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Martha Wainwright Sounds Off

On the eve of her new album’s release, the singer answers some nosy questions in the DuJour Questionnaire

It’s been four years since singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright released her last record, but the intervening time has given her plenty of material to draw inspiration from: She lost her own mother, the legendary Kate McGarrigle, and gave birth to her first child, her son Arcangelo.

The result, Come Home to Mama, her new album that drops Oct. 16, is a cheeky collection of songs (11 written by her, one by her late mother) about life, love and loss that brilliantly showcase Wainwright’s velvety voice, as well as the talents of collaborators Sean Lennon, Nels Cline, Thomas Bartlett and Yuka Honda. Here, Wainwright answers the DuJour questionnaire.

What was the best day of your life?

“The day my son was born. Although a difficult situation, because he was premature, it was still a wonderful experience. There was so much love between his dad [her husband, producer Brad Albetta] and me and our new son.”

The worst?

“When my mother was diagnosed with cancer and it was clear that it had spread.”

If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, who would it be?

“Someone with a size-nine foot.”

What’s your favorite hour of day?          

“Dinnertime. I like to be finished with daily chores and responsibilities and have a chance to ponder things outside my own reality. Evening is for expanding your vision.”

If you could relive any day in history, what would it be?

“It seems like it would have be been great to be there in Berlin when the wall came down.”

Did you break a sweat today?

“Not yet. I haven’t had much time for exercise, but I will sweat later tonight when I do a show.”

What was the best conversation you had today?

“Joking around and making fun of my husband about his flight simulator joystick. The thing is truly phallic.”

If you wore a uniform every day, what would it be?

“A Communist Chinese black cotton ensemble.”

“I didn’t want to, but today I _________.

…already ate a lot of cheese.”

How would you spend your last day on Earth?

“Outside around a fire with my husband and son just playing in the grass.”