by Neil Miller, Jr.
If you would've told the 17 year old me back in 2001 that not only would Babes in Toyland reunite, but that I would also get to talk to Lori Barbero, the charismatic woman who creates the backbone of the thunderous Babes sound...I would've called your bluff. Thankfully, the stars have aligned and Babes are a touring entity once again and even better, they're playing this year's Riot Fest right here in Chicago. That's right, if you missed the boat the first time around, you have a chance to witness the almighty Babes onstage and if the live videos circulating around the web are any indication, they sound better than ever. I spoke with Lori Barbero via e-mail about the seminal rock band's return to the stage and their plans beyond this year's tour dates and here's what she had to say...
UR Chicago Online: Like many fans, I never thought seeing Babes in Toyland after 2001 would ever be a possibility. How does it feel to be sitting the behind the kit again, playing these songs for festival crowds that have never heard Babes before? How has the response been so far?
Lori: I never thought anyone would see Babes in Toyland after 2001 either. Things work out in crazy ways. I didn’t realize how much I missed playing drums and playing music until I started doing it again. My life is fulfilled again. The response has been outstanding, overwhelming, and humbling. We are so very happy and gracious.
UR: What’s your favorite song(s) to perform live since you’ve been back together and why?
Lori: I can't tell you what my favorite song is at the moment. I just love playing all of them so much that I just smile through the whole set. They all mean so much to me, each in different ways.
UR: The question on everyone’s mind is now that Babes are back together in full on touring mode, could this lead to a new record or new material at the least?
Lori: We probably will be writing new music after the new year. We’ve spent so much time learning all the songs and rehearsing, then traveling, that there hasn't been time to sit in the studio for a length of time and write. I think that may be possible in the near future, but we don't have anything set. We just kind of go day by day.
UR: After this year of tour dates, what are your plans both individually and as a band?
Lori: Music is definitely my life. And Babes in Toyland is a huge part of it also. I believe Kat is on the same page as I am. So, I think we're just going to try and play as much as possible. Hopefully something really fun will be thrown our way, a new project that will be a challenge or something exciting.
UR: Babes in Toyland will be performing at Riot Fest next month as well as a newly announced aftershow here in Chicago - what are you most looking forward to about Riot Fest and what can we expect from the Cobra Lounge aftershow?
Lori: Well I was at Riot Fest once to see The Replacements. It had been raining all weekend, so it was really a mud show. Still, it was really exciting and fun. I really love festivals myself, they’re exciting and you get to meet new people. We get to see so many friends that are also performing, and ones that are attending too.
It'll be the second time that we're playing two shows in one night. So I can't tell you what to expect. Good times will be had.