Published Mar 14, 2013Bikini Kill/Le Tigre singer Kathleen Hanna isn't as active in the music scene as she once was, and it turns out that there's a medical explanation for riot grrrl icon's diminished output: she's suffering from Lyme disease.
This revelation came to light in The Punk Singer, Sini Anderson's new documentary about Hanna that premiered this week at SXSW. According to a report from Pitchfork, the film includes footage of a trip to the doctor and reveals that Hanna has late-stage Lyme disease.
"I lied when I said I was done," she says in the film. "I just didn't want to have to face the fact that I was really sick. I was told by my body that I had to stop."
She further explains, "I told the world that I chose to stop playing music. That felt better than facing the reality of not being able to do what I love more than anything in the world."
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by tick bites. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, symptoms of late-stage Lyme disease include abnormal muscle movement, weakness, numbness and speech problems. Compilations can include joint inflammation and heart rhythm problems plus possible brain and nervous system problems.
In recent years, Hanna has resurrected the Julie Ruin as a full band. Their previously rumoured album hasn't emerged, but they released a single late last year.