Cyndi Lauper interview on elle.com today….check it out:
For Cyndi Lauper’s 11th studio album, the Queens-bred songstress headed south and tapped an impressive cast of collaborators—Jonny Lang, B.B. King, and Allen Toussaint, among them. In anticipation of Memphis Blues, which drops June 22 (Lauper’s 57th birthday), she phoned us to chat about her decision to do a blues record, her sartorial pet peeves, and what she really thinks of the Donald.
Why did you want to do a blues album?
For me, it is the Holy Grail musically. This is the root of rock and of jazz. They came out with that PBS series Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues. I looked at it and realized if you’re going to do this, this real Americana, the root of all the music that’s played today, you better go back—and go back again—and find the soul and spirit of it. I think a light should shine down on Memphis again. It was an extraordinary experience.
What was the best part of recording in Memphis?
Every place you go to eat, they’re always playing really cool music. And that’s kind of rare. Because you could eat in a food place and say, “I think I’m going to rip my ears off my head!” That will never happen in Memphis. And, oh my God, I ate so much barbecue there. You could be in the middle of a take and somebody sticks their head in and says, “I got some Gus’ fried chicken.”
How did you choose the tracks on the album?
I was very careful to pick songs that were blues but had a soulful, joyful journey, too. They were very human and really depict the times we live in today. Certain singers become your companions. When I was making The Body Acoustic and Green Day’s American Idiot came out, they became my companions. And in the ’80s, I had Big Maybelle and Little Miss Shapiro.
You rounded up a talented group of collaborators. You team up with B.B. King on Louis Jordan’s “Early in the Mornin’.
the album’s producer] said to look up Louis Jordan because B.B. King always talks about him. So I found “Early in the Mornin’,” and I said, “Holy cow, this stuff is great!” The story line reminded me of the “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” video, where I’m dancing down the street, out all night. I took that scenario from an old Sophia Loren movie, where she’s coming down the street in Naples at dawn with her shoes in her hand over her shoulder.
You recently worked with Lady Gaga on the M.A.C Viva Glam campaign. Are you a big fan of hers?
She’s a good kid. And she’s on fire! I’m so happy for her. I think she’s a really interesting writer.
What other artists are on your playlist?
I like Lucas Silveira, because I like the Cliks. The last album, Dirty King, I really loved. I have eclectic tastes—it depends on what I’m doing. And I listen to music with my son because he has a whole different take on it.
What did you learn from doing Celebrity Apprentice?
It reconfirmed a lot of things I felt about myself. I tried to learn from different people who I thought had different talents.
What was your most memorable moment?
Well, there was when my mother came to the gym—we were doing push-ups and both of us had hair that stood up. It was great to have her there supporting me. And when I was in the car with Sharon [Osbourne] and I said, “Someday, I’m going to learn how to talk.” She looked at me and said, “Forget it—it’s too late.” And I said to her, “It’s never too late.”
What was your impression of the Donald?
I admire how he has his children with him. They’re always flanking him. And they’re nice, so he must’ve done something right. It’s very hard to be a famous person, and it’s very hard to be the child of a famous person and then have a life of your own. I think those kids are doing pretty well.
What are you into fashionwise these days?
The saddest thing for me was the passing of Alexander McQueen, because his last collection was really genius. It was art. And I love wearing art. When art and fashion mix, it’s awesome.
What trends would you like to see go away?
I would like to see corporations not buy out wonderful designers and then push the wonderful designers out, because the clothes are never the same and not as good. And the fake holes in jeans have to go. We can do our own.
Cyndi Lauper / Memphis Blues (DWT70166 / 878037016628 / J12)