ARE YOU AWARE OF ANY OBVIOUS MUSICAL INFLUENCES
IN YOUR OWN WRITING?
yeahhh ! ! (laughs) I have four elder sisters, and
when I was about six or seven they were listening to the Doors,
so I was a Jim Morrison freak when I was seven years old !
And I listened to a lot of Miles Davis, so I'm very jazz-influenced.
I got into David Bowie early on: he's my hero.
DO YOU THINK OF HIS RECENT STUFF?
dance" ? Wonderufl, I love it. He's never
failed to surprise me. It's funny, none of my singer heroes
are girls. Maybe it's because my voice is quite deep, and
I identify more with a male voice.
ARE YOU A PROLIFIC SONGWRITER?
I tend to write all the time. I'm definitely more prolific
when there is an album coming up.
ARE YOU CLASSICALLY TRAINED ?
I am. That is, I started by playing classical piano. And
I was a very poor student. I played by ear instead of sight-reading.
THAT'S A BIT NAUGHTY, ISN'T IT?
it's very naughty. I had a great piano mistress. She used
to play me the piece for next week before I went home. So
I'd run home, singing it all the way, go back the next week
and play it note perfect without reading it. I saw her for
about a year, then I had my Preliminary Grade One exam. I
was seven at the time, and they put this piece of music in
front of me, and I read the title : " Polly,
Put the Kettle on " : I thought " Great,
my favourite ! " and played it in G.and it
was in C.
never been an handicap to me that I can't read music. When
I did session work, I'd have a listen to the song, and once
I'd heard it I had a good idea of what to play.
WAS IT DIFFICULT
TO BE A FEMALE SESSION PLAYER?
it's fine to be a session singer when you're a girl, but it's
not fine to play keyboards. People don't believe you can do
it, unless you go and program a synth in front of somebody
to prove you can. And I think girls perpetuate that themselves.
But I don't want to be.you know, I'm quite happy to be feminine
and wear make-up and everything.
DO YOUR ELDER SISTERS THINK OF YOU NOW?
think it's wonderful : it's all like " My little
sister ", you know. They're all married with kids,
so their kids are all fascinated by their auntie. In fact,
they go to buy my records and say " She's my auntie ! "
at the counter. The whole family's really thrilled, my mother
particularly. She puts up my posters in the hallway (laughs)
in the house !I
UNDERSTAND YOU USED TO BE A NURSE ?
I did. That was because of my mother really, because she
was a nurse, and she always wanted one of us to be a nurse,
and I was the last one.
YOU DO ANYTHING BUT MUSIC NOW?
My jobs were all a means to an end. I've always wanted to
be a performer, and I can't imagine myself doing anything
else. If I didn't have a deal, I'd be in some jazz club somewhere,
TELL ME ABOUT THE VIDEO FOR " RIDERS ON THE STORM ".
like a little mini horror film. There are many ways of interpreting
that song, and nobody really knows what it's about, because,
of course, Jim Morrison wrote it, and you can't ask him.
But it's our interpretation, what we think he may have meant
by it, and we did it in a place called Black Park where they
film the Hammer movies.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF VIDEOS IN GENERAL?
think videos are great. It's so nice at last to have a
visual image and a story to go with the record. But you've
got to put a lot of thought into them if they're going to
represent you as an artist. I put a great deal of my own
input into the video, and I think you must choose a director
who's open to that. They should be little films, I think
not just a band on stage playing.
YOU SET OUT TO CONTRIVE AN IMAGE FOR YOURSELF?
This is just me ! I had long hair, but at the beginning
of the summer I was so fed up with it, I went to the hairdresser
and said " Cut it all off ! " I haven't
had short hair since I was little, so I was really wary of
it. And they cut it all off and my whole life changed :
I didn't have o fiddle with it every day.
have my favourite colours, which are grey and black. Even
if I go to buy a red dress, I always come away with a black
pair of trousers. But I don't really have a specific image
that I want to project. I like to look like me, and however
I feel like dressing.
DO YOU LIKE FASHIONABLE CLOTHES?
I do like trendy clothes, but I don't like trendy clothes
that last a week. I won't wear Ray Ban sunglasses, because
I know that's not going to last, and they cost a lot of money.
I like things that tend to be more classic, that will last
a long time. I could probably wear this dress for years,
and because it's a classic shape, it'll always be okay.
YOU WEAR GREY AND BLACK WITHOUT EXCEPTION?
white, just occasionally. But I just tend to wear grey and
black. It's probably because I had to wear a bright blue
school uniform, and it put me off colours for ever!
YOUR FAVOURITE DAY OF THE WEEK?
day of the week ? ! ! ? Well now, I'd
have to say Friday, because you never lose that feeling of
" It's Friday night ", you know ?
Friday nights are very exciting.
DO YOU HAVE ANY RELIGIOUS
have a belief in...uhh, I could get very heavy here, but
I won't. I have a belief in something, yes I do. But I don't
know what it is.I believe it's much bigger than all of us.
And I believe in the same way that people used to think you
could fall off the edge of the world, and years later they
found out you couldn't, that we will one day find out what
all this stuff is that goes on. I believe in the forces of
good very strongly, and if you read the Bible, which I used
to at school, it says that God is love, and I believe in
love. I just don't know if He's called " God ".
I think someone made up a name for Him, and it could've
been " John "
or anything. I don't go to church.
DON'T PRACTISE ANY STRANGE OCCULT THINGS?
no, no. Certainly not. No.
WAS SCHOOL FOR YOU?
was a series of trying to get out of everything except music
and drama. So if I could go to a dress rehearsal for the
school play instead of maths, I would be there. I was quite
a good student. I probably could have been a good student
if I'd actually concentrated on..it wasn't that I couldn't
do maths or chemistry : my father is a very, very good mathematician,
and I'm sure I've inherited some of that : but I didn't
apply myself to those things. Do you mind if I smoke?
not a heavy smoker. I smoke more in studios than anywhere
else. And most of them sit in ashtrays and burn away while
I'm playing piano ! (laughs)
MENTIONED DRAMA AT SCHOOL. DO YOU HAVE ANY ACTING AMBITIONS?
I do. When I was young, I always wanted to be either an actress
or a singer. When I was around fifteen or sixteen I really
wnated to be Sarah Bernhardt or someone. I would love to
act. Doing a video bit me again with that bug. It would be
a real thrill to do a serious film part, something like "The
French Lieutenant's Woman".
sounds really pompus to say it, but I know I could act. I
think I would be what's known as a natural actress. It's
like piano playing : I knew I could play piano, and
I taught myself. I'm limited to a certain extent sometimes,
but really it's much better, because my creative input is
so huge. And the same with acting. I'm quite confident that
I could act in a film and be good. I would dearly love to
WHAT SORT OF FILMS DO YOU ENJOY WATCHING ?
I love films. I'm crazy about movies. I sit there ang get
totally engrossed. I could watch movies all day if I wasn't
doing anything else. I love old films : one of my favourites
is "Mildred Pierce" with Joan Crawford.
Of the new stuff, I love "Sophie's Choice",
"Diva", "Escape from New
York", "Blade Runner".there
are so many I could go on forever. Disney cartoons still
make me cry, so I don't go, because I just get embarrassed. "E.T."
made me cry from start to finish, and I just couldn't handle
HOW ABOUT T.V.?
get hooked on certain series. When "Poldark"
was on, I had to get to a television, as though I was on
insulin or something ! I loved "Shogun"
too. I could get very into "Dallas"
if I had the time. I hate quiz shows, and I hate "Coronation
street". I know it's terribly credible to like
"Coronation Steet", but I just don't
YOU DO ANY SPORT?
love to swim, which unfortunately I don't get enough time
to do. I go to a health club every day,which I was very hesitant
about joining, because most of the people in health clubs,
I find, are wearing Jane Fonda outfits and heaving a great
time pretending to do aerobics. It's so trendy it hurts !
But instead of joining classes, I go into the gym and do
my own weight programme. It's a way of keeping fit, because
I'm always either in a car or sitting at a piano, so I do
like to do something to keep me moderately healthy, and to
keep my weight down. So I can eat what I like and work it
off, and that's much better than crash dieting to look okay
DO YOU PREFER TO EAT?
like anything Italian, particularly fettuccini. And I've
got a terrible sweet tooth. I'm the little girl who used
to eat chocolate cake for breakfast if she had the choice.
I will try lots of foreign food. It took me a long time to
get into Indian food, but now I love it. And American breakfasts :
pancakes and maple syrup. The only place I eat breakfast
YOU LIKE THE STATES?
I've been to New York three times, but I hadn't been to the
West Coast before we recorded "Riders".
I loved it there. It's sunny, and people are really relaxed.
But it still has that feeling of despair that it must have
had if you were in the movies and din't make it. You could
get very lonely in Los Angeles if you didn't know anyone.
It's huge and sprawling, and there's no centre, no Piccadilly
or Trafalgar Square, no area where you know certain people
DO YOU THINK THE ROCK BUSINESS IS A LONELY PLACE TO BE
think it could be, but for me this is the happiest time of
my life, because I've met for the first time people that
I have everything in common with. Because I moved away from
Croydon on my own, up to town, I was very lonely for a little
while. And as soon as I started doing session work, I met
other people in the businees : they are the warmest people
outside of the acting profession, which is well knwon for
being warm and friendly : I made so many friends, and
they ring me up just to see how I am, which is really nice.
I feel really privileged to be able to do something that I
love as much as this, as my job. I think so few people get
to do that. When I was a kid and rode horses, I used to think
" God ! Imagine if I could have a job where
I just rode horses all the time ! ".
YOU LISTEN TO YOUR OWN WORK A LOT?
I listen to the album maybe every day. I love it. I'm so
pleased with it.
YOU DISAPPOINTED THAT IT DIDN'T SELL AN AWFUL LOT?
because I'm new, and I hope, original, and it takes time for
anyone to get used to.
WISH YOU THE BEST LUCK