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Tracey Thorn Interview (Part 2)


In the final part of "Ask The Artist" with Tracey Thorn,  the singer talks more about her inspirations, guilty pleasures, being a mother and her admiration for Jake Shears and Billy Ray Cyrus. I love her candor and sense of humor. It totally fits the feel that I get from her music. (And I really think that duet with Neil Tennant should be arranged. It sounds doable, no? )

I agreed to limit my number of questions for her, and fortunately I was able to bundle some inquiries since many of you asked about her inspirations, touring and the future of Everything But The Girl. (Tracey: Feel free to email me if you don't mind answering a few more at a later time. Thanks!)

Question from Shaun: Which albums (by other artists) or books would you say have had the biggest impact or influence on your life?
I always quote Patti Smith's "Horses," as do so many other people, but it really did give me kick up the arse. But there are so many really - Dusty in Memphis, the first Smiths album, etc etc.

Question from Markus: The classic "Apron Strings" and new song "Nowhere Near" are two plots of the arc of motherhood/family life. In what ways has family life informed - good or bad - the new record?
Yes, "Apron Strings" is my "before" song - its very yearning and a bit sentimental about the notion of having children. I wrote it when I was first alerted to the idea that children might be a good thing, which was when my sister had her kids in the '80s. The song is partly addressed (as also is "These Early Days" on "Idlewild") to her son, my nephew, James.

"Nowhere Near" is my "after" song, and is the voice of experience! It admits to the darkness which is part of the reality of motherhood - spending all day shouting at kids at the end of the long summer holiday, feeling like a sergeant-major in uniform. But then watching a news item (in this instance it was seeing the Pakistan earthquake reports on the telly - people carrying their children, and the bodies of their children, from the ruins of their homes and down from the mountains) and going up to look at your sleeping kids and counting your blessings that they exist and are safe. Its about how actual motherhood means experiencing ambivalence.

Question from Markus: When was the last time you shook your hips in a cheap way and where was it?
SoBe Live, Miami Beach, March 2007. Ben's buzzin fly set, 3am, I was DEFINITELY shaking my hips in a very cheap way with Alex Santos, and he was playing air keyboards, as I remember.

Question from Gulius: Since you realized you wanted to sing again thanks to Neil Tennant, have you ever thought about a collaborations between the two of you?
I am simply waiting to be asked, as I have been for many years.

Question from Kyle: If you could create an alter-ego, which explores music in a completely different genre, what would that sound like?
PJ Harvey. I do sometimes envy the ability to rock out. In other moods, I feel I would just like to be Jake Shears really - a completely exhibitionist, sequined entertainer, but with depth.

Question from W. Briski: What are your guilty pleasures (besides Abba of course)?
No guilt is ever attached to liking Abba. At the moment I guess my guiltiest pleasure is Hannah Montana (if you don't have pre-teen daughters you won't have heard of her, so don't worry). She is the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus. They star together in a TV show, and I find both of them enormously likeable, and I even like the songs, and really, there is no way on earth that any of it is cool, or appropriate for someone of my age and supposed musical tastes. She is adorable though.

(Read Part 1 of this interview.)

April 19, 2007 in Ask the Artist, Interviews, Tracey Thorn | Permalink


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this is it?
you got to be kidding me that you have the most amazing artist and you came up with the most lame interview i have ever read in my whole life.
shame on you.

Posted by: walter briski at Apr 20, 2007 4:43:41 PM

Well, I enjoyed it - esp the info about Nowhere Near and Apron Strings. Thanks!

Posted by: xolondon at Apr 20, 2007 5:06:44 PM

Hi Arjan.
I love that you fielded our questions for the Thorn interview and was jazzed to see mine selected. However it is not a question from "Markus", but rather me, Scott. ;) Just a little harmless territorialism there. Thanks for the opportunity.

Posted by: Scott at Apr 21, 2007 10:11:46 PM

The one about "Apron Stings".
Shameless, me.

Posted by: Scott at Apr 21, 2007 10:16:15 PM

my apologies for my rude remarks about the interview. i did not know there was going to be more than just the first questions.
now that i am aware and now that i read the whole article... i must confess it is truly amazing and candid.
and especially for Tracey, to take her time to answer all of them, and mine, about covering any Carpenters song, privately.

sorry for being so rude.

i did enjoy the chance to ask tracey a question and to be a part of this awesome interview.


Posted by: walter briski at Apr 26, 2007 7:04:41 PM

so wheres the interview?


Posted by: georg at Apr 27, 2007 12:59:53 PM

Tracey said recently that Debbie Harry did nothing for her, and that she was a man pleasing blonde! She even put her in the same category as ...Madonna? I don't make that connection at all. I'd say Tracey is closer to Madonna (musically) than a Debbie Harry, that's for sure... and now she breaks out with an affection for Hannah Montana...and GAG! Billy Ray Cyrus? I guess it's a MOM thing. If I ever have kids, I can only HOPE they get into an old Blondie record rather than Billy Ray Cyrus and his lame offspring. Oh well, we are all entitled to our own opinions, I guess ...and the British think they have such discriminating taste? hardly.

Posted by: shawn at Apr 28, 2007 12:05:31 PM

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