Madonna, whose new album ‘Ray Of Light’ hit the stores yesterday (March 2), is the coverstar on this week’s issue of New Musical Express. In a startling interview with our own resident Mad-woman SYLVIA PATTERSON, Maddy talks frankly about her current life, her new music, her daughter, men, Sanskrit, other pop stars, and the de rigeur late-’90s rock superhero subjects of Hinduism and ‘spiritual enlightenment’.
NME‘s Madonna issue is available NOW from all newsagents who’ve seen the ‘… Light’. It costs a mere 95 pence and just to tempt you, here’s a segment from the interview where she gives us her opinion of The Prodigy and The Verve…
“… WHEN MADONNA thinks of the mouthy, petulant, woman in the superb In Bed With Madonna documentary she feels like “patting her on the head and saying, ‘There there… of course you feel that way’. I feel like that’s my silly little sister.” During Evita she “learned how to sing”, which she knows is a preposterous thing for a singer to say “but you could wake up one morning after living some 30 years and say, ‘Well, I’m just learning how to be a human being’.”
She feels much of what used to upset her was “soooo petty”. So many things seem petty to her now. “It’s so weird,” she’s saying, “because I’d been exposed to these things before, people were always trying to get me interested in this and that and giving me books to read and saying, ‘You must meet this person’ but I wasn’t ready. I didn’t want to hear it, wasn’t ready to listen, didn’t want to sit still, didn’t want a moment of stillness. And when you have a baby, you’ve got to give it up. Especially if you’re breast-feeding, it’s not about your schedule, it’s not about your life, it’s about their life. I still have my moments of panic, believe me, but I feel like I’m looking at life through a completely different set of eyes.”
Two questions to check the all-new, low-simmer Madonna temper gauge: How did you feel when Liam Prodigy refused to work on your album saying it’d be like “selling our souls to the Devil”.
“Tough luck for him!” she hoots. “He doesn’t know what he’s missing. I think his reactions are typical. Partly it’s because he’s a boy, partly the fact there’s this elitist attitude that a lot of punk rockers or underground, cutting-edge musical groups have, or groups who think they are, that they can’t be associated with someone who’s, quote unquote, ‘a pop star’; somehow it’s going to demean what you do. It’s just a very immature response and perspective and I would expect nothing less (grins). It didn’t surprise me and the only unfortunate thing is now I’m constantly asked what I think about it. I’m sure Liam is regretting he ever said it, too, because everyone will be asking him.”
At the end of the day, you’re still the boss though, right?
“Yeah, but they still do whatever they want.”
You got a live one there, didn’t you?
“Yes. And that’s alright. I still like them! They can say all the bad things they want to say. They’re supposed to say bad things, they’re the Prodigy.”
The Verve, apparently, refused to let you visit them backstage at their New York show because they have no truck with celebrity liggers.
“Actually, I was meant to go and see The Verve but I got really sick and I never went out,” she breezes. “My friend was quite angry with me, actually. So what was that rumour? That they didn’t let the famous people in? Typical.”
I thought you hated rawk anyway – haven’t you always said you couldn’t relate to it because it’s “too male”?
“Well, you may have heard I said it, but I don’t think I said it,” she snorts. “I have always been more interested in dance, funk, R&B and hip-hop, that’s more my area of expertise, but I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin and there’s a lot of rock music that I really like.”
Ver bleedin’ ZEPPELIN? YOU?
“Well, yeah!” she booms, “and as soon as I heard The Verve’s album I went ballistic. I think I played ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ so much I made poor William Orbit puke at one point. Then everyone else discovered them and I couldn’t bear to listen to them any more. That always happens, doesn’t it? You really like something and it becomes really popular and you’re like, ‘Uch! I just wanted to like them all by myself! They’re my band!'”
It’s getting worse by the second. Madonna, it’s turning out, is the sort of indie sadster who’d write in to Angst….”
The full NME MADONNA interview is available in this week’s issue, coverdated March 7, 1998.