Indigo Girls had a purpose in tapping Peter Collins, who produced 1992’s “Rites of Passage” and 1994’s “Swamp Ophelia,” to work with them on their new album, “Beauty Queen Sister.”
“He did some of our formative records, so it was really great to be back in the studio with him,” says Emily Saliers, who’s been playing music with Amy Ray since 1985, with 13 studio albums to their credit.
“He’s got a great ear for placing things. There’s nothing superfluous going on, nothing stacked up just for the sake of it.
“Back in the day we used to insist on stacking things up, when we had time to kill and huge budgets to work with. Now we like the discipline of having everything in its proper space, sonically. We made the album in about two and a half weeks. Decisions were made without a lot of belaboring. That translates to an immediacy that I find appealing.”
Saliers, 48, says that despite the group’s long life, she and Ray “keep driving to do something that doesn’t repeat ourselves.” And where that once caused a bit of hand-wringing, the Georgia duo is in a more confident place these days.
“I think we have faith we’ve reached a point in writing where we can write good songs our fans will appreciate and enjoy, and that we feel good about,” Saliers says. “I like the more mature songs better because I don’t write many songs anymore where 10 years down the line I go, ‘Man, I wish I had changed that line.’
“There’s always a bit of insecurity when you’re writing; I like to play mine for my girlfriend and family and friends and get a response even before I play them to Amy sometimes. But we do have faith in our abilities as writers.”
Indigo Girls and Zoe Lewis perform Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25-$40. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.
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