An Interview with Margaret Cho on Her New Music Album

By Erika Hobart (Seattle Weekly)

Korean-American comedian Margaret Cho is best known for her raunchy, politically-charged stand-up. But she recently recorded an album called Cho Dependent (in stores August 24) and soon embarks on a North American tour, her second stop: Seattle's Paramount Theatre (August 27.)

In this interview, the always candid Cho chats with SW about touring, Mickey Avalon's reaction to her parody of "My Dick," and why she doesn't smoke pot anymore. Check it out.

Your claim to fame is your comedy. What made you decide to try on a musician's cap, as well?

I actually have more of a music background than I do a comedy one. My mother is a guitarist and my dad is a piano player. So I wanted to make a record that was funny and beautiful, with musicians that I love.

Cho Dependent is certainly crammed with collaborations. You've got plenty of legitimate artists on it, including Fiona Apple, Ani DiFranco, and Ben Lee. Any particular favorites?

I loved working with Tegan and Sara. They play multiple instruments, write great lyrics, and have such a unique take on indie-rock. I'm inspired by them. Their audience is great too; mostly queer, younger women who, like my audience, are excited to have someone out there representing them.

I personally love the song "My Puss," your parody of Mickey Avalon and Dirt Nasty's "My Dick."

Thank you! I love Mickey Avalon and Dirt Nasty. I wanted to make a really simple battle rhyme that was queer. It's a sanctioned parody. They actually think it's the best cover of their song out there.

Beyond pussy, the album touches on some serious issues. What is the significance of the title Cho Dependent?

The album has a lot to do with dependency. We [Cho, Tegan, and Sara] did a song called "Intervention" that's about the nightmare of having an intervention. It's got to be the worst thing that can happen to you. Well, other than a surprise party. But it isn't just about drug addiction. It talks about dependence in people, too, and the disappointment that can come from that.

Speaking of dependency, you recently appeared on Chelsea Lately and announced that you quit smoking pot.

[Laughs.] I haven't completely quit. Somebody tricked me into smoking pot yesterday.

How does one get tricked into smoking pot?

I got done with a show and was with these gay guys. They said 'Come outside!' and started smoking and naturally, I did too, out of habit. And I could get tricked into doing it with other people again.

But by yourself...

Yes, what I meant is that I quit smoking on my own - which is actually saying a lot. I just wasn't getting stoned. It doesn't affect me anymore. All I could do is see my eyelashes and that's not enough to get motivated to doing the drug.

Fair enough. So what we expect from your upcoming tour? More music, or the classic Cho stand-up?

There will be a couple songs from the record but it will be mostly stand-up comedy - I can't stop doing that. That would be weird. I did a record, but I'm still a stand-up comic. I'm super excited! Touring is very natural to me; my life is on the road. I am ready to get out there!

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