Friday, November 22, 2019

Split decision

There was always going to be more to come about Janet Weiss' exit from Sleater-Kinney, and, for those of us who are fans of all involved, it was always going to be painful to hear and reflect badly on someone.

When the news broke, Weiss' statement was short and to the point: "The band is heading in a new direction. ... It is time for me to move on." Now, in an interview with a drumming podcast, she's explained the decision to leave in more detail: "The roles changed within the band, and they told me the roles changed. I said, 'Am I just the drummer now?' They said yes. And I said, 'Can you tell me if I am still a creative equal in the band?' And they said no. So, I left." 

In defence of Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker, they were at least honest with Weiss, and the three of them did attempt to work through the issues with a counsellor (as, apparently, they did back in 1998). But you can't blame Weiss for being hurt and deciding to walk away after being told that she was no longer an integral part of a band to which she'd given much of her life. As she said, "How can we be fighting for equality and not have it in our band; it just became a disconnect."

If Brownstein and Tucker were so keen to make a break and set off on a new tack, then could they not have formed a side project or retired the Sleater-Kinney name rather than treating Weiss so badly?

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