Home' LOTL : October 2004 Contents I'm sure I could find some. So what do you pack in your suitcase
then? I bring as little as possible really, a cell phone's about it. I'm
such a light traveller, I can't stand lugging stuff around.
Let's talk the new album Hymns of the 49th Parallel. Did you
personally contact the artists to ask their permission? Actually
it's a misconception, you don't need permission to record
someone else's song, you just have to do it legally through the
publishers and fill out the paper work. I sent them a really nice
handmade package of the album after it was done with a personal
note thanking them for their contributions to Canadian music and
culture in general.
How have they reacted to your album? I got a note from
Leonard Cohen which was very nice, and Jane Siberry is a
friend of mine and she was really happy. I heard that Ron
Sexsmith was stoked, but I haven't heard from Joni (Mitchell)
or Neil (Young).
Isn't Joni Mitchell one of your all time favourite musicians?
Yep, I know, so it's a bit scary, she's a goddess to me.
Do you get approached by other artists to cover your songs?
Well, I've had a couple of funny ones. I had a guy from
Nor way rewrite the lyrics to 'Miss Chatteline' which seems
strange to me. Then I had a Christian rock band ask me if they
could re-write the lyrics to 'Constant Craving' and I had to
say no that one. They wanted to make it about craving god,
which would be a little too secular for me.
One of the tracks on the album is your own song 'Simple', why
did you choose this song out of your whole catalogue? Well, I
wouldn't have ever thought about including myself in a list of
songwriters like that, and it's not my intent to put myself in
that company. Although my friends and my managers were
very adamant that I should include one of my own songs, so I
think thematically 'Simple' probably suits this record.
I would have loved to have heard your song 'Outside Myself'
from Ingenue, it seems to fit the theme, artwork etc. Yeah, it
would have been a great choice, definitely.
Okay, well next time maybe you should consult me when
choosing a track okay? (Laughter) Okay, I will.
I think having a song written for you is THE ultimate romantic
gesture ever. Have you ever had something special written
about or for you? Not that I'm aware of.
Would you find that romantic? I'd probably feel a little weird
about it unless it was like my lover. But a stranger -- it would
feel a little weird I think. (Laughter.)
This album shows your passion for Canada, yet you choose to
live in LA. Why is that? Well I lived in Canada for about 30
years, and I guess that Australians would probably understand
as some of the greatest travellers in the world, that it's nice to
get new perspectives and in a way it enhances your respect and
understanding of your own culture by being away from it. I
live in Los Angeles because its very conducive business wise,
but I also have a lot of great personal relationships there and
a nice house. It doesn't really matter that I live in Los Angeles
because my roots and my family, my personal culture, is firmly
rooted in Canada. So to me I'm still Canadian.
You grew up in Consort, population under 700. Do you ever crave
this quiet existence again? I do conceptually, but realistically no.
I'm a bit spoiled. To be in a town where you can't just drive to a
good restaurant would probably drive me crazy.
Yeah, and what would you have to look at through your
binoculars -- the cows? (Laughter) Yeah of course, the cows!
So you're coming back in February for a concert tour, and I
believe there will be a lot of very happy people knowing they
are going to spend Valentine's Days with you. Oh my
goodness, yeah you're right, it is February 14th. My shows
are always big love fests anyway.
On this tour you're performing with orchestras, traditionally
quite formal. Do they mind you performing barefoot? I'm sure
there are individuals who take offence to it. On the surface
the shows go really well, we try to be professional and
respectful of their world. Doing a pop series is a win-win
situation for the symphony, and for us and the audience.
Maybe you could encourage the orchestra to join you in
performing barefoot? (Laughter) That might be a bit smelly,
a bit stinky.
Yeah, mass foot odour. (Laughter.)
What instruments do you play? I play guitar, but don't play it
Have you ever taken up an instrument like the cello or violin?
The closest I ever came to that would be classical piano.
The cello is beautiful on the album, I really enjoy it, gets you right
in here (motions to chest). Thank you, thank you very much.
Audi are sponsoring your concerts. What is their philosophy
and how does it connect with you? Well, I think they are
making a statement that they're innovative and for ward
thinking by supporting me publicly. You know, I'm not really
an advertiser's dream. I'm kind of an odd character.
So what criteria must a company fit before you would agree to
sponsorship? It's not about me selecting them, believe me. I
have never had a sponsor. Advertising for me is really hard. I
think the gay thing is an issue maybe; it's threatening to
advertisers for someone to be that different.
But hold on, didn't Dana in The L Word have Subaru knocking
down her door for sponsorship? Do you watch The L Word?
(Laughter) I don't.
The last time you and I caught up I asked you "What's the one
question you've never been asked in an inter view that you
wish someone would ask you?" Yeah, and what did I say?
You laughed and said that was "demanding creativity and
asking way too much, let's take a raincheck, and next time we
catch up I'll let you know." So, are you going to tell me this time?
What? You mean we have to set another date for this? Sure, it
would be my pleasure. (Laughter.)
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