Austin360

Björk declares independence is precious

Björk answered questions — from music critics Joe Gross and Michael Corcoran and solicited from readers of the Austin Music Source blog — via e-mail earlier this month.

Have you ever played Austin before ? What have you heard of the Austin City Limits Music Festival ?

My brain goes into such a scramble when I think about where I have toured. I definitely went there with the Sugarcubes once though.

What influences your unique fashion style and who has been your favorite music video director ?

That’s quite a big question. ... If I have to pick one thing, then I have to say that freedom influences my fashion style. If another, then fun. And if another, comfort. But there is absolutely no way I can pick one favorite music video director. They were all fun in their own way.

Have you ever considered returning to the synth-pop sounds of "Debut" and the since-remastered tracks of artistic collaboration that favored younger audiences of the ’90s ?

Well, from my point of view "Volta" was definitely looking a little back to the early ’90s. The 808 and 909 and sort of a trance thing. But the rest of that album headed forward hopefully. I think nostalgia ain’t that bad but it also has to have a lot of forward looking. We have like 10 remixes done already. I like them a lot. My fav is Matthew Herbert’s "Wanderlust" mix.

Icelandic artist Bjork performs on the Chapiteau stage, during the Paleo Festival in Nyon, Switzerland, Wednesday, July 25, 2007.

What new sculpture, architects or other modern artist’s work do you enjoy seeing these days

Hmmm ... Overall I don’t follow so much that kinda stuff. I have friends that show me stuff but I always forget the names immediately.

What do you think of Prince’s decision to distribute his latest album for free in a British newspaper ?

Good for him ! He seems to have found his ground. Independence like that is precious. It sort of seems to be going down that road anyway. Touring is where people are up for buying a ticket with no regret. The Web gives access to so many things (including free downloads, YouTube and so on) the only thing it can’t give you is "live" experience. So that has become double precious.

With recent across-the-board coverage of the escapades of Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and the like, the media seems obsessed with lightweight celebrity news. What should newspapers and TV news shows be covering instead ?

They should cover what the public buys. And that’s what the public buys. So that’s why it is in the papers.

Has being partners with high-profile visual artist Matthew Barney changed your performance’s visual style at all ? The way you write music ?

Not really. If something it has made me stronger in what I was all the time anyway.

As someone with a Swedish metabolism, beware of the heat and humidity in Austin. My question : What is your favorite vocal "instrument" sound you make ?

Breath.

What motivates you in selecting the few songs from your wide range of music when you perform in concert ? Are there particular sounds and instruments that you value above others for large outdoor performances ?

Well on each tour you have certain musical instruments. On this tour I have 10 brass players, a drummer, a keyboardist and two guys on electronics. So I have gone to my eight albums and picked the songs that will suit best. But probably at the core it is most motivated by an emotion. On this tour I was feeling quite festive, raw, tribal and muscular. So I picked those kinda songs.

Your performance in "Dancer in the Dark" was amazing. Do you have any desire to act in another movie

Not really. I never have. I made an exception with that movie but otherwise I am more into giving all my time into music.

With so many ’80s and early ’90s bands experiencing revivals and reunions, have you at all been tempted to work with the Sugarcubes once more, perhaps for a tour ?

No.

Wearing the swan dress to the Oscars was perhaps the most provocative and controversial fashion statement of all time. Do you sometimes feel that your visual side takes away from the musical, at least in the minds of the masses

It is a little annoying. I have worn more "outrageous" things in Europe and no one said a thing. For example what I wore at Cannes. I guess there is space in Europe for "eccentrics" there just isn’t in (the) U.S.A. at the moment. It is really sad. If Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Boy George, George Clinton or some of those people would arrive today, (the) U.S.A. wouldn’t be able to handle it. The Bush years have made this place really, really conservative. But perhaps it is also the hidden control thing Hollywood has. It is so sacred to people here. I didn’t know. I thought they could take a little bit of humour. If you make fun at Hollywood you will be punished for seven years (that’s how long ago that is, can you believe it ?). But to be honest with you I’d rather put my energy into what is happening now. In 2007 ...

You’ve worked with musicians as diverse as Timbaland, Nellee Hooper and Lightning Bolt. As a songwriter, do you feed off of this interaction or do you come to these musicians with a very specific idea of what you want ?

Both really. It really varies. With those three it was three very different ways of working. Never twice the same. You just have to be spontaneous, follow a gut feeling.

publié dans Austin360 - 10.09.2007

 

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