Pop Quiz: Juliana Hatfield

Aidin Vaziri | Juliana Hatfield had a good thing going as an indie-rock star in the early ’90s. She was signed to a major label. She had a hit song on MTV. She got to tour the world with the Lemonheads. The former Blake Babies vocalist even got to make a cameo on the cult television show “My So-Called Life.” So why did she feel like jumping out of a window the whole time? Hatfield, 41, answers that question and a lot more in her new memoir, “When I Grow Up.” The singer has also self-released a new album, “How to Walk Away.” She plays Thursday at Cafe Du Nord. She spoke to us by phone from her home in Cambridge, Mass.


Juliana Hatfield
Q: Books have a lot of words in them. What made you want to write one in the first place?
A: A vague, general desire to write a book. I tried 10 years ago. I rented a house in Martha’s Vineyard in the winter, and I didn’t write a page. I just couldn’t think of an idea for a novel. So I wrote about myself for lack of any other ideas.
Q: You smoked for five years to get a grittier voice. That didn’t work, but did you at least get a nice cough out of the whole thing?
A: No. I just felt bad. I got myself addicted to cigarettes, and it was just making me feel crappy. Smoking never suited me. But I’m glad I had the experience because it taught me to empathize with addicts. Before, I was a very self-righteous twit.
Q: Do you have any good stories from the Blake Babies touring days?
A: A lot of my past is gone from my mind. There’s the one tour I wrote about, where I wouldn’t let anyone else drive the van because I thought it was possessed by Satan and would drive off the road and kill us if anyone else drove it. I thought I was the only one who could fight the evil force. I really lost my mind. It was brutal. Continue reading.

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