Amanda Palmer makes social media seem punk-rock. The former frontwoman of the Dresden Dolls, who now works solo, spends a lot of time talking to fans online. She funded her latest record, “Theatre is Evil,” via Kickstarter, becoming the first musician to raise more than a million dollars on the site. When we spoke to the punk cabaret performer, she was on a farm in upstate New York preparing for her tour (she hits the 9:30 Club on Wednesday). Specifically, she was on a swing, being pushed by her husband, author Neil Gaiman, which is like something a nerd would make the subject of a painting labeled ‘Paradise.’ ”
You and Neil are very into Twitter. Is it hard to keep your private life private?
The communication has to feel authentic and real, like it’s actually feeding something. I don’t engage with haters and critics; I don’t get involved in long, drawn-out political arguments with people.
But how do you keep from getting too sucked in?
You have to use the Internet as a tool of inspiration and connection and not just distraction.
Kickstarter began as a tool for people who couldn’t get funds any other way, but now you’re one of many established artists using it.
I got criticized for being too big to use Kickstarter, and I thought, “Hey, wait a second, that’s not fair.” A crowd is a crowd. An artist is an artist.
So there’s no difference between you and some unknown indie band trying to crowd-fund its album?
It shouldn’t matter if it’s the guy down the street who wants to build a papier-mache brontosaurus park on his front lawn for everyone to enjoy, or if Lady Gaga decides to crowd-fund her next record. Both are totally legitimate. It’s just a tool.
Ten years ago, people were whining about how nobody pays for music, yet the same people who stole CDs are now helping fund new ones.
9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW; Wed., 7 p.m., $25; 202-265-0930. (U Street)
People love helping artists. We just have to figure out what the system is. When I was a busker, the system was a hat at my feet and you put a dollar into it. With the Internet, we have to figure out something slightly more complicated. But if people love an artist or a song and it’s very easy for them to show their appreciation, they will do it.