Interview with a Bitch
Q: Who are some of Barber's favorite contemporary jazz singers and who has inspired her own style?
A: Sheila Jordan, Leny Andrade, Shirley Horn, Elis Regina (dead but contemporary)
Q: How did she chose to cover Paul Anka's "She's a Lady," in which Barber seems to masterfully craft the semi-sexist lyrics into an erotically-charged salutation toward a female lover.
A: It seemed like the biggest challenge... to turn this basically horrible song into some fun.
Q: Does Barber have a considerable fan base amongst the gay community and how does she feel about being an out lesbian artist in a musical genre not so typically inclusive of lesbian acts as is Lilith Fair circuit?
A: Barber seems to attract an audience from a broader base. Her audiences are gay, straight, white, black, old, young. As long as she gets work and an audience, she doesn't care about being a homosexual in a homogeneous environment. according to Barber, "that may just be too, too much of a good thing."
Q: Does Barber have any other gay or lesbian artists she admires?
She has many artists she admires. As to whether or not they are/were gay, some have been dead so long that she cannot exactly determine their sexuality. One has to depend on prurient and bored historians for this kind of sifted innuendo and rumor and that information is just not reliable enough as compass for admiration.
Q: Does Barber have a current girlfriend, love interest? Are any of the particular songs dedicated to her?
A: She does. Maybe.
Q: She just returned from Europe? Where did she perform and how was the experience?
A: Norway and France. The audiences were wonderful.
Q: Sorry this is a little overkill on the lesbian questions, but I already have a lot of background on her musical career and I think our readers will be interested in hearing about and seeing an openly lesbian jazz singer - another walk of life in which they don't so often find themselves represented....
A: This openly lesbian jazz singer is obviously getting fatigued by all the talk of sexuality. Barber does admire and respect lesbians and gay people everywhere...In fact she is fairly political and outspoken. She is just tired of the interviews about music getting narrowed into interviews about sexuality. She is starting to wonder if by simply being gay, she could maintain a level of notoriety that would secure her financial future. If so,Ms. Barber could stop practicing her scales and relax. Until that point, however, she will keep her nose in the music and hope that homosexuals, heterosexuals and asexuals are listening.