by Victor Mejia
I first spoke to Inger Lorre eight years ago.
It was right after the planned overdose of her fiancee and soon before
the demise of the Nymphs. We spoke for four days and I have never
felt so inspired speaking to another human being in my life. Inger
is so honest about things and has an infinite amount of emotional depth.
She also has a pension for suffering. When the band broke up, she
returned to art school, but finally after all this time she is back and
I feel incredibly fortunate to have spoken with her. Adversity
has given her strength.
(or skip to
I’ve been kind of waiting for this to be able
to talk to you again. I talked to you a long long time ago.
One day you had to leave early to go to the city (New York) to get your
eyebrow pierced. That was a long long time ago....
You got a lot of the truth then, because that’s
when I was like “fuck everything.”
We talked about Courtney (Love) when we
spoke way back then. And I talked to (Falling) James about
her as well.
That’s her ex-husband. She won’t admit
to it though. James is afraid of her still. I got this
magazine today, Shout magazine, and it is so hilarious.
I am just sitting here laughing. I don’t remember what I say. I am
just talking off the top of my head. I guess some people write down
what they are going to say. I say, “I think Courtney Love
is extremely smart, but the Uni-Bomber is real smart too.” And then
on the bottom it says, “I think that Kurt totally loved her and
thought she was a total fox. He thought he was getting Nancy Spungeon
when all he really got was the punk rock Cher.” This is true...I
can’t tell you how many people come up and ask me, “aren’t you afraid to
be the next person killed?” So, if I get killed, I want everyone
to know that she did it. She has nothing to do with me now anyways.
She’s an actress and I’m a musician.
She was never really a musician either.
I was looking forward to seeing you open up for
Murphy way back when, but....
Did we break up before you got to see us?
Shit, when we come out to Oregon, you better introduce yourself.
So, is your eyebrow still pierced?
No, it closed up and then everyone and their
mother got everything pierced. The only piercings I have no one can see.
I got my first piercing in 1984, my bellybutton. Back then it was
so weird that people said, “did you have an operation?” They said,
“is your stomach stapled?” That’s what they thought because no one
saw piercings, but now it is just so passé.
I want to apologize for this being all over the
place, but I was in a rush because I did this while I was working at a
high school. It was a rush. I volunteered to prove that I could
get back into the real world because I have been on disability for four
years because I kind of lost my mind....
Right on. Everyone needs to do that now
and then because then you can clear the total slate. I mean, when
my father and Jeff Buckley...I was staying at his house. It
was Jeff, me and my boyfriend. My father died the week before
and how I got there was that I was crying so much in my sleep and Paul
(fiancee) thought that I might seriously be losing it, so he took me to
Bellevue and they were like, “she is under so much stress.” So, he
quit his job and he stayed with me and literally held my hand and made
me tea. This is the drummer in my band right now that I am speaking about
and then he lost his job because he was with me 24/7 for two weeks.
So I was crying, “oh my god, we are going to have to move back with my
mother, who is a total alcoholic and really dysfunctional,” and Jeff was
like “move in with me. I’m going to go do my record.” He went
and you know the rest of the story; it’s history and he never came back.
When my dad died, I called Jeff and said, “I have nowhere to stay...I’m
going to have to move back,” and he said, “no, just move in with me and
I’ll be back in two weeks and he was just going to pick up some more of
his clothing and his instruments and his books.” I said, “please
come back soon...I really miss you.” He left and he never came back.
When I got the phone call it was only a week after my father had died.
I heard somebody screaming and then I realized it was me. It was
the weirdest fucking thing. It was horrible and then I heard for
the next 24 hours, I was talking and everything was rhyming. He took
me to Bellevue and they told him, “Take her home and put her to bed.”
I woke up the next morning and I was like “How are you doing? Let’s
fix some breakfast.” And he was like, “what about the light that
comes out of your head?” And I said, “what are you talking about?”
“You know, the light that is inside of everyone and everyone is full of
spiritual light.” Apparently I had gone off on some tangent and I was talking
about this and everything was rhyming and he said it sounded like Dr. Seuss.
And I was like, “why didn’t you tape it?” “Cause, I thought you were going
to be pissed off...‘I’m having a nervous breakdown and you are taping it!’”
He actually said it was really creative, and “it was your best work.”
Great, so my best work is lost. I totally understand where you are
coming from because it happened to me. I never thought that you could
really go that far out of your psyche without LSD or hallucinogens, but
it is totally possible. I remember how it started. I was looking
at Jeff’s laundry bag. It was kind of swaying. Then I thought
it was only two-dimensional and I could put my hand through it. And
I remember lighting a candle, and you know, fire is really hypnotic and
everyone was talking about how are we going to get her things out of here
and do you know which things are Jeff’s and do you know which things are
Inger’s. I was so out of it; Paul was asking me questions like:
“do you know which things are yours, Inger?” And I was like, “huh?”
and he was like, “shit, I’ll do it.” There’s was an upstairs and
a downstairs to Jeff’s apartment and they started packing and he packed
all the stuff that was upstairs that was mine and then he went downstairs
to work on my make-up and my clothing and our instruments and my books
and Jeff’s books and separate them and when he came back up an hour later,
I had unpacked everything and had threw it around. He was like, “Fuck
Inger!” and I didn’t even know that I had done that. The poor guy
and the fact that he put up with all of this crap. And, oh yeah,
I forgot to mention we had only been going out for one week. Can
you imagine...you meet this girl. Her dad dies the second day you
know and five days later she loses her bestfriend and then she starts crying
in her sleep and rhyming. The fact that he stuck with me...I’m going
to stay with him forever. He understands me.
I pretty much shut down for nine months...
Well, there is just too much information right
now. There is too much happening so fast, you just feel like stop
the world. I want to get off.
What happens is I have a tendency to try and take
care of my friends...way beyond the point where it is probably healthy.
Take care of yourself. It is all about
self-love. It took me so long to learn that. It was only until
I really started realizing and seeing that Jeff is with me...and my father
everyday. I see signs constantly. I know that they want me to and
I have to for their memory and you have to. This is the place, Victor,
where we have to do our thing and do our art, whether it is your band,
your lyrics, your singing, this magazine. This is where you work
it all out, so that you can move on to the next form. Even if we
all just go into one large energy. Even if we are not a conscious
like we are now. This is where we get to experience human life.
It’s just a little trip. That’s all it is. It’s just an experience
and then we go into the collective...the collective conscious. Even
if it is just like the Borg, if you are a Trekkie like I am. Who
knows what kind of life it is. We might just not even be conscious
of it. This isn’t the only place. Because you are so kind to
people you will definitely move on further and you will have good karma,
but you’ve got to take care of yourself too.
I’m going to ask you a couple of Jeff Buckley
Don’t think I am snotty if they are too personal
I won’t be able to answer them. I usually don’t talk about him at
all in my interviews, Victor.
How did you hook up with Jeff in the first place?
Well, he came up to me and I was in a bar.
It was called Notel Motel. He was like, “are you Inger Lorre?”
And I was like, “who wants to know?” I knew who he was. I had seen
his video “Last Goodbye” and I wasn’t doing music--I was just going to
art school. I knew who his father was so I thought he was going to
be some Julian Lennon brat son-of-a-celebrity, but he was really cool.
He was like, “My music is kind of corny; you wouldn’t like it.” I
said, “Well, what do you mean. You are a musician.” Two years later
I told him I knew who he was and he said, “all of you women are the same;
I can’t believe you knew who I was.” He was like, “Love songs...it’s
corny--you wouldn’t like it. But I love the Nymphs and what you did
on that desk. You are the patron saint of fucked over musicians.
Everybody wants to do that, but you did it.”
And the other thing was, how did he help out with
In every way. I had the songs written and
he just played. I was like, “this is the way the chords go”
and “I was thinking of this” and I would tell him something in my head.
He would just say, “let me expand it--what about this?” He played
on all of the demos and as far as the music that we have now, he just played
on “Thief Without the Take” and sang on it. He would have done a
lot more, but they wouldn’t let us. And someday that will all come
out. When I can afford to pay Sony, which is going to be a long time.
Were those two questions too bad?
No, that was absolutely totally polite.
Everybody wants to know all of the dirt, you know.
[talking about Eva O and her Christianity]
Why does she need anything though? Follow
your own path. That’s what most people should know and do.
It’s like scientologists...they wear this uniform...
I almost went to a boarding school that is run
by them in Oregon.
[Shrieks!] They will take over your mind.
You know what they believe in, right? They believe a UFO is going
to come down and take them...only certain ones away. You should take what
jumps off the paper as truth to you. You should keep this journal
and put everything single thing and like, “Right on! I truly believe
in that.” And you’ll end up making your own doctrine that is correct for
That’s the whole thing with Eva though, her Christianity
is so completely different from anyone else’s thing...
There’s the Danielson family. Their Christianity
involves anybody that is gay and it involves people that have AIDS.
It’s very radical and there certain ones that are really cool and all encompassing,
but there are so few. You see these people like that guy who got
bashed and killed. People went to his funeral and they were like,
“God hates homos.” Shit like that makes me ill.
Christianity is based on the new testament, which
is all about love, forgiveness and acceptance, but then they take all the
condemnation out of the old testament and add it into it, even though it
has nothing to do with it.
Forgiveness is definitely opens up so much spirituality
for yourself. If you forgive somebody that you really hate, you will
feel all of this lightness. It’s almost like taking acid in a way.
If you can really really get with it and really forgive somebody.
I forgive Courtney for ripping me totally off, for sending a 20 page fax
to Tom Zutaut before she got signed to Geffen Records saying, “you
should drop the Nymphs because my husband sold more records than
her and I want a record deal and dudududuh....” She finally got her
record deal and everything. We didn’t have to get dropped.
I quit! I went back to New Jersey. I went back to art school.
You know, that’s the way she plays. Whatever. Some people are insecure.
They are not into competition. They just have to take out their competition
or exterminate it. You just have to say I am higher evolved than
that and watch and shake your head and pity them and pray for them.
It doesn’t have to be Catholic praying. If you can actually embrace
your enemies and say, “You know what? You’ll learn and I hope you do and
I love you anyway. It’s not your fault. Maybe you were abused or
maybe something really fucked up happened to you.” I like to believe
in the good in people. A lot of people think it’s naive, but, truly,
like if you can accept that, it’s so transcendental...kind of getting back
to the record, you really feel like you are on drugs if you can forgive
people. You almost become religious; not religious, but more aware
of so many things. I don’t believe there are any coincidences.
Like sometimes, you’ll be talking about something. For example, I
used to spend a lot of money on art supplies. As early as five years
ago, after I spent all of that money, there would be this big box of erasers,
for a quarter by the cash register. I’d be like fuck it, I just spent
$500 and this is only 25 cents, so I can take this and I’d put one in my
pocket. My boyfriend would get really pissed off: “What are
you doing?” And I’d be, “Come on, I just spent $500; they’re not
going to care.” And he would say, “That’s fucked up. There
is somebody somewhere making those erasers and not making any money.
It’s very grandiose to say, this is okay...I can take this because I spent
$500. It’s rationalization. But if you actually start living life
like I don’t have that much money, so do you want this or do you want that.
Maybe you shouldn’t be spending $500 on art supplies. So what if
you love art that much. That’s an addiction too. Once I got
off the drugs, I had to stop being addicted to clothes and records and
all the things that I liked. And hair-dye...oh my god.
It’s funny, because good things happen to me because every time I lose
something that I really like, whether it’s a hat [because I love hats].
Even jewelry. As of last week, I lost...it broke...this silver earring
that had a bead on it. It broke off and I was like, shit, oh well.
I was just thinking about it and keeping it in my mind, like I will go
and return this. Even then I see myself scamming. I bought
this in New York, but it looks just like the one at Maya and I wonder if
I could go in there and say, “hey, this broke.” I see myself doing
it and I am like what am I thinking--that’s so assholish. And I let
it go for a day or two. Then yesterday I was walking down the road, and
like what kind of a coincidence is this. There is the same earring.
It can’t be the same, but it looks like it’s the same size and everything,
but it’s probably a little bigger or a little smaller. I brought
it home, because it had a little red bead that I slipped on it and I had
the bead, the silver thing just broke where it clips on and it was the
exact same size and I feel the universe gave it back. Something somewhere...I
don’t know if it’s Jeff, I don’t if it’s my father and I don’t know if
it’s the intelligence of the universe. I believe there is an intelligence
in everything. People might think it’s crazy. Trees and rocks and
grass. It’s not a conscious intelligence. It doesn’t think.
It doesn’t do two and two equals four. It’s a spiritual intelligence.
I don’t think that was a coincidence that that was there. A couple
of days went by and the spiritual intelligence of the universe thought,
“Well, you didn’t lie and bring it into the store and say I bought this
here.” It was just like a gift on the pavement and somebody lost
it and maybe that person that day that was wearing that earring didn’t
do something so great and then SHIT! you lose your earring. John
Lennon used to talk about instant karma and I truly believe it exists.
You do something really bad and then BOOM! If Courtney didn’t murder
Kurt Cobain, then the other alternative was she really did love him and
that was the only person she really did love. And what about all
the other bad things she did in her life? It’s no accident that something
like that would happen. Obviously she is not happy with her looks
because she keeps getting plastic surgery and that’s her karma that she
has to live with. Her daughter is beautiful. She looks just
like Kurt and she (Courtney) is going to have to learn to deal with that.
I feel sorry for the little girl. What happens when she gets to be
18 or 19. She is going to be so flawlessly beautiful, her mom’s going
to have a hard time dealing with that. These are all things we are
here to work out on earth and if you can work it out, when you move into
the next phase...the next...I don’t want to say life form, but I don’t
know what it is. It will be an easier path.
Most of this was pre interview. We spent
around 20 minutes just getting reacquainted. I decided to include
this just to provide a better understanding of who Inger is as a person
and as an artist. Next month begins talking about her new album,Transcendental
Here is more of the conversation I had with
Inger Lorre regarding her life and her new CD Transcendental Meditation.
The interview tended to get a bit conversational after about an hour and
a 15 minute chunk of it is missing, so the rest might seem a bit incomplete,
but still a good indication of how incredible a woman Inger Lorre really
exactly did the album title come from?
Paul named it, and he was like, "you know, it
just feels like that." Before I ever smoked pot, beer or anything...the
first thing I ever did was that I drank vodka at this party and I will
never forget it, I was eleven years old and I puked spaghetti and all these
warms coming up. It was awful. I just want to get to...everyone
thinks it's about the drugs because of the medication, but it's not.
The medication is the music. I remember I used to put on headphones
and listen to Patti Smith and I wished that she was my mom, because I never
had a good relationship with my mom at all. And I used to sit there
and listen to the things that she was saying and it was all coming from
a place of love and it was transcendental. I felt like I was leaping
through worlds and space and leaping through time. That's why I started
doing harder and harder drugs like heroine and stuff. To get to that
space where I felt so good. Where I didn't think about anything,
but the joy of listening to these tunes, these sounds in my head that were
so beautiful. This person singing to me at the time, whether it was
Patti Smith or Nick Cave or Neil Young or Iggy Pop that would almost bring
me to tears. I just wanted to reach that innocence again. It
was also a play on words, so you have Transcental Meditation, which is
when you sit there and try to think of absolutely nothing. You wipe
it all out of your head. You can try it. It's incredibly hard,
because you will sit there trying to think of nothing and you'll start
thinking, "oh shit! my friend is going to be here in fifteen minutes and
I only have ten minutes to do this," or "I have to do my laundry," or "It's
cold in here." All of these thoughts will pop into your head.
I totally think everyone should try it and see how long you can do it.
It's a really great exercise in control. You have to think about
absolutely nothing; you won't believe how hard it is. It's a really
great exercise in control and it is so freaking hard to do. Once
you start doing that, you are seriously tapping into magic. It's
not good magic magic or bad magic or black magic; it's life. It's
true reality. That is what's reality. We're so involved in
commericials and people stuffing thoughts in our heads, so that if you
can empty your head and seriously not think about anything...it's such
an unnatural state, Victor, that it's hard to even talk about, because
it's not what America is about: buying more, being more, better,
the cover of the promo the cover of the album?
Yes. It's a differnt logo because I found
some better letters. This guy named Mark Ryden did it. There's
a magazine called Juxtapose magazine. Get the one this month.
There is a lot of stuff by him in there. I wanted him to do a painting
just for us, but he charges like $30,000. I was a big fan of his
work and I just started naming off paintings just like they were record
titles: "What about 'Joe-Joe the Clown' and what about 'Patron Saint
of Clowns' and what about 'Saint Barbie'..." and he was like, "my my my,
you're really a fan of mine, aren't you?" I was like, "I have every
single little thing that you have ever did, " and he was like, "Let me
see if I can work something out." And what he did was, he went back
through ever illustration he ever did. This is how there are little
things working in the universe. This guy charges 30,000 bucks, but
when he saw that I was a fan, he sent sent me twenty pieces of art and
he told me to pick one out and he would only charge me for the licensing.
It saved XXX a shitload of money. There was no way they were going
to pay that much; they don't pay that much for any of their bands to record.
We got it for $900, I think. He let us use a piece and I think it
was so amazing because it was about music being made by a woman transcending
space and time. There are little molecules and little atoms.
It's weird. Nobody can believe that the cover wasn't painted with
the title in mind. The title came first and he sent us all of this
artwork...he even saw that it was so close. He was like, "Oh my god,
I have this one piece..." He does a lot of work for Sympathy for
the Record Industry. He does all those paintings of Long Gone John.
Oh, something I forgot to mention, it's called 'All Right This Time Just
the Girls' that will be out next month of Sympathy for the Record Industry.
We're on it, Hole's on it, L7 is on it....
It's weird to have a CD that has both you and
Courtney on it at the same time.
Can you believe it? [laughs]
You put out an Inger Lorre and Motel Shoots single
It's really cool. It has great art too.
It's me sitting in bed covered in blood with my underwear and a gun.
What about the Jack Kerouac release?
That's really interesting because they asked
me, because when they approached me they said they were doing this thing.
I love Kerouac, but I thought it was going to be corny people so I asked
who was doing it and they told me "William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Patti
Smith..." and I was like, "why the hell are you asking me?" I was
like, "All right, I'll do it. I might be able to bring a guitar player
who is very well known and very talented." And they asked me who
and I said, "I don't want to tell you unless I can get him." So,
I asked Jeff if he wanted to do it. You see, none of us got paid;
we just bought $150 donation. So, I asked him if he wanted to do
something for that cheap because he was on a major label and he was like,
"Kerouac rocks!" It was great.
Were those the only two things between Nymphs
and the solo album?
Over what span of time were the songs written
for the new album?
I guess I started writing them in 1994 at the
same time as that Inger Lorre thing came out on Sympathy single.
I was just writing them for myself and my friends had that band Motel Shootout
and I thought they were great. I went to go see them; they played
around the corner. And I asked them how long had they been together
and they said five years. It was the ex-bass player from the Nymphs.
He was in the band and he quit because he was 18 and we were all 24 and
it was a big difference because he never lived anywhere but home and we
were all on our own and really bratty and we were like: "Look kid,
wise up and get out. And if you are going to get out you are going
to be disappointed because we are going to get signed to Geffen soon."
And he was like, "yeah, sure you are." And then he came around and
he felt really bad because "you're album came out on Geffen just like you
said it would and everyone made fun of me because 'dude, you could have
been in the Nymphs.'" And I told him, "Don't worry about it, dude.
Your band is great." Because it really was great and it was his band
Motel Shootout. His name was Keith and he's in the band right now.
But some things never change, because when we got sober in the band, he
didn't. Paul, my drummer, his ex-girlfriend, Monica, who he broke
up with because she drank too much, she's a wild alcoholic...now Keith
is dating her. It's weirdness because now they share a girlfriend.
He's not getting any better. I don't know; it's sad. He's great.
He is wildly talented. Like when I told him we had this show at the
Bowery Ballroom, he was like, "I don't know. Maybe you should get
somebody else." It's unhappiness and lack of control. It's
really sad to see a lot of people repeat their mistakes. Other people
can see it, but you can't see it. I know I did it for years.
What gets really hard is when you know that you are making the same mistake
over and over, but still you can't stop. That's the kind of thing
that makes you want to hurt yourself and end it all. When you can't
control what you do. It's like watching your hand reach for a hammer
and hit yourself over the head and your other hand tries to stop it, but
you can't. It's humiliating, embarrassing...everything.
So, how did you break your cycle of stuff?
I was lucky enough that there was this really
cool place, it's called LICR and they are involved with this place
called "Road Recovery."
Does it ever feel weird knowing that you have
made it this far while so many people that you have known have died around
Totally. I wonder why everyone else gets
taken and I don't....
Tell me about your upcoming graphic novel.
Okay. It happened just from talking to
Henry because he has his own publishing company and he said that I needed
to write down these stories. A lot of it came just from everyone
asking me how did the band break up and where did you break up and what
made that happen and what happened with the pissing incident and the book
got very very long and I realized a picture is worth a 1000 words.
There is so much you can say with one picture without having to write it
down. Everyone said that is so huge: writing a biography and
illustrating it. It's what I am doing and it is just to answer questions.
Is that on 2.13.61 (Rollins' press) then?
It was going to be, but I think Henry might be
going out of busy because he is now really concentrating a lot on his acting.
It still pretty much could, but we'll see.
Are you putting together a collection of poetry
Yeah, it's a whole other book. It's from
the beginning of the Nymphs to now. It's not my early early stuff.
I have real early stuff from when I was nine years old, which actually
I can't believe that a kid could write it. I kind of get upset because
I wonder why my parents didn't send me to a special school or something
because it's good for a little kid. It's good for anybody.
I hated school. I just did not want to go. Now I understand
why; I was so bored. I wasn't learning anything. It was like
babysitting. I think it's terrible when parents just send kids who
are more intelligent or want to travel further in their learning into a
I continued talking to her about how impressed
I was that she had arrived with the place she had arrived on in life and
through all the hard bumps and deep scrapes, she had managed to come out
of it all with an incredible light and strength deeper than I had seen
in almost anyone at all. Look for her album. Triple X claims
that it will be coming out sometime in September. This album is one
of growth and you might just find something out about it yourself.