Snail Mail On Skipping College and Why She's 'Super Against Being Isolated By Gender'

Snail Mail
Michael Lavine

Snail Mail

Lindsey Jordan, who only graduated high school in 2017, has “no interest in applying to college.” Instead, the 18-year-old rock prodigy, who wrote her first EP, 2016’s Habit, when she was 15, is focused on promoting and touring behind her upcoming debut full-length, Lush, out June 8 on Matador. Inspired by Avril Lavigne and Paramore’s Hayley Williams at a young age and later mentored by Mary Timony (Helium, Ex Hex), Jordan, who performs as Snail Mail, fills her own album with wise-beyond-her-years lyrics of longing and moody melodies that slow down in tempo over the 10 tracks. Ahead of the album’s release, the Baltimore native shares why she hates being asked about gender -- and why there’s no saving rock’n’roll. 

You recently finished high school. What did you think your life would look like at this age?

I’ve completely immersed myself in this anti-9-to-5 life. When I was younger, I didn't want to play music -- I’ve always been a guitar player, but I never saw myself doing it for real. [But now] I’m having a great time, I have no interest in applying to college. I don’t feel like I’m grasping for new knowledge; I learn so much every day. I would be interested in, maybe one day, if I was taking a break, taking some classes. But it’s definitely not at the top of my priority list. I’m not trying to make things normal, but I’m trying to take time for myself to enjoy things. I go roller-skating on Thursdays. R&B night at the rink near me is sick.

You have said that you’re tired of getting asked about being a woman in music. Why are people so eager to bring up gender?

It’s because we really haven’t reached equality in the world. I’m super against being isolated [by gender], but that’s happening because we just aren't there yet, where you see a festival with women headlining and equally mixed in with men. So we’re capitalizing on the [notion] that we’re moving in the right direction, but it’s annoying and it sucks [to always be asked about it].

What’s the biggest misconception about you?

There’s something I’ve heard from indie-rock listeners, where people seem to think we’re trying to re-create the wheel. People are like, “Oh, yeah, that band is super generic and is trying to be the hot new thing,” but we’re not. I just write the music I want to make, and we play it. I’m not trying to take over the world.

This article originally appeared in the April 14 issue of Billboard.