The career of lesbian guitarist Kaki King is flourishing. She’s notched up a Golden Globe nomination for her work on the Into the Wild film soundtrack with Eddie Vedder and Michael Brook, collaborated with the Foo Fighters on the Grammy award-winning Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace, and recorded a duet with the band’s lead singer Dave Grohl.
King has had her fair share of compliments so far. Grohl’s approach to her, for example, to drop in on him any time in LA for a jam after he heard her play, is pretty huge. But King says it was just like hanging out with a friend.
Dave Grohl is possibly the nicest person I’ve ever met, she says over the line from New York. He’s like a fan, I guess. He would say funny stuff like, -˜We’re gonna be in a band together and we’re gonna be bigger than Guns N’ Roses!’ He’s a really eager, funny, hilarious guy.
Perhaps the most public compliment to King’s intricate, often frenzied guitar mastery is Rolling Stone magazine’s naming her the first ever female guitar god.
And has she used those divine powers for greater good?
No! Evil guitar player! But I’m gonna meet the right girl and she’s gonna make me good, you know what I mean?
Her lesbianism is not so much a touchy point, but one she considers distinct from her talent.
I’m not proud to be gay, but I am very proud to be honest. Being gay doesn’t actually make me special. I was born this way. But I worked really hard at being a guitar player, and that’s what makes me special.
Lesbians or gay men don’t ever come to my show just because I’m a lesbian, they come because they are total music freaks, she says.
Her latest (fourth) album, Dreaming of Revenge, was inspired by a quote from French painter Paul Gauguin: Life being what it is, we are all dreaming of revenge.
I was going through some intense emotions with a breakup and I was losing my apartment and all these steady things I had had in my life were crumbling around me so I felt at the time that a serious title was more appropriate, she says.
Kaki is playing the Oxford Art Factory on Thursday 1 May. Advance tickets $25 from www.moshtix.com.au or www.oxfordartfactory.com ($30 on the door). She is also supporting the Foo Fighters at Acer Arena on 2 and 3 May.