giovedì 17 luglio 2008

Joan As Police Woman - Interview

After her debut album Real Life, Joan as Policewoman speaks about her new work To Survive, a juorney in to Joan’s rawness of emotionality. An album where she’s showing her feelings, her fears and her great talet as songwriter. What else to say if not that Joan is great woman that has learnt to accepet herself and live through her feelings and love.

The first impression I had listening to your new album it that, compared to your first one, that was more electric, this one sounds more like an album instead of a collection of songs. Was that your intention?
It wasn’t my intention, but I’m glad it turned out that way, make sense because I do feel more singularly visioned. Also that Real Life was made over an year and half, I was on tour with Rufus, so I came home and do some recording for a week and then went to tour and back home again, and listen to what I’ve done and what I wanted the songs to be. But this time I’ve done it in one time, all the way through without stopping and listening till the end. And maybe is for this reason why you find this completeness.

“To Survive” is a strong title for an album, is this refeered to your personal life, to the world or a combination of both?
Kind of both, I’ve always been obsessed with cats and how they just be so ruthless, and animal in general have a great way of surving, they don’t have the counsciousness that we do or maybe they do...

Or maybe they just follow more their instincs...
More instincts right! They always fascinate me, because they hanging around, sitting on the couch and then suddenly they just turn to a little thing they felt moving and want to predominate over it! It changes when you look human beeing behaving in the same way, because they don’t have to do that, but they do. I’m not talking about getting food to survive. The things that people seems to need for surviving are very confusing, like having eight cars, even if you have so much money you don’t need eight cars. But then for me I’ve just felt like for so long I’ve survived without much care for other people or not enough care. It’s a product of growing up when you start to realize that part of surviving is beeing responsible, respectful, honest. and admitting when you’re wrong. All those things you get taught when your’re young and you just say: “Fuck You!” But later you realize that you benefit the most if you are behaving like that, you can go in the street and you don’t feel heavy for your actions. It’s just a phase of the growing up.

Could I describe your album as an emotional journey? Like something you have to pass throught, but at at the end giving the title “To Survive” you give a positive prospective?
Yeah defenetly positive. I’m an hoptimist definitely. But more time passes, I’m more and more optimistic.Because I think I’ve really searched all the time for a way to find joy. And part of that is just constantly tempting to observe myself and WOW that’s interesting! Because you behave in way you can’t believe. The more you practice observing yourself, the more you can understand and learn to change. Laearning to accept yourself is the hardest thing.

Yeah. Like when you are looking yourself from the outside...
Uh! It’s like: “No thank you! Can I have another?” (laughing) What the song To Survive is about on the record is my mom and her putting me to bed when I was a young girl erasing my fears and her saying: “It’s ok, don’t worry, everything is gonna be alright.” And those fears are still the ones I’m having right now, but when you grow up you learn to accept them or deal with them somehow if you can’t just get through everyday. You mom died last year of cancer.

I’m so sorry...
No it’s ok! And watching her go through that was an incredibly profound thing for me because she knew she was going to die and the way she was...she really accepted it and it was so amazing for me to watch her and how she accepeted to die. It was really intense and it taught me so much. it reminds you of what is really important.
Is your mum alive?

Fortunatly yes...
So are you gonna call her today and tell her you love her?

I do it quiet often actually...
Violin is your first instrument, but there’s a lot of piano in this album, did you discover the joy of playing it?
I did and I still do. I really got into the piano, it was the most recent instument I’ve started playing, it’s so fun, because I don’t really know it totally, but I can play it, when I’m playing it I feel like I don’t know where I’m going, it’s like walking into the jungle where you can find funny things. So I love wondering around with the piano.

So do you think you can reach a deeper emotional impact with the strings or with the piano or do you think you can reach the same emotional level but from different situations?
Violin is very moving, but I think you can reach your feeling with whatever you are playing, as long as you are really feeling it, I love violin for so long and then it’s not that I get tired of it, is just that I really wanted to try other things, and so I hope that I can be as affected on piano too.

Before you have said you have previously worked with Rufus Wainwright, how was this time having him singing a song for you?
Oh it was great! I wrote the song To America for him to sing, I wrote it with him in mind, as you know he really likes opera, so I’ve tried to write it operaly, and I also tryed to write it a litte bit too high for him, because I really love the way it sounds when great singers have to go into a place they are not most confortable in. Because you know how Rufus sounds when is comfortable range, but just a little bit pushing, brings out a very special and emotional part of one’s voice and I think he did it beaufully.

Did he say something to you when he realized it was a little bit to high for him?
He did say! When he played for me he said: “ Joan is so high!” and I was like: “ I know!” Laughing at him.

Oh yeah, he has such a great voice like Antony...
Oh come on Antony, what a voice, is amazing!

Have you ever thought that Antony could have made us dance with his voice singing in Hercules and Love Affair?
Yeah he can, because the song we wrote for my last record was soul. He’s a soul singer and with a different production he can make us dance for sure. When I say soul singer it means for me that he can sing everything, so it doesn’t surprise me at all that he’s making us dance this time. I mean really he’s a disco Diva even if he would never say that. (laughing).

One of the song that I really like most on your new record is Hard White Wall, because is a love song full of passion and contraddictions, do you suffer for love?
Oh yeah. Minute to minute, on a daily basis. Love is the most important thing to me and what love does is bringing out the most deepest things and difficolt things of one’s self. The most passionate things in both directions. Is always a leraning experience for me, because I don’t do anthing half way. I do it full, because I can’t really do it any other way, I’ve tried saying to myself : “ Joan just relax!” but then ; “What does that mean?” I can’t do it! So now I’ve accepted that I can’t do it that way, and I know I’m gonna drive myself to the dirt somtimes, but it’s the only way I know. So what I’m trying to do is actually learn from experience, I am starting to do that. First I have to accept what I am and then and only then, you can beging to make changes. It took me so long to realized it, I just went throught relationship after relationship thinking I’ve learned something but still hated myself.

The first time I’ve seen your album cover Virginia Woolf came to my mind, was that intentional or just a coincidence?
Oh Cool! It wasn’t my intention but I love that! You’re right I think she had a photo profile like that.

It’s fun it wasnt your intention because it’s perfect and the colour of the picture describes exactly, for my point of you, what you are gonna hear inside and well your profile is much much better than hers...
Oh Thank you I’m glad you think that.

You have a personal look, does it come out naturally or do you spend sometimes in creating your outfits?
It depends. Sometimes I almost where the same thing for a week, sorry! (laughing) I don’t know how much time I spend thinking about it, but I do love clothes and I do love fashion, and sometimes I make my own clothes. I love accessories, come on look at my bag (he’s showing me her leather purse bronze, gold and silver) isn’t it wonderful? I love vintage clothes too, i grew up buying old clothes and put them together with other things I love the visual.

Have you ever thought watching a movie that one of your song would have been perfect in the soundtrack?
Oh my god! I love this question I wish I could answer...
I don’t know why, but the movie that cames to my mind is the original silent movie about Joan of Arc La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc. I don’t know if my music can go in it, but I’d like to write music for it.

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