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Throwing Muses’ Kristin Hersh: ‘I knew integrity would pull me into the gutter’

With their 10th album inspired by a near-death ordeal, the alt-rock heroes discuss seeing their peers sell out as they stayed defiantly on the fringes

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With their 10th album inspired by a near-death ordeal, the alt-rock heroes discuss seeing their peers sell out as they stayed defiantly on the fringes

In 2013, after Kristin Hersh’s 25-year marriage came to an end, she was left broke and without health insurance. The songs she wrote in the aftermath were “about drowning in one way or another”, she says. She means this literally and metaphorically.

Hersh was relaxing by the water in California and – because she was on the prescribed tranquiliser Klonopin – nodded off. The tide came in and she awoke in the water. “I’m a triathlete so I’m a very strong swimmer but this surf just wasn’t moving toward the shore,” she recalls. “I was swimming as hard as I could but the shore wouldn’t get any closer and I started to black out.”

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