Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon Talks Her Split from Bandmate/Husband Thurston Moore and Her No-Holds-Barred Memoir

With her new book out this month, the longtime Sonic Youth frontwoman gets real about writing, sibling dynamics, and life after her biggest heartbreak.

Kim Gordon on Stage
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Why did you write Girl in a Band?
People were starting to ask. I think because of Patti Smith's book [Just Kids]. Writing is a way for me to think about things. I can't really even figure out what I'm thinking unless I start writing it.

You don't pull any punches with people from your past like Larry Gagosian and Courtney Love. Was it important to be forthcoming?
I didn't want it to be just a book about branding. I like to be sort of fearless about what I do. I wanted it to be emotionally revealing. There isn't really sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll in there. I felt like I should have included a disclaimer—like, sorry.

One subject is your tough relationship with your schizophrenic brother. Does that still affect you?
Definitely. In a way, 'cause I have such a shitty relationship with him, I maybe seek that sort of brotherly relationship with guys I know. Maybe that's even why I like playing music. 

In 2011 when you announced your separation from Thurston Moore, the Internet flocked to your corner. How did that feel?
I tried not to look at it too much. It was kind of weird to have such an outpouring, and to realize how much we were public figures. But people were very supportive. I thought that was great.

Why do you think strangers so mourned the end of your relationship?
It seemed like we were able to have a normal family and also do what we wanted. I guess you look for role models. There are a lot of celebrities who don't do anything. When you do something that people love, like playing music, I think it really touches their hearts.

This article appears in the March issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands now. 

You should also check out:

Rebel Yell: 25 Iconic 'Punk for a Day' Tracks

Lorde Performs at Nirvana's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction