BACK IN HER COUNTRY music days, k.d. lang's tearstained twang won her numerous accolades—and comparisons to the great Patsy Cline—but not acceptance from Music Row. "I was there in Nashville, a lesbian, a vegetarian, a Canadian and trying to get in with this white, male, Christian society," says the 34-year-old lang. "They were like, 'What the hell are you doing here, girl?' " Now an established pop singer living in Vancouver, B.C., lang has just released a new album, All You Can Eat (Warner Bros.).
Your sound is hard to pinpoint. Why is that?
I've always been one for melding genres together, but I think that's because I'm really honestly interested in, and have been influenced by, such a broad spectrum of music that it can't help but come out that way. I couldn't see myself just doing something pure because to me that's in a way only regurgitating and recycling, and not evolving.
As a singer and as a contemporary artist, it's difficult because the actual sound of my voice is of a certain ilk. I kind of hear it as more of a '40s-style jazz singer, and yet my mind and my attitude are more alternative. But I can't sing alternative music—well, I could, but I wouldn't sound as interesting as Björk, for example. I've been really into Björk lately. Björk is God. Björk is the total undisputed God. So as a songwriter, I have to write interesting but classic-style songs. The voice is a dictator, and the voice demands a certain thing. I can't find it anywhere, so I have to write it myself.