Advertise with The Big Takeover
The Big Takeover Issue #94
MORE Interviews >>
Subscribe to The Big Takeover


Shop our Big Takeover store for back issues, t-shirts & CDs

Follow us on Instagram

Follow The Big Takeover

A quick conversation with Annette Zilinskas of Medicine

13 December 2019

With Medicine back on the musical radar and a new album of covers called Scarred For Life now available, it felt like the perfect time to sit down with original vocalist Annette Zilinskas to find out about then, now and everything in between.

Back after several years hiatus, why did you feel the urge to continue the Medicine adventure?

ANNETTE ZILINSKAS: Actually it was me and Brad (Laner) just getting together on weekends to work on some songs and came to the realization that it might be fun to record some material. There was no preconceived notion of it being released as a Medicine record in the beginning and thought of possibly calling it something else altogether. Only after finishing the recording Brad decided that it would be released as a Medicine record.

How does it feel to be working together again?

ANNETTE ZILINSKAS: It was an incredibly smooth, painless (haha) and seamless experience. Super chill and relaxed.

Although you have obviously given the songs a very Medicinal make-over, what made you decide to return to the fray with an album of covers?

ANNETTE ZILINSKAS: It’s always good to get back to the musical fray at the end of the day, in my humble opinion.

Is there an overall theme to the music you choose to put on the album or is it as simple as playing songs that you love?

ANNETTE ZILINSKAS: Pretty much the latter. Just songs that we loved. I recorded “Sally Go Round the Roses” with my band Weatherbell years ago but we did the Great Society version back then. It was Brad’s idea to do the original Janette’s version. Psychedelic soul!

You have woven a very interesting musical pathway both before and since the original incarnation of Medicine, most notably as one of the original Bangles, can you tell us a bit about the various musical things you have done?

ANNETTE ZILINSKAS: After playing with the Bangles I was co-lead singer of a “cow punk” band called Blood on the Saddle which demonstrated my roots in country and folk which was a big influence on me growing up. We recorded for New Alliance and SST and toured a bit. After that I drifted into dream pop with my band Weatherbell and simultaneously was in a Spoken Word assemble which included Johnette Napolitano, Texcala Jones from Tex and the Horseheads, Pleasant Gehman from Screaming Sirens, Debbie Dexter and Gary Eaton of Devil Squares, Iris Berry from the Lame Flames, Deborah Patino of Holy Water and Dave Catching from Tex and the Horseheads and Eagles of Death Metal. It was set to music and we recorded an album with Lou Adler producing which was released on A&M Records. This was around the time Brad and I initially collaborated on some Medicine songs he had the music for such as “Aruca” and “Miss Drugstore”. I was also in a Silverlake band called Three Hole Punch.

Are there any plans for new material to be recorded now that you are back up and running?

ANNETTE ZILINSKAS: We have talked about it, sure, Not sure which direction we’d take song-wise but whatever catches our interest at that time. At that moment. The future is pretty open.

And then what is the longer term plan for the band, if any?

ANNETTE ZILINSKAS: Sort of the same philosophy we had going in recording the LP. Just take it as it comes…