Digital Dish Diva says: Tonight we are pleased to welcome the Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers.

Digital Dish Diva says: Emily, and Amy, welcome to MSN Live!

Indigo Girls say: We’re glad you’re here, now more than ever.

Meg_from_North_GA in Onstage1 asks: Hey Girls, how ya’ll doing tonight. Are you tired?

Indigo Girls say: (laughs) Yes! But thanks for thinking of us.

luisa_76 in Onstage3 asks: “Become You” (the album) reminds me of U2’s “All that you can’t leave behind” in that it’s more mature, and the songwriting style is more laid back. Do you all agree? Both are killer albums!

Amy Ray says: I’m flattered. I have heard that record about 3 times so I don’t know how to compare it.

Emily Saliers says: I haven’t heard that record, but to be compared to U2 is definitely flattering. Our music is mature. So thanks for picking up on that.

truthfulmuse in Onstage1 asks: Your ability to balance and combine your differing music styles is a major part of what makes your music unique. Do you think this will also cause you to do more individual exploration, musically speaking, such as Amy did with her album “Stag”?

Amy Ray says: Yes. I think that part of the thing that keeps us from stagnating and becoming resting on our past laurels because we go out and seek new people to play with and give that to the group, share with the group. It’s also for me becoming a better musician and that makes Indigo Girls better I think.

RevolutionarySpirit in Onstage3 asks: What new songs have the most personal meaning to each of you, and were any of them difficult emotionally to write?

Emily Saliers says: I always find songs difficult to write. They’re all emotional and during the writing process for me I go around feeling like an open wound trying to bring things to the surface. The songs that most come to mind for me personally are “Deconstruction” and “Our Deliverance.” We’ve been playing “Our Deliverance” live a lot and wanting peace and bringing everyone closer together. And without taking up the whole page to articulate it, that song is very poignant to me.

Amy Ray says: I think for me “Nuevas Senoritas.” It wasn’t that hard to write but was the most personal as far as stirring up images and emotions because I wrote it for a group of different indigenous women activists that have sacrificed so much. So when we play that song, we don’t play it that often, I think of it in the spirit of those women that died as mentors.

nola_luvs_nyc in Onstage1 asks: 9/11 obviously changed the world as we know it irrevocably. As fans, we know how committed you both are to sociological and ecological issues. How have those issues changed for you both post 9/11?

Emily Saliers says: I haven’t really changed my point of view. Just 9/11 brought issues closer to home. For me emotionally it was a stronger response to violence and a more impassioned prayer for peace and just a stronger belief that we all take part in what we all do in the world. Like the large dysfunctional communities and nations. So I feel stronger about working for peace.

Amy Ray says: I feel similar to that. I basically made any issues I was working on more important to me. Especially in the environmental sector, when you’re getting rid of nuclear bombs and trying to get people to consume less. So I think if you want to be patriotic right now you should drive less. I think Bush should have said that instead of flying a flag, buy a car with better gas mileage. I feel the same way Emily does about working toward a better world.

sophiedrx in Onstage3 asks: Is it very difficult to learn harmonica, Amy?

Amy Ray says: Well for me it is. (laughs) Although I have to say I have gone along faster than I thought I would. I literally just picked it up, learned the part and played it on stage the next day. I’m not a natural like some people are, so yes.

IRELAND7272 in Onstage1 asks: Emily, thanks for turning me onto Virginia Woolf. What’s a must read?

Emily Saliers says: “To The Lighthouse” and “The Collected Letters of Virginia Woolf.”

WorldFallsIG in Onstage1 asks: Thanks Amy and Emily for taking the time to chat with us. When will you have your summer tour dates up on your site? I need to make my vacation plans soon. I have to schedule a flight to Indiana to take my 5 year old niece to your show.

Amy Ray says: I don’t know. We already have a lot of dates planned for June and July, so I imagine pretty soon.

Emily Saliers says: We tend not to post them until the dates get closer, so as soon as we know them for sure, we’ll post them.

quaderrific in Onstage3 asks: Is the new album more electronic than acoustic, like the last one?

Amy Ray says: No, it’s more acoustic.

nappdragon in Onstage1 asks: To whom do you give the most credit for your accomplishments?

Emily Saliers says: For me personally I give all my credit to the creator. I feel that I’m a fortunate vessel for what happens in my life. So I have to answer that in a spiritual manner.

SusanBearGrumbly in Onstage1 asks: What’s your typical day like?

Amy Ray says: Well at home my typical day is just taking care of my animals, which I have 10. I’m usually working on my independent record label. I spend a lot of time hiking. On the road a typical day is we get up, have some time to ourselves, then interviews, then do a show, then get on a tour bus and go to the next town.

Digital Dish Diva says: Such a glamorous life, isn’t it?

Indigo Girls say: (laughs)

Neptune_Led in Onstage3 asks: Will you ever put “Philosophy of Loss” on a CD as its own track? GREAT song!

Emily Saliers says: No. I think that was the time for it. Sometimes different groups that are putting out benefit CDs request a song for us, and I could see doing that, but not releasing it on another Indigo Girls record.

AllieMouse in Onstage1 asks: Are there any songs that you don’t play anymore? Why?

Amy Ray says: There’s tons. There’s so many.

Emily Saliers says: Because they’re bad songs. (laughs)

Amy Ray says: There are songs that we have a sentimental relationship with, but the music doesn’t stand up so it’s hard to play. It’s kind of like someone reading your old journal. So there’s a lot. Too many to list.

ChildOf63 in Onstage1 asks: Thanks for being on here tonight. For women musicians trying to do it indie style, what are your best words of advice to put yourself out there? Thanks.

Emily Saliers says: We’ve always said just play as much as you can. Even if it means getting together with friends and playing in a small community. It’s not as difficult today to make your own CD and circulate it. I think just networking with friends and supporting other musicians. Just play every opportunity you can and pass out your CDs.

RedheadWriter in Onstage1 asks: When you write a song, do the lyrics and music happen together? And what instrument do you use to write melody? Guitar/keyboards?

Amy Ray says: For me, depending on the song sometimes lyrics and music come together sometimes they come separately. I use my voice for the lyrics and melody. I don’t pluck them out. I write music on the guitar.

Emily Saliers says: Same for me.

GoBingCrew in Onstage3 asks: Are you hesitant to reveal a lot of your personal life in songs?

Amy Ray says: Our songs are personal. So we do. We would be hesitant to interpret them for people because it’s from our personal life and I think it ruins it to know exactly what it’s about and not be able to get your own meaning for it.

DeepSong in Onstage1 asks: So many of your songs have religious allusions and overtones. Are either of you associated with a particular religious community?

Amy Ray says: I am part of a community that gathers but we don’t have a specific doctrine. It’s very special to me to come together and acknowledge concerns of the community and it’s a good part of my life. Text references are so powerful and inspiring are quite easy to draw from when you’re writing songs because they also represent the allegorical and metaphorical and can take it to the next level. Sometimes, not all times.

IndigoSong1 in Onstage3 asks: Emily, your vocals have always been great, but your voice seems amazingly strong, an example being Deconstruction. Is it just a matter of practice, lessons, or can you compare it to a guitar that gets better the more it is used?

Emily Saliers says: I don’t know because I haven’t really liked my voice. I just feel more comfortable saying what I have to say for myself. So I’m just a little more relaxed with my opinions, although I still search, basic human things like that. I feel more connected to the things I’m saying emotionally.

luisa_76 in Onstage3 asks: Amy where did you get those pointy new boots! They’re pretty cool.

Emily Saliers says: I got them in New York somewhere. I can’t remember the name of the store. I really do love those boots. They’re just kind of like short Italian cowboy boots. They are really cool. I rarely wear new shoes so I celebrate when that happens.

nleisure01 in Onstage1 asks: How much of the new album can we expect at tomorrow’s show?

Amy Ray says: You’ll hear the whole thing. They will play it over the loud speaker. When we play we’ll play about 5 songs and some older songs too.

elliotketchumfinn in Onstage3 asks: What books have you been reading or albums have you been listening to while on the road?

Emily Saliers says: I just finished reading “The Corrections” and “The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Clay.”

Amy Ray says: I just finished a book called “Boy Genius” which is an amazing book. I read a book about Jack Cole. I think it’s called “Jack Cole.” It’s a graphic novel about the work he did on “Plastic Man” which ties into “The Amazing Adventure of Cavalier and Clay.” He was a comic book writer and inspired that book.

bluemoon593 in Onstage3 asks: I was wondering if you could say a little bit more about your new record. Did you feel like you were returning to your roots, or are you still blazing trails?

Amy Ray says: Well I hope we’re doing both. I hope we return to our roots to get any good stuff we may have been missing out on. I mean by that ways of producing harmonies and guitar interplay.

Emily Saliers says: As far as blazing trails I hope our song writing has grown so it’s blazing trails. The way we approached the record, we use one sort of band, like a cohesive unit rather than bringing in a bunch of different people. We had the same people play with us for the whole record, and that’s something we haven’t done and that gives this record a completely different character than our other records.

Laughing_Wolf32 in Onstage1 asks: Emily, I have to ask what “Andy” is all about? My friends and I are debating this to no end. Thank you both for your music and time.

Emily Saliers says: It’s about a farm boy. It’s a love story about a girl in love with a farm boy who is in love with another girl. He tries to fill up his day. In the meantime this girl watching him knowing she’s second, trying to fill up her time as well.

SQTurtle in Onstage3 asks: For Amy, do you believe the universe is guided or random?

Amy Ray says: I believe it’s guided by randomness. So I believe it’s guided but I believe it’s random and I think we have influence over it. There’s something greater than us that has created something or a pattern of randomness of some type.

meobrien in Onstage3 asks: How have you two managed to stay a working and compatible duo all this time?

Emily Saliers says: We’re kind of like sisters, we’re old friends. We have plenty of space from each other, and when we come together we each bring something different to the group.

Amy Ray says: And we keep it fresh, we make the records we want to make. We change the set list every night. We don’t play songs when we don’t want to play them. We sort of come to a meeting of the minds on what the Indigo Girls will do. I think the key to us staying together is respect and our differences.

Emily Saliers says: Being steadfast.

devi5678 in Onstage1 asks: Just getting my request in early. Will you please play “Philosophy of Loss” tomorrow night? That song and “Blood and Fire” are two songs that have really helped me through some hard times.

Digital Dish Diva says: Clever of you to come to this chat and get your request in early!

Amy Ray says: We won’t play “Blood and Fire” because that’s one of the songs we don’t play anymore.

Emily Saliers says: We sort of get there and decide, so if we want to honor that request we will.

edward_892 in Onstage3 asks: After 15 years what was the best festival you played at?

Amy Ray says: I’d have to say Bumpershoot in Seattle and Newport Folk Festival.

BarbfromNJ in Onstage1 asks: We love “Romeo and Juliet.” Do you ever play that live?

Amy Ray says: Yeah, every now and then. Just not as much as I used to.

lynnae81 in Onstage3 asks: Do you have a favorite venue to play in? (Be honest)

Amy Ray says: Be honest (laughs) For me I have two favorite venues The Bowry Ballroom in NYC and The Chicago Metro.

Emily Saliers says: Mine is The Greek Theatre in Berkley.

Emily Saliers says: That’s a good question.

Tomboy1165 in Onstage3 asks: Is the dynamic of a show where you’re on electric guitars different to the dynamic of an acoustic show, in terms of audience engagement?

Amy Ray says: I think it has to do with the size of the audience. I think when there’s 5,000 seat venue you can engage the audience, but it probably feels more engaged in a club, when you play electric in the club it’s crazy. When you are playing a large venue it’s more engaging playing acoustic. Don’t you think Emily?

Emily Saliers says: Yeah.

indigopins in Onstage3 asks: I once talked to you, Amy, and I stumbled over telling you are wonderful. Do you think it’s amusing when people get so nervous talking to you guys?

Amy Ray says: It’s not as amusing to me as much as I just want people to realize that we’re both human. I think that nervousness, I’ve felt that before talking to people I admire and it’s hard to get past that to relating. So I can imagine how nervous that person is talking to me, so it doesn’t make me laugh, it brings out the caretaker in me, I’m like, “It’s ok, it’s ok.”

bankchic1 in Onstage1 asks: I just wanted to thank you for some of the most beautiful music. I really love it. Please keep it up.

fig740 in Onstage1 asks: Amy, your song for your grandmother was so poignant. How are you doing now that she’s gone?

Amy Ray says: I’m fine. My grandmother died about 2 years ago. I’m fine. When I sing that song, I think about her and sometimes I don’t sing that song because I don’t want to be sad. We had a great time together and I feel good about that. Some people don’t have that time and I look at it that way.

lowman1979 in Onstage2 asks: I had the chance to see your performance with the Atlanta Ballet and it was wonderful. Are you planning on doing anything like that again?

Emily Saliers says: Yeah, we’re talking about doing that again with the ballet.

Chance0631 in Onstage3 asks: Emily or Amy, do you have a favorite quote or a specific philosophy by which you try to live?

Emily Saliers says: I don’t have a quote, but I try to live by The Golden Rule.

Amy Ray says: I’ll go for The Golden Rule myself.

DaringPlanet in Onstage1 asks: I have recently discovered blue grass and the music of Flatt and Scruggs. Would you consider bluegrass an influence on your music?

Amy Ray says: Yeah, the influence of Blue Grass is the more Appalachians Blue Grass but more in the school or roots like field recordings. Like someone singing in their kitchen, caught on tape.

Emily Saliers says: I wouldn’t say Blue Grass has influenced my music, but I love Blue Grass, different kinds.

GorillaGorilla2 in Onstage3 asks: I am a fifth grade teacher and I’d love to know what words of wisdom you would give to fifth graders on what it takes to be successful in this wild world of ours. Thanks!

Amy Ray says: Knowledge is power. So learn as much as you can from whomever you can learn from. Not just in school, but everywhere, on the street, in nature.

Digital Dish Diva says: Amy, Emily, thank you for being our guests tonight on MSN Live. Best of luck with your new release “Become You.”

Digital Dish Diva says: From all of your fans here on MSN Live, thanks for being here!

Indigo Girls says: We appreciate our audience so much and we especially understand that more as we go back out on the road seeing people in the audience singing songs. It’s very inspirational for us. Thank you for being patient with the chat. We’re sorry we couldn’t get to everyone’s questions.

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