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Madonna Interview : Record Mirror

Madonna - Record Mirror / January 07 1984

“I think I’m one of the first disco personalities,” she says. “A lot of it is rather cold dance music, there’s no personality to it, and people are really forgettable. That’s difference with British music, I think. There’s a group and with it there’s a fashion, there’s a look, there’s something for people to attach it to. It seems there’s more coherence.”

“There’s already a big British invasion here because of that, I think, especially as there’s a bit of a glut right now as all the big people choose to put their records out and it doesn’t leave room for anything fresh.”

“Being brought up in Detroit and having older brothers who played soul music, it was my main influence, of course. I never listened to heavy metal or rock music. So my sound is the result of the kind of music I always liked.”

“I’m approaching it from a very simple point of view because I’m not an incredible musician. I want to keep it that way, I want it to be direct.”

“Jellybean has been an influence as well, of course. Down at his club the Funhouse, her mixes everything behind a pounding bass drum which dominates the huge club.”

“Everyone goes there to dance. There aren’t groups of people drinking or trying to pick up. Dancing is king. People gyrate in front of the mirrors which are set up on all the pillars supporting the huge warehouse on New York’s West Side. The more confident are up on stage doing their thing, and if anyone’s really hot on the dance floor, a small group will stand round and watch.”

Disco is not Madonna’s only talent. The singer has trained as an actress and a dancer, and has recently worked on a film about a wrestler who comes to the city to make it big.

“It’s a small part I have as a singer in a club where the boy goes with the girl,” says Madonna. “Each song is symbolic. One is from the girl’s point of view, as she’s not really attached to this guy. There’s a slow song where they dance together, which is the nearest they get to being really together and there’s one from the guy’s point of view where he knows he can’t have her and she’s leaving.”

“The film is a coming of age movie. The boy’s working out training for the Olympics and at the same time he’s trying to fit in. In the end he wins the big fight, but loses the girl.”

“It doesn’t sound much, but it’s really a very good movie.”

Isn’t Madonna in danger of losing out by trying to do too much? So many people who have crossed from one medium to the other have had a job making it in either field.

“You can cross over – Judy Garland did it,” she exclaims. “I don’t see how it’s not possible. If Sissy Spacek can be a country singer, why can’t I be an actress?”

“I don’t see it as being so diverse, especially with video becoming so strong. Certain things are central to any performer and one of those aspects is being able to watch them. After you’ve done an album you often have to wait around for six months until it’s promoted, so I might as well act in that time.”

“There aren’t any rules that say you can’t. Music is very important to me, but the thought I can only make records for the rest of my life fills me with horror. I think people who are talented at something are good at a lot of different things.”

© Record Mirror