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Madonna Interview : Hits Daily Double

Unless, of course, you fit into the youth explosion. The whole kiddie-pop thing doesn’t seem to be going away.

No. I watched a documentary on The Sex Pistols the other day called “The Filth and the Fury,” and I just hope somebody comes along like Johnny Rotten or Sid Vicious and tears the belly out of [teenpop] – you know what I mean? Somebody’s gotta get punk-rock on their asses. There is nothing rebellious about today’s sounds, and [music] needs to be rebellious.

Let’s get back to the new album. What’s the game plan for its rollout?

I’m having the baby in a month. About a month after the album comes out, I’m going to do a couple of club dates and perform in places like the Roxy in New York. Then I’ll go to England and do a couple of club dates there and go around Europe and just do small shows. We’ll see how the record does and judge what the response is. Then I’ll start thinking about doing a proper tour – you know, now that I’ve done my procreating thing.

Who helped you A&R the record? Anyone at Maverick?

Well, Guy [Oseary], always. He’s a huge influence on me in terms of people that I work with, and he’s always throwing ideas at me and demos that people send him, saying, “Check this out.” He turned me onto Mirwais, and he turned me onto William [Orbit] when I worked on “Ray Of Light.” He’s always championed me that way and A&R’d me that way. He’s always fantastic to me and goes through the whole project with me, listens to everything – but we don’t always agree. He and my manager, Caresse [Henry] both really held my hand through the whole project.

Compared to the other albums in your body of work, where do you stack this one?

This is my favorite. I hate to sound predictable, but I just love the way it sounds, and lyrically it is far superior to anything I’ve done. But you be the judge of it.

I’m impressed by the depth of the album as well.

I now have something to say. God knows I didn’t when I started out.

It seems that you’re very happy with the way your career is going and with your manager, Caresse. You recently renegotiated your contract with Warner Bros. Records, and there was a chance of that getting sticky, but all seems well.

As you know, in every area of life you’re going to get the best job from somebody who’s got something to prove, and I’m very happy with the work Caresse has done and the new deal that we signed. She’s doing a really good job – I’m very proud of her.

What about the impending deals that your parent company, Warner Bros., is involved in with AOL? Do you think that that will have any effect on Maverick or on you?

Yeah! More money, and hopefully we’ll get a larger cash flow. Hello! I mean, we are operating a record company with one arm tied behind our back. Hopefully, it’s going to mean something great for us. We’ve made an enormous amount of money for Warner Bros. in spite of the fact that we’ve lost money on our own. That’s just the way the deal is constructed. They’re the major winners in our situation. But I would hope that with this whole merging scenario, it’s going to mean that we’ll have more of a cash flow to fool around with, because we need it. I mean, we want to go on to the next phase. You have to think big, and you have to be able to have enough money to make mistakes. We always want to sign artists that we love and think are really cool, but we have a business too.

The Deftones have made a huge splash. You have to be psyched about their sales.

God, yeah! We’re so happy. We’ve been championing them for quite a long time, and it’s great that they’re finally getting the attention they deserve.

On a day-to-day basis, how much of a role do you play in the operation of Maverick? Do you take an interest in running the company, or is it your key hires like Guy and Ronnie Dashev who do that and report to you?

It’s a combination of everything. A lot of stuff comes my way, and I bring it to Guy. The business side of it is really more Ronnie Dashev and Guy. It sort of moves around. I wouldn’t say anybody just does one job. When I was away in London working on my album and really engrossed in what I was doing, it was much harder for me to pay attention to the day-to-day stuff. So it comes and goes in spurts for me. I’m aware of everything that’s going on, and thank God for the Internet and Fed Ex – I hear everything that’s going on. But it isn’t until I can actually get back to L.A. that I can get involved in the day-to-day stuff again. That was the arrangement that Guy and I had when we started. I’m a recording artist too, and I don’t want to abandon my own career.

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