“It hasn’t been easy to transition into being a mom with two kids, having a career,” Corin Tucker said in our recent interview. Sounds like a struggle that any mother with a job has, and – bless the mothers – they gotta have their outlet. Tucker’s creative outlet is her job. Tucker’s job is rock ‘n’ roll. 

Corin Tucker Band’s “Kill My Blues,” their sophomore set, is particularly cathartic, it seems. After their first release “1,000 Years,” “we really as a group had a lot of fun with the dance-ier and more rockin’ numbers… I thought about how my audience reacted to those songs, and the covers we were doing. I think that was one of the motivating forces, to make something that people move to, to have a groove going. We were able to really achieve that with adding Mike Clark,” the former Sleater-Kinney co-founder said of their added guitarist.
 
Clark, interestingly, was in Stephen Malkmus’ latest backing band the Jicks, a group Tucker’s former S-K bandmate Janet Weiss played in. Weiss now drums in Wild Flag with the other S-K co-founder Carrie Brownstein.
 
It’s only natural to keep up with what the trio is doing post-break-up, but for Tucker, it’s just part of her long history in independent rock music. Her first project, duo Heavens to Betsy, was among the punk-rooted trailblazers in the riot-grrrl movement in the early ‘90s: their one full-length dropped on Kill Rock Stars, the same label home to half of Sleater-Kinney’s output. The trio’s final album “The Woods” (which, today, remains so very excellent) went out via Sub Pop in 2005, but Tucker went back to KRS with her Band’s two albums.
 
“Kill Rock Stars has a willingness to really work with the artist, and to be flexible with what they’re doing… part of being an independent artists means having your hands in the business all the time, so they bring in a lot of ideas about it,” Tucker said. “I feel like there’s a team spirit going.”
 
That “team spirit,” in part, is fueled by the feminist ethos of the label, and of Tucker’s firmly feminist activism. She urges fans to listen closer to “Groundhog Day,” a high-energy opener that has more about the hustle of being a woman in these hot political times.
 
“It’s got this line, ‘What’s up...?’,” she explains, “It’s just kind of checking in. We do need to keep talking about these things. Women’s health care is still not where it should be, women’s health and reproductive rights should be a given, an indelible right. And it goes back to respect for women.”
 
I asked Tucker about what she thought of art and respect for women, particularly in lyrics in pop music. Her filmmaking husband Lance Bangs has produced and directed dozens of music videos in the past few years, including some for controversial hip-hop troupe Odd Future, who’ve gotten in trouble with feminist and LGBT groups for their brand of bravado. Bangs is an executive producer on their Adult Swim show “Loiter Squad.”
 
“Lance is working with that group a lot and…” Tucker said, choosing the right words, “…they have a lot going on. Let me put it that way. If anything, he thinks they’re really talented, even though some of their ideas are misguided. He’s actually spoken to them about it. And, yeah, dialogue is really important.
 
“I think that its so important to talk about these things, where we would be if women hadn’t been working for women’s rights… check out Pussy Riot, look at Russia. Women here can take their rights for granted. We can’t. We aren’t going to be handed anything.”
 
Tucker encourages her fans to vote. That’s at least one part of the diologue, she said. She exercises her own freedom in her rock ‘n’ roll job, one she’s thankful that her fans still support.
 
“I feel really lucky. My fans are incredibly loyal. They encourage me to keep going,” she said. “I feel more torn, trying to fulfill what my kids need. It’s really huge. They’re doing so well. But they get how important it is to me, and I’m glad they get to see that.“
 
Check out the music video for Corin Tucker Band’s “Neskowin,” directed by Alicia J. Rose, for the power of feminist witness. Tucker shows up three times: as a mom, as a hippie and as punk idol Poly Styrene.