By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Phair's come to terms with the fact that she may never produce another work that has the critics-poll significance of Exile - and gets her on the covers of Rolling Stone, the Village Voice and the L.A. Weekly. At the time, critics pegged her the poster child for the '90s Angry Young Woman and godmother to later female non-niceties like Jagged Little Pill.
"The hardest thing for my career was all this attention about this stuff that I didn't mean to do," she says of her quick status as icon. "I always kind of buckled under that sense that I represented something, and that I was voted to be Alternative Girl. I just made a record because I was pissed off at a bunch of guys, and it turned into this whole political campaign.
"Exile was just a one-shot. I was so angry, and in this perfect frame of mind, and hungry and starving, right out of college - though very well-trained from private schools. It was a coalescing of all these things that gave me a kind of brilliant mark." And that particular convergence is unlikely to happen again - to Phair's deep relief (not that she didn't work it to her advantage).
"When you're younger, there's this bombastic sense about things," she says, explaining the wane of her personal dramas. "I don't know if you want to call it a serenity, but there's kind of an equanimity about life that takes hold of you. And you're kind of like: Okay, this is the deal, I understand the old people now, and I understand the young people now. And I see that life is complicated. It's not just something you can push around and bend at your will."