Janet Weiss Breaks Silence About Sleater-Kinney Departure: "The Rules Changed Within the Band"
The former drummer claims she left the group because she was no longer viewed as "a creative equal"
Published Nov 20, 2019At long last, former Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss has opened up about her sudden departure from the band, explaining — rather bluntly — "the rules changed within the band" and that she was no longer viewed as a "creative equal."
As Rolling Stone reports, Weiss made her voice heard during a new episode of The Trap Set with Joe Wong podcast, with the talk marking her first proper interview since leaving Sleater-Kinney ahead of this year's The Center Won't Hold.
"The rules changed within the band, and they told me the rules changed," Weiss said of her former bandmates Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker. "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."
As previously reported, Weiss announced her departure from the band in July just ahead of the release of the The Center Won't Hold. And while that came to a shock to many fans, the drummer explained that Sleater-Kinney had been in counselling in efforts to work through a variety of internal problems.
"I thought about it a lot. I mean, I will never play with two people like that again," Weiss told the podcast. "They are totally unique, incredible, intuitive players. It's a lot to walk away from. It's my sisters, my family. But I couldn't be in that band and have it not be equal, especially with what it represents to me. It represents equality… How can we be fighting for equality and not have it in our band; it just became a disconnect."
While Weiss did record drums on The Center Won't Hold — an album largely met by lukewarm reactions from many longtime fans — she did not tour behind the record.
"The new record was made sort of without me and it would have been challenging to get up there on stage and deliver those songs like they were mine, when they weren't mine at all," she explained. "It just got real lonely for me.
You can listen to the entire interview here.
As previously reported, Weiss opted to return to her other band Quasi for a North American tour, which was unfortunately derailed after she was injured in a car crash.
Her former bandmates also previously addressed the drummer's departure, with Brownstein stating: "What am I supposed to say? She left. We asked her to stay. We tried. It's hard and sad."
Sleater-Kinney have since recruited drummer Angie Boylan as part of their live lineup.