Interview with Wendy Ip • Musician

SM: When was the last time you felt like a stranger in a usually familiar city?

WI: Actually, the last time I visited my best friend in Canada – Calgary, Alberta, to be exact. I’ve lived in New York for so long that I was actually SUSPICIOUS of everyone’s friendliness, until I realized that that’s how I used to be – and still am to some extent, hehe. I am, after all, from Friendly Manitoba (that’s what it says on the license plates).

SM: When was the last time you paid attention to someone saying your name?

WI: I ALWAYS pay attention to people saying my name because 99% of people mispronounce it!! You’d think that it doesn’t get any simpler than a two letter last name, but think again! People always want to complicate the vowel sound or they think it’s initials of some sort and spell it out.
They say “Wendy I-p”, as in “eye-pee”. That always gets my goat! It’s come to the point where if people actually pronounce my name correctly, I think they must be a genius. If you scored higher than 1500 on the SATs, you probably know how to say my name.

SM: What is your first reaction to the sight of a forgotten newspaper in a restaurant?

WI: That it’s dirty and was used to wipe up some sort of bodily fluid, so I definitely shouldn’t touch it.

SM:Please recommend a remedy for boredom on long car-trips.

WI: Personally, I must play my personal MIX CDs of songs I fantasize about performing. I’ve never experienced boredom on long car-trips – I’m either engaged in conversation with my travel mates or fast asleep…or half asleep. Being half-asleep while I’m driving is especially exciting for everyone.

SM:In the middle of the interview, an anecdote is requested.

WI: Recently, I brought three friends with me backstage at a Pixies’ concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom (in New York). The “after-show” gathering took place in an unexpectedly awkward environment – a small room with supermarket-like bright lights, no music and an overpriced cash bar with “bartenders” just standing there staring blankly straight ahead (by the way, they charged Frank Black for his drink). Every interaction within that awkward atmosphere seemed equally as awkard and at a certain point, one of my friends said to me “I can’t remember the last time I was in a situation this awkward,” to which I responded “That’s exactly what I was thinking – this is so awkward.” We then noticed that a camera had been filming us and there was a microphone looming above our heads. So, the next time you see me might be in a Pixies documentary saying “Boy, this sure is awkward.”

SM: When was the last time someone could have accurately referred to you as “a traveller”?

WI: Someone COULD have referred to me as a “traveller” when I was in England last year. No one did, though. Is this a way of finding out when I was last out of town? I don’t even know anyone that would use that term…I would love for someone to refer to me as a TIME traveller…see answer to question further down.

SM: Please recommend a way for your friends to jog your memory should you come down with amnesia.

WI: They should play my own songs to me. Then, if I didn’t remember them, at least it would be fun to see if I thought they were as great as I do now knowing that I wrote them.

SM: If you found a door behind a bookshelf in your home, where do you suppose it would go?

WI: HELLO! I believe this an opportunity to talk about my ultimate fantasy, TIME TRAVEL!!! The door would lead to another year – a different one each time I went. And while I was away on that other side, time on the normal side would be frozen, just like in the Narnia chronicles. Oh how I loved that series! So back to the different years…it could be the past or the future…and I would be myself as I am now no matter what, so I would have the potential to run into myself at different ages. Ooh – I could confront my parents and change history! Hmmm…would I be allowed to change the course of history?…

SM: When was the last time you had to use your wits to get yourself out of an unpleasant situation?

WI: Well, I wish I had an interesting anecdote for you about how I used police negotiation skills to talk a robber out of mugging me, but unfortunately, all I have is the cold, hard reality of having just extricated myself from a highly complex relationship. I’m not sure if it was really about using wits as much as it was a lot of other things too…wow I need to stop as this question is making me get really serious…

SM: Please compose a brief poem or haiku on the subject of your choosing.

WI: Still on a serious note, I present to you a limerick, my favorite form of poetry. This may very well be the only serious one you’ve ever read:

The only thing you can control
Are the actions that are your own
If others don’t see
Why they should agree
There may be something they don’t know