Talking to Strangers: New York, NY

Nerve asks deeply personal questions to people we just met.

BY Daniela Cervetti

Kirby, 26

You mentioned a husband. How long have you been married?
I'm married, but separated. We were together for seven years.

How did you two meet?
I work in the music business, and he was in a band that was playing on the same night as a band that I was working with.

Do you mostly meet men through work?
I'd say work is it, yeah. Pretty much. Which doesn't work well for me, because I don't want to date musicians anymore. I started seeing someone recently who works in the business world, and it's really nice not dating musicians, after years of dating musicians [laughs].

Tell me about the businessman.
Well, it was very different. I had this really bizarre moment one morning, where — we were on a trip — and one morning when we woke up, he started talking business. And it was the best pillow talk I've ever had. It was like the light shining through the clouds for me. He was speaking my language.

How long did you know each other before going on that trip?
About six to eight months. We've been seeing each other on and off, but it's nothing serious.

You look like a musician, yourself.
I can't do any art or music, whatsoever [laughs]. But I travel often with my bands, and I've had multiple people come up to me and bluntly ask, "Who are you sleeping with?" I just had a trip a couple weeks ago, and I was complaining about it in the van. Or people assume that I'm a merchandise girl. I was managing a pretty famous big hair band from the '80s on their comeback tour. I got into it with a club manager — he was trying to close the club down, and there were some fans who flew all the way from Australia to meet the band, and I asked him, "Can you give them a couple of minutes, to just finish their conversation?" And he looks at me and says, "Listen to me, kid. I'm not taking any shit from the merchandise girl." I get it all the time.

What do people get wrong about musicians, most often?
I mean, you get your big bands that are crazy partiers, but a lot of times that's not what's happening behind the scenes. An artist is an artist, and they are very sensitive, and a lot of artists need to be taken care of. I see all of these groupies who like, throw themselves — and I recently had to kick two girls out of my van, so that the guys could go back to the hotel room and play Xbox [laughs]. It's funny to see these women who throw themselves at musicians, when a lot of times —

They don't want it.
It's not that they don't want it, it's... a lot of these musicians are looking more for the care. They're not looking for the party girl. It's the strong, collected women who end up with these musicians, not the crazy extroverts. The smart ones try to befriend me, to get closer to the band. There's a pop star who I was working with for a while, with a big thirteen-year-old-girl following, and I was surprised to see that these girls play the game really, really well. Each genre has its own particular kind of groupie.

How does that break down?
For the indie bands, you usually get a lot of girls who are aspiring artists or aspiring musicians. But the most nuts groupies I've experienced so far were for a bluegrass hip-hop band. They're called Gangstagrass, and it's traditional bluegrass players — who I never thought would have an issue with groupies — and rappers, and the women just go insane for them. It's like nothing I've ever seen before.

What's their secret?
I have no idea, because they're confused too [laughs].

NEXT: "He's in the military, but he came back to visit, and that was it..."

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