Spin : How about Everything but the Girl ?
Madonna : There’s a plaintive quality to Tracey Thorn’s voice that I really respond to. And that song, « Missing » ? I know they’ve played the shit out of it and I ‘m over it and everything, but it was such a brilliant song.
Spin : Do you have any other current favorites ?
Madonna : I was into the Verve until « Bitter Sweet Symphony » was played on the radio every two seconds. Let’s see, there’s this new group called Air. Their album is fierce. I always respond to songs that have a bitter-sweetness to them, something haunted, but with a real visceral groove to it. Have you heard the Stereo MCs remix of the Tricky song « Makes Me Wanna Die » ? That is the bomb. I like to put that on in my car and play it so loud that my car is vibrating and you can see the doors bending out.
Spin : Do you remember saying in an interview that techno equals death ?
Madonna : Yes.
Spin : Do you still believe that ?
Madonna : To a certain extent. There was a type of techno I was listening to had a real emotional void. But I think it’s developed into something else and now there’s feeling and warmth to it. You can attach it to humanity and before I couldn’t. I couldn’t feel anything.
Spin : How do people like William Orbit or Marius DeVries bring warmth to a synthesizer or a machine ?
Madonna : they don’t ; I do. They bring the cold, I bring the warmth [laughs].
Spin : Certain people are going to suggest that ever since you signed Prodigy to maverick you’ve turned into this electronica-head.
Madonna : Veronica Electronica, thank you very much. My alter ego [laughs].
Spin : What do you think of Goldie?
Madonna : I tried to get him to work on one of the tracks from Ray Of Light. Nellee Hooper played a bunch of early demos for him and he fell in love with « To Have And Not To Hold ». We sent him the master tapes and he said he wanted to work on it by himself and then we never heard from him.
Spin : Fiona Apple ?
Madonna : I love the way she sings. I’m attracted to the dark and she’s dark.
Spin : The Spice Girls ?
Madonna : I like them. I know I’m not supposed to. Every time someone says somethings bad about them, I say « Hey, wait a minute, I was a Spice girl once.»
Spin : How do you feel about New Age music ?
Madonna : Like what ?
Spin : Like Yanni.
Madonna : It’s kind of like the way I feel about beige carpeting. It’s okay, but I don’t want it in my house.
Spin : Do you consider contemporary artists like Bjork and Everything but the Girl your peers ?
Madonna : Well, their music inspires me. Does that make someone my peer ? I don’t know who my peers are, to tell you the truth. I know it’s not Garth Brooks [laughs]. I know I fall into the superstar category, but I don’t feel an affinity with any other music superstars. I’m too left-of-center. I’ll never have mainstream acceptance, never. I’ve had moments of it, fleeting moments, but I don’t think my sensibilities are palatable to the mainstream. I mean, I’m an unwed mother. I’ve kissed girls in public.
Spin : I was playing your back catalog, and it occurred to me that you’ve written some of your best records in the aftermath of painful relationship. Like A Prayer was post-Sean, Erotica was post-Warren. Is performing those songs more difficult than performing the frothier stuff ?
Madonna : No, it feels good. I mean, I feel sad when I’m doing it, but I’m reveling in the sadness. I’m a drama queen ! Melancholy and sadness are great muck to roll around in.
© Spin Magazine