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Interview with Goldfrapp


Meeting pop stars is a bit crazy. There's always a posh hotel, a few high-energy handlers, fresh organic green tea and lots, lots of waiting. For some reason schedules are never kept and things always run over. My meeting with Goldfrapp on Monday was not any different.

While the band is hardly known in the U.S., the duo has made a significant impact on the European music scene this year. Point in case is Alison Goldfrapp's appearance on the European Video Music Awards to hand out the award for Song of the Year to Coldplay.

The interview with Alison Goldfrapp and Wil Gregory was very pleasant. We had an hour-long chat in a trendy hotel suite at the Hotel on Rivington looking out over the lower part of Manhattan. Both were in good spirits and ready to take on the American press to discuss the forthcoming U.S. release of "Supernature."

Alison was a bit standoffish at first, but soon turned talkative and feisty while Will inserted some of his thoughtful comments at times. It is interesting how often they finish each other's sentences and joke around.

Most of the interview I'll have to keep under the wraps until it appears in a national publication in 2006. But some of you were kind enough to submit questions for the interview and I was able to ask some of them. I edited some of the questions into a more appropriate format. Thanks!

(Question from Peter J) In several publications it was stated that you think Madonna's music is unoriginal. Were your comments taken out of context?
Alision: No. Do I have to go over this again? She has made a career out of using other people, like the latest DJ or whatever person, to kind of build her music for her. It is a clever way of making her music. It is very different than what we do. We're actually writing and producing all of our music ourselves. But what she's doing is not really that different than what singers did in the '60s. Or it is like Massive Attack. Where Massive Attack is the label and then other singers come in to do the vocal parts. I'm not a particularly big fan of Madonna's music. I can't get passionate about the music she puts out there. I think her persona is far more fascinating for me and for a lot of people. She's been amazing inspiration to women and I think it is fantastic that she's 47 and still does what she's doing. I think that's quite inspirational.

(Question from DJVJ) Does the song "Ride A White Horse" refer to Bianca Jagger's entrance to Studio 54?

[Laughs] That part has been over, over, over overthought about by so many people. Yes, it does refer to that. But it refers to a lot of other things as well. The Bianca Jagger moment did not particularly inspire me, but we thought it was just a memorable moment of the disco era.

(Question from DJVJ)  Is there a T. Rex obsession?
Not really. And "Riding A White Horse" was not inspired by T.Rex. "Ooh La La" was probably inspired by  T.Rex but that's it.

(Question from Matt) How long are you staying in New York and will you be doing any other types of promotion?
We're in New York until Saturday doing interview most of the week. Later in the week, we'll be in Canada as well to do more interviews.

December 9, 2005 in Interviews | Permalink


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She's fabulous, but I wonder if she is built for fame. She's so defensive and opinionated that people focus on that, so she already has a bit of an Elton tag. I LOVE that album and that group, but much of Supernature is direct homage to other artists, including (on "Fly Me Away") the Kylie she detests so much.

Posted by: xolondon at Dec 9, 2005 7:43:09 AM

So Will is in NYC this week? I didn't see him on stage during the concert - is there a reason he is not playing with the band live now? I know he is camera shy but he played keyboards on the previous tours...

Posted by: Phil at Dec 9, 2005 7:57:10 AM

why can't she just be cool and stop slagging off other people. Her music is much a derivative of all the people she seems to have a pop at.

Posted by: electrogurl at Dec 9, 2005 12:41:44 PM

i know the metropoliton citizens of NY will appreciate the art, inspiration and beauty that is goldfrapp.

N.Y. N.Y. studio 54
54 - F3 4 21st. C
alison in room112
goldfrapp jumpoff N.Y.
pwn teh s3xy ghey

i wish i was in N.Y. as well.

Posted by: wok at Dec 9, 2005 2:47:13 PM

Thanks for using our questions in your interview! I can't wait to read the entire interview once it is published (i'm assuming february/march before the album's release). Please let us know when and where it is published. Must of been very surreal to be in front of them.

Posted by: Matt at Dec 9, 2005 4:11:51 PM

yes she is fabulous. I guess it's our very Englishness that allows us to have no fear of being opinionated. Anyway Alisons comments are articulated criticisms never mere throw away slagging off. And so what if they were? Thank god she's just the way she is,honest down to earth and flawed! thank god she doesn't have a perfect Hollywood smile. She doesn't need all that media star celebrity crap, Alison Goldfrapp is so very special because she has talent, humility and humanity...who else comes that close?

Posted by: corvina at Dec 9, 2005 4:37:17 PM

i agree with what others have posted. i happen to be a rather large madonna fan, but madonna's music IS her producers...and in her selection of those and in her own imagery, she is quite savvy. her music has never been entirely her own.
alison's quite good at speaking her mind and not shying away from questions that may result in soundbytes...or quotebytes, whatever. but corvina has a point in that she isn't taking cheap shots at people at any given chance. even when she's not speaking in the kindest words about people/events/other artists, she presents it in a way that's merely an unfavorable opinion, not an insult.
i'll still buy madonna *and* goldfrapp, for what it's worth.

Posted by: dustin at Dec 11, 2005 2:28:03 AM

WOW-thank you so much for asking my ?'s!
i think i got the responses i was looking for...(not to beat a dead horse (!) but one of Marc Bolan's biggest u.k. singles in the 70's was 'Ride a White Swan')'Ride a White Horse' IMHO is
pure pop majesty and better for all the influences both the subtle and the obvious...

Posted by: vjdj at Dec 12, 2005 1:14:09 PM

A good follow-up question to her response, "I'm not a particularly big fan of Madonna's music; I can't get passionate about the music she puts out there," would have been, "How many times have you listened to Madonna's recent albums Music and American Life?"

Posted by: Mr. Teeny at Dec 12, 2005 11:30:39 PM