Kim Gordon Shares the Best Songwriting Advice That Neil Young Gave Her: ‘That Stuck with Me’

The former Sonic Youth frontwoman previously toured with the folk-rock legend in the early '90s

<p>Jon Kopaloff/WireImage; Emma McIntyre/Getty</p> Kim Gordon; Neil Young

Jon Kopaloff/WireImage; Emma McIntyre/Getty

Kim Gordon; Neil Young

The best advice Kim Gordon ever received was from a fellow rock icon.

The former Sonic Youth frontwoman, 70, revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone that she considers the “best” piece of advice she’s ever received came from Neil Young. She explained that the legendary folk-rock artist, who she toured with in the ‘90s, gave her a songwriting pointer that she’s still held onto years later.

“Neil Young told me that it doesn’t matter how good your voice is, in terms of range or whatever,” said Gordon, who famously sings in a lower contralto range and has blended her vocals into the instrumentation on tracks for years.

She told Rolling Stone that Young convinced her “it’s about how authentic it sounds.”

<p>Paul Natkin/Getty</p> Steve Shelley, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth in 1991

Paul Natkin/Getty

Steve Shelley, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth in 1991

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“That stuck with me,” Gordon added.

Although the alternative star didn’t specify when the Godfather of Grunge offered her his bit of advice, Sonic Youth joined Crazy Horse and Neil Young out on the road when they toured their album Ragged Glory in 1990.

Gordon just may have considered what the “Old Man” singer told her recently, as she’s on the cusp of releasing her second solo effort, The Collective.

The singer-songwriter also opened up to Rolling Stone about how she approaches writing her solo music — which moves away from Sonic Youth’s no wave sound into experimental electronica — and how it’s influenced by her vocal range.

<p>Danielle Neu</p> Kim Gordon

Danielle Neu

Kim Gordon

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“Well, I’m not a natural singer. I know what works for me in the sense of using rhythm and space, and I really do like working off rhythms,” the "Paprika Pony" musician explained. “I really just wanted to do more of that.”

Gordon continued, “I feel much freer in what I’m singing about in a certain way. I don’t feel like I have to hold myself back in some way.”

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She will release sophomore solo LP The Collective on March 8 via Matador Records. The project follows her acclaimed 2019 debut No Home Record.

Gordon announced the album in January when she dropped the lead single “BYE BYE.” The tracks “THE MAN” and “Psychedelic Orgasm” have since followed.

<p>Courtesy of Matador Records</p> Kim Gordon's 'The Collective' album artwork

Courtesy of Matador Records

Kim Gordon's 'The Collective' album artwork

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Later this March, the multi-hyphenate will celebrate the release with six shows across the U.S. in Burlington, Vermont, Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, Ventura, California and San Francisco.

Gordon has worked on individual projects, including her 2015 best-selling memoir Girl in a Band and her own music, since Sonic Youth disbanded in 2011.

The group — featuring the core lineup of Gordon, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley, as well as the later addition of Mark Ibold — broke up in 2011 following the separation and subsequent divorce in 2013 of Gordon and Moore, 65. (The two were married in 1984 and a couple for much of Sonic Youth’s career. They share a daughter, Coco Gordon Moore, 29.)

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