I've found out how overwhelming the media is and the way it drills things into your head, it's almost like a mind control. If I could control prople's minds, I'd like to put something useful in.

-Natalie Merchant
Natalie Merchant

I feel we all have the obligation, myself. I want to live in a more humane, civilized society, and I feel like the only way we're going to achieve that is if we all take it upon ourselves. I just wish we could be a more caring society. I feel like we're social Darwinists who believe that everyone has to make it on their own. But the reality is that we all don't start out on the same footing.

Natalie Merchant
I've raised my daughter with no television.
Natalie Merchant

I have never relied on my sexuality and I don't really have an image at all. If you look at film footage of me 20 years ago, I don't look much different to the way I do now. I used to say that I would never wear anything on stage that I couldn't wear out to dinner with my grandmother. It just felt more respectable. I always assumed that being a musician was a vocation and that it was something I would do throughout my life and I wanted to do it with dignity. This current pop culture is full of perversity. I've been called the Emily Dickinson of pop and the thinking man's Madonna. You sort that one out.

Natalie Merchant
When I originally wrote "Jealousy," it was more like an exercise to try to write a girl-group kind of pop song. It was really contrary to most of the material I'd ever written. I didn't pay much attention to the song after I'd recorded it. I didn't really perform it at all the last 20 years. When it came time to make the new record, I decided to make peace with the song and have fun with it.
Natalie Merchant

I've never sold my publishing. I have 100% control of all of my publishing and that includes everything, every use of my songs.

Natalie Merchant
Be true to yourself, and, um, don't worry about some large companies' quarterly profit index.
Natalie Merchant

I think I don't invest so much time in thinking about people's sexuality. I just take people as individuals.

Natalie Merchant
I just want to be known as a good songwriter who wrote songs that were enduring. I hope my music gives people a glimpse of how empathetic we were and how desirous we were of a better society.
Natalie Merchant

They came back to me and said, 'No, you have it wrong. This is all about getting these kids together, putting them into antagonistic situations and getting them to compete over a record contract.' It was horrible and mean-spirited. I couldn't believe they would want me to be involved in something like that.

Natalie Merchant
Literature gives us a window into other people's experiences in other places, in other times, so I thought it would be really interesting to investigate how different people had written about motherhood, and childhood.