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A Quietus Interview

Counting Backwards: Throwing Muses Interviewed
John Freeman , October 24th, 2011 06:11

As they prepare to tour Europe with their career-spanning release, the three Muses talk to John Freeman about the moments that defined one of America’s finest guitar bands and how they’ve come to a record a new 38-track album

In late April of 1988, in the now-defunct Manchester International One venue, I stood wide-eyed and shocked as a band from Boston tore through a set of songs which scorched their way into my heart. That short Pixies support set would become enshrined in folklore. Minutes later, another group of Massachusetts musicians took the stage as Kristin Hersh’s Throwing Muses attempted to follow the incendiary scream of Black Francis. They managed that and more – the Muses’ urgent, jagged indie rock was both beautiful and intense and Hersh performed as if exorcising her darkest fears. My teenage self was captivated.

Fast-forward twenty years and Kristin Hersh made a connection with me on an entirely different level. Then, my four-year-old son was critically ill with a life-threatening brain haemorrhage. At the time his favourite story was ‘Toby Snax’, Kristin’s charming first foray into children’s literature. As he lay in the Intensive Care Unit at the Manchester Children’s Hospital – only a few hundred metres from where the International One used to stand – my son kept asking his mum to read the book to him. It is about a mother rabbit suggesting adventurous day-trips to her boy. As my boy clung on to life ‘Toby Snax’ was a particularly heartbreaking tale.

A couple of days later, with my son having undergone yet more complex brain surgery, I sent Kristin a befuddled, emotional, late-night email telling her about him and how much ‘Toby Snax’ had helped. Her response was...

...The full version of this article is available in Point Close All Quotes: A Quietus Music Anthology. Buy it now in the Amazon Kindle store.

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