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Date February 20
Type Interview
Source Focus magazine
Title "We're all idiots"
Country The Netherlands
Journalist/Photographer Vincent Byloo
Text "Ten years ago she sat in a window in Antwerp's notorious prostitution district - a 'performance' as she calls it herself - but in the meanwhile Alison Goldfrapp has become thé dominatrix of popmusic.
Musically she seems to take it a bit easier on yet her fourth studio album, but looks can be deceiving.
'Getting dirty e-mails from perverted fans : I love it!'" (by )


'Shall we just stop now ?'
We're only five minutes far with our interview and yet Alison Goldfrapp has lost all intrest. We dared to call "Seventh Tree" a rather 'folky' album, which resulted in a long,semantic discussion about the adjective 'folky'.
Eventually la Goldfrapp calms down, but it's obvious that she's not all that confident about the reception of her new album.

"A month ago you even posted a message on your website to prepare your fans for a big shock."

Alison : "When I came back from LA, where we'd mixed the record,I sincerely thought : 'I'm only going to sell one copy of this album and it will probably be to my mum'.
With this message I wanted to get ahead of all those wankers who'd invade our messageboard with angry reactions.
You know, even dirty e-mails from perverted fans are still a bit touching. I like to compare them to those frustrated old men in Benny Hill sketches : sad and sexist, but still funny. I love to read what goes on in some people's heads when they listen to my songs.
But if there's one thing that gets on my nerves, it's disappointed e-mails from fans who are sad that we didn't make a new Black Cherry. (angry) Of course we didn't make a second Black Cherry. After a couple of years of glampop and discobeats we were just looking forward to doing something else. And it's become a slow, minimal, ambientrecord. (sarcastic) Or a folk record, depends on how you look at it."

"On 'Clowns' you're singing about people who deliberately put themselves in the spotlight. What was your direct inspiration for that song ?"

Alison : "Boobs!"

"Excuse me ?"

Alison : "You know, those lacteal glands that women have hanging from their chests that are often called "breasts".
Actually the real inspiration for that song was a televisionshow where women were filmed while getting a boobjob in plastic surgery. That kind of scream for attention and pure exhibitionism makes me want to throw up. Gross,stupid cows, that's what they are."

"But still, you were watching it."

Alison : "Exactly, and that's what the song is about. Who's the bigger idiot ; the woman with fake,silicon breast or the voyeur who's watching that sort of crap ? It's the same with Big Brother. I sometimes find myself watching those green images of sleeping people for an hour and a half in the middle of the night, asking myself why I'm not sleeping. At times like that I see myself as an idiot too.
In the end, we're all idiots."

"The story of 'Caravan Girl' reminds me - thematically- a bit of the screenplay of 'Mulholland Drive'".

Alison : "Oh, I didn't know 'Mulholland Drive' even had a screenplay (laughs). But I understand what you mean : it's about a girl that suffers from amnesia and hangs around with an other girl, hoping to find her true identity. While deep down all she wants is to disappear completely from the surface of the earth."

"Do you - being a famous woman- sometimes feel the need to become invisible too ?"

Alison : "To hide somewhere never to be seen again ? Every time my record company tries to make me do something against my will,I'd like to disappear. Like that time they made me go to 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks'. On my way to the BBC, I was crying on the train because I hate that horrible show. The panels only exist out of musicians who want to promote an album or famous Brits who want to change their image of being completely not funny by pretending to be Mr.Funnyman using some wisecracks, nicely prepared by the writers of the show.
Bloody ridiculous!
And Mark Lamarr is not even funny ; he's a fucking wanker."

"Apparantly you dreamt the title of the album. But have you ever, like Paul McCartney with 'Yesterday', dreamt an entire song ?"

Alison : " I haven't had that,no. In fact I don't believe that 'Yesterday' just came to him in a dream. Bollocks!
Nightly ideas, I do have those. Sometimes, I suddenly wake up in the middle of the night with half a melody in my head and sing it to my mobile phone. With great pleasure of my bedpartner, by the way (laughs). But when I listen to my genious ideas in the morning, they always turn out to be complete rubbish or just a song that already exists. Like 'Yesterday' for example.

"I've been told that 10 years ago you could be found sitting in a window in Antwerp's prostitution district."

Alison : "Journalists! Always seeing things out of their context! To clear things up: I lived in Antwerp back then and the one time I sat in a window, it was a performance. With that performance we wanted to bring the bad situation of the prostitutes in Antwerp to attention. There were plans to close down all the brothels in that neighbourhood, that would cause a lot of prostitutes ending up on the street."

"Half of the brothels have gone by now. So I've heared."

Alison : "That's sad, because I've met a lot of strong women there, who just tried to make ends meet. In the brothel where I did my performance,for example, there was working this girl - or boy - who called herself "Annie the Tranny", a really sweet..err..woman who was very happy that an 'artist' stuck up for them, bringing their problems to attention.
The costumers were a little less happy with my performance. Some of them didn't even notice that I was there for a performance and kept asking me how much it costs (laughs).
When they found out that I wasn't planning to...err...serve them, sometimes they got really mad. And the ones who did know that it was a performance, felt as if they were being made fun of!
Art and whoremongers : it'll never be great love between those two (laughs).

 
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