Hot Licks: Kaia Wilson Grows Up

Kaia Wilson

The queercore legend Kaia Wilson on her latest album, and the possibility of a Team Dresch reunion.

Oregon native, singer-songwriter and queercore icon Kaia Wilson has been at the forefront of queer music since the early ’90s.

She wrote her first song at 9, “You Make Me Cry That Special Way,” followed by “Julie of the Wolves” at 10, confessing her love for a fictional character from a children’s novel, but it was her involvement in Team Dresch, followed by The Butchies that brought little lezzies to their knees. Creating music for over 20 years, Wilson released her fifth solo record, Two Adult Women In Love.

You’ve said that Two Adult Women In Love is your most mature album and that you’ve matured too. How so?

I wrote a lyric in one of those songs, which it says, “Who are the ones you marry when you decide to care for?” I think what I’ve matured in the most is my ability to care. The things that you really care about, you have a certain responsibility to them. You need to be giving. That’s what I’m thinking of, my ability to be more present and giving, and more receiving too.

The environment is a big theme in your album, is that an important cause for you?

I’m a fucking hippy. I’m a total nature punk hippy guy. I’m very fascinated with science, and I can get tripped out and all existential on where we come from. If I wasn’t a musician, I’d be a marine biologist. I’d be studying sea turtles and living on an island.

The Butchies backed Amy Ray’s band on tour recently. How was it playing with your band again?

That was great! Alison hasn’t toured with us in a long time. Having Al back on board was just so fun. The whole tour was just awesome. Amy is the best. She’s a person who is so full of integrity about everything in her life, and she just lives her life really aligned with her moral code and her politics. I’m such a fan of hers, and am lucky to be a friend and a musical comrade to her.

What’s next for you musically?

I’m always writing. I have new songs already. I’m not sure what my next thing will be, and it might be something with a band. I might be able to convince my old band, the Team Dresch people to do it cause we’re all here in Portland again. That would be awesome. And why not? It will have some elements of sounding similar of how we did in the ’90s, but it will obviously be very different because we’re now old. We’re all adult women now.