PLAYBOY: You directed some of Madonna’s most stylish videos, such as “Vogue” and “Bad Girl,” the latter depicting the singer as a film noir femme fatale who gets strangled with panty hose. Why do you think that Madonna never translated to the big screen?
FINCHER: Madonna is very crafty. She’s street-smart. The video directors who did the best work with her—romantic, amazing stuff like what Jean-Baptiste Mondino did—were the ones she allowed to take risks and the ones who made videos she would throw herself into. I made commercials to make money, but I did music videos as a kind of film school. I learned that the way to be with Madonna was to follow her impetus, because the artist in a music video is not only the star but also the studio. I could say to Madonna, “I need you to do it again. I need you to stop blinking. I need you to get your fucking chin down. And I need you to be better.” Whether it was Madonna, Brad Pitt or Ben Affleck, I’m well aware that the work got financed because of them. But they needed to know I had to get them off their mark, get them to a place where it might get warm, because there might be friction.
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Madonna via Instagram
“Right before we made Confessions on a Dance Floor, I had made a record with a girl named Juliet [2005’s Random Order]; we had made that album over Thanksgiving in New York, when the city was completely dead, and it was just the two of us concentrating on working on it. [I went] straight from that to Madonna, and I assumed that would be a much different experience, but she completely surprised me.
The real eye-opener was about how focused she was on avoiding the kind of over-the-top, excessive, entourage-in-the-studio environment that I had expected. It was the total opposite, really. She helped to create an environment where we were like two kids working together in a studio. It was exactly the same feeling as it was when I was working with Juliet. She was really… I don’t want to say “smart,” but she was really honest about music. She’s really instinctive in understanding that dance music comes from a very minimal way of working. It doesn’t come from throwing lots of money on a lavish production.
We spent five or six weeks in my apartment; the studio used to be upstairs in the loft. I would work on a track overnight, then she would come in and we’d start messing around. She would do vocal melodies and I would come up with a few ideas, and then she’d go, “Okay, I’m gonna go home and think about it.” Then she’d come back the next day and have the hook for “Hung Up” or the chorus for “Sorry.” Then I would carry on working on more tracks to keep us going. It was more of a really fluid and almost childlike environment than anything that seemed too serious.
They always say that an album sounds like the time that you had making it. I know that with that album, it was a super-productive time, but it was also really fun and natural. And I think that comes across in the way it sounds.
It’s surprising that Madonna has such a simple work mode. I would have expected her to come in with her full entourage and play the diva, at least to some extent.
Well, don’t get me wrong—I think in a lot of parts of her life, she is”
Stuart Price for Thump
Diplo confirmed for BBC Radio One that the first single for Madonna’s upcoming album was recorded last week in New York and that she is going to use 5 or 6 songs from the session.
You can listen to the interview bellow, Madonna part starts around 3:30:
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Madonna via Instagram
Madonna’s been hard at work on her upcoming new album — as evidenced by her prolific posts on Instagram — and is planning for it to be released in 2015, according to a representative.
Among those she’s working with is super-producer Diplo, who has turned up in multiple photos on the diva’s Instagram account. It’s unclear if Diplo (who recently graced the cover of Billboard magazine) is materializing as the album’s primary producer, but it would seem that he could play a significant role in the project.
When asked specifically about Diplo and his involvement in the album, Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary told Billboard, “She’s currently in the studio with Diplo and having a lot of fun,” but didn’t offer any further clues about the project. Alas.
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Diplo via Instagram
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Madonna via Instagram