16th Annual Artist Survey: Doe Paoro

Sonia Kreitzer on the Midterm Election, #MeToo, Mental Health in the Music Industry, and Peeing in a Ball Pit

Jan 23, 2019 Web Exclusive
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For Under the Radar's 16th Annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to the last year, plus some fun personal questions. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2018 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions. Here are some answers from Doe Paoro.

Doe Paoro is the stage name of Sonia Kreitzer. The Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter released her latest album, Soft Power, in 2018 via ANTI-.

For our annual Artist Survey we emailed the same set of questions to musicians about the midterm elections, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh, Kanye West visiting the White House, the #MeToo movement a year later, mental health conditions in the music industry, whether or not they have Flossed, childhood birthday parties and vacations, which Muppets character they are most like, whether or not they are going to The Good Place after death, and much more.

What was the highlight of 2018 for either you personally or for the band? What was the low point? 

Highlight was definitely releasing my album, Soft Power, which I've been working on for the last four years. Low point was being subjected to anything have to do with Trump.

What are your thoughts on how the U.S. midterm elections have played out? What do you think the results mean for the Democrats' chances of taking back the White House in 2020?

I was hoping for the Democrats to gain a bit more than they did but it's still progress. Can't really call it for 2020-the system is so corrupt that I wouldn't know how to begin to guess.

Despite compelling testimony from Christine Blasey Ford and sexual assault allegations from other women, Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in a Supreme Court Justice and many Republican women didn't believe Ford's story. What does this tell you about the general state of the #MeToo movement in 2018? 

It's so unsurprising, and that is the tragedy. We live in a misogynistic countryit was hard to watch the testimony. I don't think the outcome has anything to do with the #MeToo movement though. The outcome has to do with patriarchy. The #MeToo movement is valid and powerful and will continue to hold space for victims coming forward, and do it's best to hold people accountable, but the #MeToo movement can't be the only moving piece in holding abusers accountable. It's going to require people in power who have actual ethics and believe women, as obvious as that may seem. Dr. Blasey Ford is brave and part of a lineage of women who put their vulnerability on the line, despite the odds, and her effort was not wasted.

A year after the #MeToo movement, do you feel things gotten better or worse in terms of issues of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and misogyny in the music industry?

I am aware that this probably sounds pessimistic but I think it is probably the same, and if it's better at all, it's just that abusers are a bit more scared and being a little more self aware around harassment. So maybe that is progress? It is going to take time. This is a very male-dominated industry. I toured with an all female band and its very common to hear "I love seeing an all girl band"like its an anomaly. But it is, right now.

Be honest, did you Floss in 2018? (Meaning the dance craze, not the dental care.)

I don't know what that is but I did floss, as in dental care. LOL.

Are you less of a fan of Kanye West now that he's visited the White House and has in other ways supported President Trump?

Yes. It's enough with Kanyewe need to stop giving attention to bad role models. At this point, the information is out there. With that level of visibility comes a lot of power of influence, and he gave it to empowering Trump? Unsubscribe.

Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit tragically took his own life this year. What should be done to improve mental health conditions for musicians?

It's a really deep question and well worth a longer conversation. Being a musician, and an artist in general, is so unstable. And more than ever, the way we consume art and culture in the age of Instagram and Spotify is so disposable. I think artists naturally feel the weight of that. I would love to see more free mental healthcare service for artists. It's often the case that someone you think "has it all" is actually suffering quietly.

In 2018 there were more dire predictions about climate change and we witnessed some of its likely effects firsthand with various deadly storms and forest fires. What should touring musicians be doing to better offset their carbon footprint? How bad do you think it needs to get for governments and corporations to take stronger actions to fight climate change?

I struggle with this question a lot every time I play a festivalthere is always a lot of waste and being on the road is not the most environmentally friendly with gas, bottled water, etc. We can definitely do a better job of carrying our own water bottles to decrease the use of plastic. I think it will be too late before the government and corporations fight climate changethey seem to operate entirely out of greed and not out of any sense of servitude to the future, or even respect for scientific facts.

Are you ready for artificial intelligence and a more automated future? Some predict that it may come sooner than we think and will lead to massive job losses.

Nope. I hear this question and want to run into the woods forever.

What's your favorite birthday party memory from childhood?

Peeing in the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese's in Syracuse when I was about six because I was having so much fun I didn't want to get out to go to the bathroom.

What was your favorite family vacation as a kid? What was your least favorite?

We used to go to NYC a lot to visit my grandparents. Those trips really opened my mind to a bigger world outside of my reality. Least favoritemy dad used to take me hiking and I hated nature as a kid, ha-ha. Now I can't get enough of it.

What's been your most surreal experience in the music industry?

Getting to back up Fiona Apple on a gig once. Being flown to London by the ex-manager of Amy Winehouse to discuss getting signed there. Making my record in the Bon Iver studio.

When you die, do you think you're going to the Good Place or the Bad Place?

I think I am going to the Bardo, and my karma will decide what's next.

www.doepaoro.com

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