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The Woman of the ocean and her lost loves
submitted by Heather Meyers
LOS ANGELES - Many people around her. Her followers pratically fill up the lobby of Los Angeles W Hotel, make-up artists, stylists, public relations employees. It's no more like few times ago. When you could find her all alone in a room, when Alanis Morissette was only Alanis and not a business. She's making a photo session and evey 5 minutes she disappear inside an elevator with her troop to soon reappear dressed with other garments, made up in a different way, sometimes taller because of her heels' shoes. She came back to Canada to write her new album, Under Rug Swept. She has been searching for a place similar to the one in which she grew up, asking only for a piano and a guitar and the songs came up one after another. She wrote something before and so sh had only to revise a bit.
In this triumph of colors and textiles a question comes up naturally: if this 27 aged woman lived more than other 27 aged women, maybe with few wrinkles on her face, but with an extraordinary luminosity, feels a particular passion for dresses.
« Absolutely no, I don't like to waste my time to find the right dress. Maybe all dresses are right. »
What's the meaning of the album title and how did the inspiration to title it this way come up to you?
« It's a way to describe my compositive style. Things that emerge, that one doesn't want to see at the beginning, to recognize, to admit. There are subjects that often one tends to hide because it's easier than being there to compare to oneself, with ones weakness and limits. Songs are in this sense a medicine. They help you to face the things you've always pretended they doesn't exsist. When you are ready, you fling and they are there. »
Something like a music theraphy, self-healing..
« Art is always therapeutic. That's at least for me. When I paint or when I write, both music and poetry: there's non difference. »
The main theme of "Narcissus" seems to be the natural ending of "You oughta know"..
« "You oughta know" presented more painful aspects because it described the beginning of an end, the end of my relationship. "Narcissus" is the next stage, infact, that of re signation of who shakes ones head, but the pain has definitely minimized. It's like: maybe I was wrong, or maybe it was only the wrong person and wrong was the way to compare myself to him. »
But what's on the basis of the whole album?
« First of all I wrote it all by myself. My intention was to investigate in my emotions of "musician in action". I've pratically run to Toronto and I came back only when I finished the album. Only then I called bandmates to shape it. And I called some new musicians, too. There are Flea, playing "Narcissus", and Me'shell NdegeOcéllo on "So unsexy" and "You owe me nothing". Technically I can say that this album was made more quickly. Writing it all alone, I didn't need to articulate the whole writing process comparing myself with others. Next time it will be more quickly, I presume. »
You consider yourself a composer: disciplined? Do you write everyday and wait for inspiration?
« It depend on the phasis. Let's say that discipline meets inspiration in the middle. The point of reference, however, is my diary, where I write everything. If I'm in a creative phase and in my diary there are themes for 30 songs I'm capable to write 30 songs in a short period. »
And as a person do you consider yourself disciplined?
« Music make a person disciplined also when he's out of music. Not always, but seldom. »
How do you control audience pressure, the anxiety of who lives your songs?
« It was worse after "Jagged Little Pill". Everywhere I went, there was someone asking me: when does it come? And when do you come outside? And when will you write other songs? It was terrible. »
Did you feel satisficed by the welcome received by "Supposed former infatuation junkie"?
« A really different album, but anyway an amazing experience. It was more difficult to make concerts because at a certain point we felt the necessity to make some fundamental variation, and it's not easy to change it on the way. Anyway, at the moment I don't know if I want to make a tourneé to promote "Under rug swept". »
Does the September 11th deal with this?
« No, it doens't and it never conditioned me. Indeed if it was for the risks to take, and the role to have as a musician, I would be more justified because there would mean a solidariety demonstration, a moral support to the country and to the people that live in, with fear at the moment. »
Are you scare to fly at the moment?
« I took a ten planes since september 11th. I don't think I've never thought about attacks. I'm a bit fatalist. »
How did America change during these months in your opinion?
« There are truthes that emerged more fastly. Things that maybe, without the acceleration of the september 11th would have come up anyway, sooner or later. Who had knowledge of some situations shouldn't remain surprised and indeed should be confirmed himself in his convictions. Those who slept before the september 11th, should wake up jerk and maybe they return to sleep, let's say, on september 20th. »
Talking about places where to live in, with or without fear, is the song "Utopia" the love song for your "perfect place"?
« The more elevated vision of a liveable society, a society of human touches. Writing this song I was thinking: if I can't have this dream, I wouldn't go far. If I walk, I have to give a direction to my steps, to my passion for politic and social engagement. Ideals, not idealism. And to obtain a bright vision of the things you have to ask for help to your fantasy. Writing a song to contribute to make "concrete" our own fantasy, and that of the others. They are often connecting fantasies. »
Do you still recognize yourself in the 'white young angry woman'?
« Partly. Not in particular in this period, I admit. I certainly am no more the 100% angry one of few time ago. The one who hates, and get angry. Once upon a time I was more unidimensional. »
Recently, a weekly newspaper defined you a 'pretty Courtney Love'. Did this irritate you?
« But isn't Courtney pretty? I mean, I don't know her personally, but I think she does everything to appear pretty.. »
Is there any album you willingly listen to at the moment?
« 'Poses' by Rufus Wainwright. I continuosly listen to it. I also went to see a show of his and I was amazed by it. He's an artist who transmit authenthicity, a rare dowry. Well, when he talks nonsense he talks nonsense, when he rolls his eyes backword he rolls his eyes backword. That's all. He is only what you see. Great! »
And which artists do you consider important for your training as singer and composer?
« I have to trace a cross line between genres. I think, from Chriss Cornell to Madonna, till Leonard Coen ad some hip hop songs and Tori Amos. Of course in different moments of my life. »
What do you do in your spare time, if you have it?
« Beach. I go to the beach. I'm a woman of the ocean. There are montain and sea persons. I love to make sport, go for a ride on my bike mainly, painting, in the last period I painted really much, it has become an obsession. »
And do you think always about playing in movies? We saw you in "Sex and the City", few times ago..
« Well, I wouldn't define that "playing". It was bette something like "being" rather than "acting". It was something more like watching at the party. However I have an idea for a film. Let's see what will happen.