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Madonna Interview : Q Magazine

Natasha Khan [Bat For Lashes] : I’m just about to move to New York to make my second album and I know that you moved to New York at the beginning of your career. I’d like to ask what were the hardest things and the greatest lessons you learned at that time?

Well, the greatest things are also the hardest things, aren’t they? It’s kind of one and the same question. Well, I think going to New York… New York was very different in the early ‘8os to what it is right now It was much scarier then. It’s a hard city to get by on your own if you don’t know people, you don’t have connections and you don’t have any cash. So it really tests you. Do you really believe in yourself? Do you really want this? Are you willing to go through fire for it? It was fun, too. Hard but fun. Is it true I survived on a popcorn diet? That’s true. Has it put me off it for life? No, no. I still love popcorn.

Mark Ronson : What’s your favourite Woody Allen film?

Hmm… My favourite Woody Allen film? Annie Hall? I always like the movies that he and Diane Keaton are in together. I just like their relationship, actually. [Q starts to suggest Annie Hall’s New York backdrop might appeal] No! Erase, erase, erase. Broadway Danny Rose. Is that the right title? It is? I hope so. If I can’t remember the names of Woody Allen’s movies, then I’m retarded. I hope Woody Allen doesn’t take offense.

Kim Gordon [Sonic Youth] : How do you find time to spend with your kids? I’m a mother, so I know it’s a tricky balance.

Mmm-hmmm. There’s a lot of choreography going on. I just have to eke out the time. One day I don’t see my kids very much and the next day I make sure I do. You look at your calendar and you go, “OK, this day’s crazy. But, OK, this day I’m going to take my daughter to ballet. And the next day I’m going to be gone all day. So the day after I’m going to make sure I’m around for dinner and bath time.” And hopefully my husband can fill in when I’m not around and we can all sort of juggle together. But it takes lots of planning. Do my kids approve of the new album? Yeah. My daughter’s favorite songs are Candy Shop and Miles Away. And my son loves 4 Minutes. That’s his favorite.

Katie Melua : Do you think you have to be provocative and stand out in order to be as successful as you have been in a male-dominated world?

I don’t think male domination has anything to do with it. I think if you tell the truth or you want to tell the truth or you want to be opinionated, ultimately you’re going to end up perceived as being provocative. Inevitably, if you are opinionated you will eventually offend someone because we live in a very opinionated world. I do think the trailblazers, the revolutionaries of the world, the people who make their mark on the world – whether they’re political leaders, philosophers or world leaders or artists or whatever – have all offended somebody or been provocative in some way. Plus, yeah, it’s fun to be provocative. Is gender a red herring? I don’t think it’s relevant. Lots of people would say that Martin Luther King was provocative. Or that John Lennon was provocative. Or that Gandhi was provocative. Or Jesus. They’re all men. So do I think the world is male-dominated? I don’t know. I think chicks rule the world in many respects. [Q has no further questions] That’s it? Oh. Well, we ended on a good note.

© Q Magazine