How did you attract such an impressive list of collaborators?
Jon Brion was the first person I approached. I started going to his show at Largo, which is a club in L.A., in the early ’90s. I’ve known Grant for just as long. And a couple of people I approached, like Andrew Bird. I’m a huge fan.
He’s on the murder ballad ”I’m Sorry.” What’s the story behind that?
It’s actually horrible. I was on a show called All-American Girl in 1994. I was in love with one of the writers, and he did not like me back. But that didn’t stop me from being in love with him all this time. I Googled him, and in 2007 he bludgeoned his wife to death and stuffed her in the attic for a month. I was really upset about this woman who was killed, but also upset that I had loved this person for 16 years. Sometimes the only way through really dark situations is through dark humor. That’s what that song is.
On ”Enemies” you sing, ”You can’t break up with me/I’m Margaret f—ing Cho!” Have you used that line for real?
Somebody said it to me. I was really upset; somebody I was really fond of forgot my birthday. I told a friend about it, and he was like, ”He can’t do that to you, you’re Margaret f—ing Cho!” And I thought, ”That’s right!” So I put that in a song.