Jill Sobule Finally Lets Her “Katy Perry Sucks” Flag Fly

When Katy Perry’s Girls Gone Semi-Wild For The Sake Of Riling Up Any Men Around song “I Kissed A Girl” first made inroads into the pop consciousness, singer/songwriter Jill Sobule—who’d made a few alt-rock waves with an identically titled, yet 10% as annoying track 13 years earlier—was semi-diplomatic. “Katy Perry’s song is a kind of catchy party song,” Sobule told Entertainment Weekly, “although I will admit that I do smile when a critique mentions my version in a more favorable light. Is that wrong?” Well, a lot can happen over 14-ish months, and such was the case with Sobule, who in an interview with the online mag The Rumpus dropped any sense of diplomacy and went straight to name-calling. Also swearing!

The other thing people inevitably ask about is “I Kissed a Girl.”

For those that don’t know or are very young, I had a song in 1995 called, “I Kissed a Girl.” When Katy Perry’s version came out I started getting tons of inquiries about what I thought. Some folks (and protective friends) were angry, and wondered why she took my title and made it into this kind of ”girls gone wild” thing. Others, including my mother, were excited because they thought I would somehow make some money out of it. Unfortunately you can’t copyright a title… bummer.

As a musician I have always refrained from criticizing another artist. I was, “well, good for her.” It did bug me a little bit, however, when she said she came up with the idea for the title in a dream. In truth, she wrote it with a team of professional writers and was signed by the very same guy that signed me in 1995. I have not mentioned that in interviews as I don’t want to sound bitter or petty… cause, that’s not me.

Okay, maybe, if I really think about it, there were a few jealous and pissed off moments. So here goes, for the first time in an interview: Fuck you Katy Perry, you fucking stupid, maybe “not good for the gays,” title thieving, haven’t heard much else, so not quite sure if you’re talented, fucking little slut.

God that felt good.

OK then! I’m not really sure what throwing the whole “slut” thing in there does for the discourse, but I bet it felt good for Jill regardless.

The Rumpus Interview With Jill Sobule [The Rumpus via The Daily Swarm]

  • Evie

    At her record release show in April, she closed with the song and was like “can I take this song back please?” That was really all she said about it, but everyone was all YES and she gave a damn awesome performance.

  • http://therockabyereview.wordpress.com Rockabye

    The return of Clara Peller Dept. could not have been more apt. Thank you, Jill Sobule.

  • Bruno the Fishing Dog

    Katy Perry’s got something Jill Sobule never had – follow-up singles. Matter of fact, when all is said and done Katy Perry’s going to be known for more than the one song. Jill Sobule – barring one of those universe-collapsing oddities of chart success – will always be a “one hit wonder.” Glad she got the bitterness out of her system – she’s got no one to blame but herself. I’m not really a fan of either of them, but this sounds like a bitter, washed-up former industry whore berating another, possibly future bitter, washed-up former industry whore for being all those things I just said. Icky. At least Katy Perry seems self-aware (which, for all its irony, wasn’t something a lot of rock stars had going on in the 90s).

  • http://imaginarychrisb.tumblr.com ChrisB.

    I dunno. I’m not the biggest Katy Perry fan (although I have to defend her more often because I have to defend pop against my rockist friends and she’s their chosen strawman) but this seems unusually petty and the “fucking little slut” bit is hardly necessary.

    The only similarity between the two “I Kissed a Girl”s are the title and pop is full of songs who have a title in common and nothing else. I’m sure that Jill Sobule is tired of being asked the same question about it over and over again but it’s hardly Katy Perry’s fault that Jill Sobule doesn’t have a second song people care about.

  • jonian2008

    The truth is Perry got tons of press on that song just because of the title. She wouldn’t have made such a huge splash if any of her other singles would have been first. Jill Sobule is more of a singer/songwriter like Aimee Mann. She doen’t need Perez to push her assembly line pop turds.

  • http://twitter.com/joshacagan joshservo

    Wowee! Lots of acrimony towards Sobule for not having a big follow-up single. I’ll be interested to see if Perry can swing a 20 year career.

  • nancy sin

    Sobule had another single! Doesn’t anyone remember the anthemic Supermodel (as featured on the Clueless soundtrack).


    Anyway, the slut line was out of bounds but I’m pretty sure Sobule was being flip, considering how diplomatic she’s been up til this point. Throwing around the s-bomb doesn’t sound consistent with her character.

  • http://imaginarychrisb.tumblr.com ChrisB.

    @jonian2008: I could be mistaken about this but I think “Ur So Gay” was a single before several months before “I Kissed a Girl”.

  • amyk

    Jill has had a career for 20 years. She’s written for TV, movies and got to be a lead guitarist in Lloyd Cole’s band. Not to mention SHE WRITES HER OWN SONGS.

    It does suck that she has to fund her own albums, but she has a fanbase that will contribute to it. I doubt Katy Perry is going to have that kind of support 20 years from now.

    BTW – at her live shows she always seems to be calling someone a slut. It’s her thing. Usually it’s Kathy Lee Gifford or Sarah Palin. I like adding Katy to that list.

  • Bruno the Fishing Dog

    No acrimony. I just don’t understand – it’s absolutely true that Jill Sobule has a career and a life outside of her most well-known song. So what (besides the constant pestering of journalists) inspired her to be so angry about it? Maybe who she’s really jealous of is Linda Perry?

  • cheesebubble

    Perhaps Sobule is rallying against crappy songs, weak talent, insincerity, and the almighty music industry machine – things that Perry seems to represent.

  • http://idolator.com/ Maura

    @cheesebubble: but katy perry hates autotune! doesn’t that count for anything?

  • Poubelle

    @nancy sin: I remember that song! Because it is AWESOME! I didn’t eat yesterday, I’m not gonna eat today, I’m not gonna eat tomorrow, ’cause I’m gonna be a supermodel!

    It’s not like Clueless is an obscure little movie, either.

    @Bruno the Fishing Dog: If she had self-awareness, she wouldn’t be so anti-autotune. Or have said bullshit like this. Also she wouldn’t have that “I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it” line, because, seriously, you think he might not like it? Really? Also, way to tell us you have boyfriend even though you kissed (gasp) one girl.

  • Bruno the Fishing Dog

    thank god someone is rallying against all those things! and thank god it’s Jill Sobule!

    @Poubelle: it’s a really dumb song and they grilled her about it, as well they should. i thought, considering that it’s just a dumb song and not an actual piece of legislation barring same-sex couples from marrying, she did all right defending the indefensible.

    if you need a complete stranger to irrationally hate, Katy Perry will do you nicely. all i’m saying is, i remember reading interviews with her and even seeing her perform as Katy Hudson the christian teen pop star and for someone who had been shoehorned into that role so early in life, she’s more well-adjusted than most people would be.

  • cheesebubble

    @Maura: Okay, 0.25% credit to Perry for hating auto-tune. But the remainder of that point goes to Sobule.

  • Lucas Jensen

    @cheesebubble: I think Maura was being facetious. Katy Perry hating autotune is like Katy Perry hating Katy Perry. That stuff is autotuned to hell and back!

  • Joe Fish

    I’m sorry, but Katy’s success is undeserved. She is rude to her fans, and does not deserve to be where she is. I bet if fans were to stop buying her CDS and downloads, stop going to her shows, and buying her merchandise, Katy would end up on either a lousy reality show, or on Dancing with the Stars.

    Jill Sobule is kind of annoying, but I’ll take her any day over Miss Perry.