Ingrid: For me, it’s a real Madonna song.
Madonna: It’s very anthemic. I basically wrote it so I could have a great time doing it in a stadium.
Ingrid: The words are very autobiographical. “Got no boundaries, got no limits.”
Madonna: “If there’s excitement, put me in it.”
Ingrid: “Don’t stop me now.”
Ingrid: “If it’s against the law, arrest me.”
Madonna: [laughs] Yes, that’s me. It’s the provocative me. The boring, predictable me.
Ingrid: One doesn’t hear people saying “arrest me” these days, I’ve got to tell you.
Madonna: Not in pop culture, anyway.
Ingrid: More often it’s about “Give me some money.”
Madonna: It’s about playing it safe.
Ingrid: Speaking of playing, is that you playing the guitar?
Madonna: I wish. No.
Ingrid: Not in any of it, because I thought in “Miles Away”–
Madonna: On “Miles Away” I did play the guitar, but I got double-tracked by one of Timbaland’s musicians.
Ingrid: Is “Miles Away” autobiographical?
Madonna: Probably in many respects most of the songs are. But in more of an unconscious way. I don’t really think about telling personal stories when I’m writing music. It just comes. And then a lot of times, six months later, eight months later, I go, “Oh, that’s what I wrote that song about.” But that’s when I play the song for lots of people and they all go, “Oh, I can totally relate to that.” In “Miles Away” I’m tapping into the global consciousness of people who have intimacy problems.
Ingrid: There’s a real sense in this record of the joy that comes from music and from dancing. Take “Heartbeat.” The pleasure of dancing all night is all over it.
Madonna: To a certain extent it’s an homage to the beginning of my life as an artist. Everything always comes back to dance. And music. ‘Cause you can’t dance without music. But that is how I feel. In Africa, everybody dances and everybody plays music. There is something universal about it. There’s something freeing about it. There’s something unifying about it. When people are busy making music and dancing, they’re kind of too busy to hate and fight. Music is one of the great unifiers.
Ingrid: Have you ever reached a point where you’ve said, “Fuck it. I’m not going to make another record”?
Madonna: Oh, I say that after every record. And then I do another one.
Ingrid: Do you feel good about this record?
Madonna: I do, yeah.
Liz: [in the background] Ingrid.
Ingrid: Last one.
Madonna: [to Liz] She says this is the last one.
Ingrid: Last question. Back to the sense of urgency of the record. You hear it again in “Beat Goes On.”
Madonna: [laughs] There was a big sense of urgency. Kanye [West] only had four hours. I had to finish it before he had to catch an airplane. [both laugh] But you know what? Right now, I’m operating in the mode of “live every day like it’s your last day.” So there’s a sense of urgency in everything I do.
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