course made me love her more! Thanks again for sharing, Georgie

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