Liz Phair on invention

“I’ve always bristled when they say I’m responsible for people’s sounds. I don’t like that. I don’t feel like I spawned people. I feel like I was a person who had a big role in a larger wave of people. I don’t feel like I did something that everyone copied. I feel like I was part of something at the time, even. I recognize that I was singled out, and I’m super-excited about all the young women that I can hear kind of speaking my language. But I just bristle that it’s my language.

I don’t feel like I invented anything. I feel like I was part of a whole movement of indie music, and some things hit better than others. It just happened to be that mine did. But I don’t like when people are like, “Did you hear so-and-so? She sounds exactly like you. You can totally tell that this artist wouldn’t be here if you didn’t exist” kind of thing. And there’s a compliment in there, which I can accept and be excited about. There’s also a sense of ownership that isn’t how I ever felt, or feel, that was sort of pasted onto me by writers and reviewers. Journalists kind of gave me that.

It’s not that I’m not taking credit; I just feel I’m part of a continuum. I have a lot of influence on that continuum. But I’m part of a continuum. I’m not being artificially humble, either. I definitely will take credit where I’ve felt it’s due.”

— Liz Phair (via)