Thursday, November 17, 2011

Interview: Stevie Nicks with Madison Magazine -- Great Interview!!

Madison meets… Stevie Nicks

Some of the interview highlights... Stevie speaks about the Katy Perry Voice Over on her new video... SNL Fajita Roundup... Stevie would like to work with more DJ's remixing her music! (Are you listening DJ's/Warners)... Plus why "I Can't Wait" is never played live in concert.

AWESOME Interview!

Madison Magazine

Drape yourself in chiffon, throw on a half-moon pendant, dust off your crushed-velvet top hat and get ready to start twirling – Stevie Nicks kicks off the 10-date Australian leg of her In Your Dreams tour (with special guest Dave Stewart) in Melbourne this Saturday night. I talked to the rock legend in her Sydney hotel suite last week, and she was everything you’d expect: warm, chatty, peaceful, full of charm and ready to tell a great story. Read on… 

Madison: Welcome to sticky Sydney... 

Stevie Nicks: Oh, heat is not my friend. It never has been. I’m not really a sun person. But I am glad we’re here now and not later in the year, because when Fleetwood Mac toured Australia and New Zealand two years ago in December, it was really hot. 

Madison: You were recently heard narrating the teaser trailer for Katy Perry’s new video. How did you get involved with that? 

SN: When I played at a party for the Emmys a few months ago, a reporter asked me which young singers I really wanted to work with, and I said Katy Perry. But I never thought that would amount to anything. I really love Katy – I’m proud of her. All of the songs on hew new record are amazing, but I especially loved the video for “E.T.” The first time I saw it, I was just so taken…whenever it comes on, I’m running to the television to watch it. Her people called me about the video for her new single. I said I’d love to be a part of it. Floria Sigesmundi, the director, came to my house and showed it to me but right before, I had to stop her and warn her that I am not a good actress. Ever since the fourth grade, when I played one of two surviving women at The Alamo in a school play, I’ve known that. 

Madison: Really? You knew back then that acting wasn’t your strong suit? 

SN: I went home and said to my mum, “Mum, never again. I can sing, but I can’t act. Don’t ever let me go out for a play again!” So I told them this might not work. Anyway, they showed me the video, and about a minute in, I just began to cry. It reminded me of my own life and losses, and of the last fight that Lindsey Buckingham and I had. By the time it ended, I said, “Well, that’s just the saddest thing I’ve ever seen!” That was exactly the reaction she wanted. So she handed me the type-written pages and I read my lines. It was an amazing experience. And did you know that if this song hits number one [on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US], she will have six number ones off an album, which would break Michael Jackson’s record? That would be amazing – because she is 26 and she is a woman. I’d love to help her do that. I mean, it’s like, “We love you, Michael! We’re sorry, but we’re rolling over you now! We’re on your tail here.” 

Madison: Do you think you’ll end up recording with her at some point? 

SN: Maybe. She wasn’t there that night. She was in Europe onstage and she sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and wrote me a really beautiful note. I’m sure I’ll meet her soon. This will bond us, and I’m sure we will become really good friends because of this. 

Madison: Speaking of Katy, you’ve never been precious about mentoring young singers, and you’re very willing to collaborate with artists across the spectrum. What’s a key piece of advice you hand down to younger artists who are still finding their footing or confidence in the business?

SN: Time passes. You may be horribly nervous about, say, going on the Oprah show – I was more nervous about that than going in front of 75,000 people at Hyde Park in London – but it came, it was great and I moved on. I realised that you have to remember to stop beating yourself up, because all these things that we think are going to be just awful? We do them, and we do them well, and we are able to move on and we don’t really have to stress out so badly about them. If you can just remember that you can cause yourself a lot less grief and also, you can enjoy your life a little bit more. We spend an awful lot of time freaking out when we don’t really have to.

Madison: Annie Lennox is the subject of an upcoming exhibition featuring her clothes and accessories at the V&A Museum in London. Would you consider doing something similar given how iconic your own wardrobe has become?

SN: I would love to. I have every single thing I have ever worn since the very first outfit that my designer Margie Kent made for me. When you make stuff out of silk chiffon it never, ever gets wrecked. I would love to do something like that, because my stuff is an important part of fashion. I’ve seen my influence in fashion collections for the last 30 years. It would be really wonderful to have it all up in one big room. It would be amazing.

Madison: About six years ago, you rerecorded the vocals from “Dreams” for the DJ duo Deep Dish. I remember being not so much surprised, but pleased, when I found out you’d actually gone through the trouble of doing that. Do you get approached much by DJs or remixers who want to use your work?

SN: No, but I wish I did. Because that was great. They called and gave me a few options, and I was like, “Oh, I would love to re-sing it for you.” It was so much fun – I actually got to do my falsetto part that I never get to sing onstage. I wish it happened more. I mean, I love to dance. I’m a total dancer, you know? So for me, anything involved with dance, I am totally in. I wish more people would call me for this kind of stuff, because I have songs for days – Fleetwood Mac songs and my solo stuff – that could be turned into amazing dance mixes.

Madison: There’s a pretty famous annual event that takes place in New York City called Night of A Thousand Stevies, where your fans dress as you and get together for a big party. Have you ever gone?

SN: I haven’t. Because every single year, except for maybe two of the twenty or so that it’s been going, I’ve been on the road performing, or so far away that there’s no way I can make it. I did threaten them last year – I sent a video in which I said that one of these days, I’m going to show up and they won’t even know it’s me, because I’ll be in such an amazing disguise. They won’t know until I walk up on stage to do my karaoke version of “Edge of Seventeen,” and when I whip off the mask…

Madison: So are you saying you will go someday?

SN: You know, I think it’s fantastic. When it first started happening, I was like, “Really, what is this?” But the fact it goes on and on – a whole bunch of people have a great party every year to celebrate my fashion and my music. It’s not that I don’t want to go or that I’m afraid to go. I realise that the Red Sea would part if I went and it would be hard for them to have fun at their party, because they’d all want to be sitting and talking to me about the past. But I could handle that. I would love to do that, and one day I will.

Madison: Years ago, Lucy Lawless played you on Saturday Night Live, and I’ve never forgotten how brilliant she was. Are you familiar with this skit?

SN: Oh, with the enchiladas?

Madison: Yes – it was a faux advertisement for a Mexican restaurant called Stevie Nicks’ Fajita Roundup. What do you think of it?

SN: Only one of my all-time favourite things. Ever!

Madison: Really? Was that your reaction when you first saw it?

SN: Saturday Night Live can go either way. They can nail you to the wall or they can be really nice. So when everybody told me, I was like, ‘Oh no, it’s going to be just awful…” But it wasn’t. Lucy looked amazing, and she was amazing as me. So I could not have been happier. It’s so interesting – when my mother was pregnant with me, the only thing she could keep down was enchiladas and refried beans. As for me, whenever I’m sick, the only thing I can tolerate is Mexican food! So the fact that they actually pulled that out of the air was so great. Because if I was ever going to have a restaurant that’s what it would be.

Madison: I just finished reading a new book about MTV in which you’re interviewed. There’s a pretty candid quote in there from you about how much you hate watching yourself in the “I Can’t Wait” video because it was when you were in the grips of drug and alcohol addiction – you actually say you want to go back and stab yourself when you see your eyes “swimming” in that video. Now, you never sing it in concert – is this the reason?

SN: No, it’s because we had such a horrible experience trying to sing that in concert. That’s the only song I ever did that was really on a loop. I didn’t write that track – it was already done. So I just went out and sang that vocal once, and then I sang it 3,000 more times, but it never compared with that initial vocal. But you can’t just play that, obviously. We had to use it with the loop onstage one night, and it was a train wreck. Nobody in my band is used to playing along with loops – it’s very hard. It was a nightmare, and when you have that experience with a song onstage…I’ve never tried it again.

The only thing I can say about that song is that I love singing it, and so do my backup singers. Maybe one of these days, for the next tour I do, I should bring it in and simply tell the audience I’m using a backing track, give my band a coffee break and send them backstage. Then me and my girls could stand in the middle of the stage with microphones and sing it. That would be great – but trying it out with an 11-piece band? That was crazy. So not singing it live has nothing to do with how I feel about the song and everything to do with how badly we butchered all those years ago.

Stevie Nicks’ In Your Dreams tour takes place at various concert venues around Australia through December 10. Check online for ticketing information.


  1. They really DID butcher ICW back on that tour. But mostly because it's so ridiculously 80s and Stevie was out of her mind on blow. Lovely to hear her talk about it, though!

    People have asked her about the dance remixes over the years, but I wonder why no one asks her point blank why she just won't actually record her OWN dance music ever. In Your Dreams was such a mish-mosh of genres, she could have absolutely put a disco track on there. Oh well.

  2. The Axl Rose "shuffle" was actually lifted from watching the ICW music video over and over again. It was my fault, really it was, grin!