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Madonna Interview : Interview Magazine

Ingrid: – you’ve got new frontiers. That’s what I’m talking about. When I see the West in an image, I always think of those photographers who went west to capture-

Madonna: Who, people like Richard Avedon?

Ingrid: Well, I mean much earlier. Photographers like Timothy O’Sullivan, Carleton Watkins, and all those guys who wanted to capture what it stood for symbolically. You know, the sense of frontiers and wide-open space, and where America was emotionally at that point in the 19th century.

Madonna: Yes, to me, that is the cornerstone of America.

Ingrid: Completely. And that is the history that I tuned into when I first saw the videos and images for Music, and above all when I heard the music itself. It seems to me that the whole thing is a purely American object. It’s interesting that that’s what you did as you were falling for someone who isn’t American, and beginning to spend a lot of time outside of this country.

Madonna: Yes, it’s strange.

Ingrid: Is it?

Madonna: I know. Everyone thinks and writes that I’ve become a complete Anglophile. They say I’ve got no interest in America. But that’s so not true. In fact, sometimes you have to go away from something to really appreciate and see it. But no one’s ever mentioned what you’re talking about, funnily enough. It’s true, though. and how about the fact that almost everyone I worked with on the album was European. I mean there’s Mondino who created the artwork, and there’s Mirwais [Ahmadzai] and William Orbit [both of who co-produced most of the songs with Madonna], who are also Europeans.

Ingrid: But even that makes it very American.

Madonna: It’s funny. I certainly have gone through periods of thinking, Oh God, you know, I can’t deal with America.

Ingrid: Well, on that subject, it’s like I don’t even need to ask the question, but I want to hear your answer.

Madonna: To what?

Ingrid: Well, it’s obvious to me why Scotland –

Madonna: – why did I get married there?

Ingrid: Remember, I grew up there and went to school there. I love to give Scotland a plug any time I can. [both laugh]

Madonna: Well, first of all Scotland is dripping in atmosphere. It is so beautiful. And we wanted to find a place that was really hard to get to, because when people have to work to get somewhere, you know they really want to be there. It helped to sort of create an environment that was cut off from the world. You know ultimately, I’m a romantic. And my husband and I are both obsessed with history, and we wanted to go to a place that had history. He has really helped me to appreciate the rawness and the roughness of nature. You can’t really get away from it when you go up that far north in Scotland. Really, our choice was a result of a combination of things. His family is Scottish, on his father’s side of the family, so he got to wear his family kilt, which was nice.

Ingrid: Isn’t it the most beautiful thing up there?

Madonna: [Sighs] Please. I can’t tell you how glad I was that we made that choice. It was truly a magical religious experience – the whole week. It was very personal and very intimate.

Ingrid: It sounds like the people who you really love were there.

Madonna: Oh yeah. We could both really look around the room and feel that everybody was rooting for us and supporting us.

Ingrid: Nice.

Madonna: It was. We get letters, Guy and I both get e-mails from our friends saying, “Thanks, now you’ve ruined everything for me.” [both laugh] But you know it was like people got to the end of the week and it was like summer camp, no one wanted to leave, no one wanted to leave each other. There was so much love, that was the thing, and we couldn’t have found a better place to do it, in this old castle in the middle of the countryside in Scotland. The Scots are great. And, by the way, nobody grassed on us, nobody; everyone looked after us. Everybody was just so trustworthy. It was like family, instantly.

Ingrid: Now listen, one time when you have time, which doesn’t sound like the immediate future, you will be crazy about Sir Walter Scott.

Madonna: Sir Walter Scott?

Ingrid: Have you read him?

Madonna: I’ve certainly heard of him, but I haven’t ready him.

Ingrid: Ivanhoe – it’s the most romantic book.

Madonna: What period of time did he write?

Ingrid: Early 19th century. [He lived from 1771 to 1832]

Madonna: OK, I’m writing this down. Is it kind of historical?

Ingrid: It’s totally historical.

Madonna: Oh good, we like that.

Ingrid: Now, onward. A little birdie told me that you’re going out on tour? [Madonna’s last official tour was The Girlie Show in 1993]

Madonna: Well, yeah, that’s the plan.

Ingrid: When?

Madonna: This summer. I’m finally gonna fucking drag my ass into a rehearsal studio, yeah.