My Secret Life: KD Lang

Singer-songwriter, 47

Interview,Charlotte Philby
Saturday 25 July 2009 00:00 BST

The home I grew up in ... was a typical prairie house, which is a square box with an upstairs, a downstairs and a furnace, on the corner of the town we lived in.

My parents were ... My mother is a typical Canadian prairie woman with a very liberal, open and hungry mind. My father – who has now passed away – was probably a bit gay, and a great singer.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... other than a musician, an Olympic volleyball player and a cinematographer.

The first time I got drunk ... there was this tradition in the prairies where you'd get on your snowmobiles and go out into the middle of a field and we would start a bonfire and drink hot choc with spirits in it.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I don't think I would.

I drive ... a Prius and I ride a 1967 Triumph around Los Angeles. I like to ride around the city for the hell of it.

At night I dream of ... I'm happy to say that my dreams are kind of boring.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... A friend, I guess.

My favourite building ... I like obscure abandoned buildings. I end up fantasising about restoring them in some way.

My favourite work of art ... I'm an expressionist freak, I like people like Franz Kline and big art movements like that of the 1950s in San Francisco.

A book that changed me ... The one that had the most impact was by Pema Chodron. I read it at a point in my life when I was going through a rough time and had come to the conclusion that I should start some sort of Buddhist practice. Reading this book aligned my desires and innate philosophies.

Movie heaven ... is 'Harold and Maude'. Every month my best friend and I get together to watch it again.

The last album I bought/downloaded ... is one of the greatest hits collections from Sly and the Family Stone. It's an essential album to have.

My favourite item of clothing ... is a Japanese flannel shirt, which is blue and which I bought in New York.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... housework.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... academia.

My house ... is a Japanese-style cabin. The natural surroundings and the structure of the house lent itself to the style. And I tend to lean towards minimalism so it all just worked.

My secret crush ... I can't tell you that.

My real-life villains ... are my own desires.

The person who really makes me laugh ... is Will Ferrell. His humour is so retarded, which is very funny to me.

The last time I cried ... was just the other day. I had a good long cry while working on a new song. For some reason as I was trying to come up with the lyrics, it hit. I didn't find the right words in the end, the melody just took me.

My greatest regret ... is that it took me so long to be really present and appreciative. I didn't get to that point until my late thirties, early forties.

My five-year plan ... is to write and record a brilliant record and then to tour it. I'm moving into a new cycle.

What's the point? The point is to recognise the inseparability between you and everything else.

My life in six words ... perfectly balanced between heaven and hell.

A life in brief

A Grammy award-winning musician, KD Lang was born in Edmonton, Alberta, on 2 November 1961. She started her career as a backing singer for Roy Orbison and went on to have a string of hits including "Constant Craving". She now lives in Los Angeles with her partner Jamie. Her new DVD, KD Lang Live in London with the BBC Concert Orchestra, is released on Monday

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