I finally finished the transcription of this interview which was broadcasted on Modern Rock Live, August 3, 1997. I tried
to make this transcription as good as I can, but there are a few parts difficult to understand and that's why you see ?,
... and () every now and then. I also made some Real Audio soundclips of Lauren talking and of some of the live songs she
did on the show (the 'talking' soundclips are about 120 Kb). I hope you enjoy reading the interview.
I want to thank David Lee for sending me the tape and for helping me fill in the missing and misspelled words.
MRL: So I had a lunch date with our first guest, it's Lauren Christy, you probably ... while you didn't
see Batman and Robin obviously so you didn't hear the song in the movie but you probably have seen the video on MTV and she
was just at that time getting ready to shoot the video and you were gonna do some type of cabbage diet or something like
that as far as I can remember?
LC: Eh yeah, that's right, it lasted about 2 hours.
MRL: So talk about this diet, exactly what it is, you eat nothing but cabbage soup right?
LC: That's right, you literally buy tons of cabbages and like it's pretty horrible and we made up this cabbage soup and we made literally I mean huge pots of it, enough to like put upstairs at our neighbours, freezers we had it every where and then all you do for 3 days is eat the cabbage soup as much as you want and then you literally drop like you know ungodly amounts of weight like maybe 15 pounds in 3 days, it's very healthy of course. And eh .... it lasted 2 hours, what they don't tell you is that the cabbage soup is just vile!
MRL: After a while it's kind of boring.
LC: And so I decided to go to for a more healthy eating approach. Just you know like while I've been having a love affair with chocolate milk for many years now so I kind of caught that thing out, lots of fruit, vegetables, you have to watch it you know. When you got a record and you are travelling around the country all the time eating your way across America that's the way I like to describe it. So I kind of ......... You just have to watch what you eat.
MRL: Welcome to the show. It's good to have you. A lot of people, this is kind of their first introduction to you Lauren Christy again, hearing the music on the radio and everything. Tell us about yourself, where did you grew up?
LC: I grew up in South London in England and eh I was ... went to a school in Surrey in South London and then when I was 10 years old, I was sort of obsessed with ballet when I was a kid, and I auditioned to, it was the optional school to the Royal Ballet School, it's called Bush Davies and it's in the middle of know where in the country side and I went away to boarding school when I was 10 years old and it was kind of weird because pretty much that was almost like becoming an adult at 10 years old cause I would only see my parents 2 days every 2 months.
MRL: Is that a good or bad thing?
LC: Hmm it was kind of lonely but I think it was a really good thing for me. I wouldn't suggest it for little boys though. I've heard what goes on in all those boarding schools for little boys, but for girls I'm here to tell you, there's nothing like that, we just ... it was really like all those Enid Blyton books. (laughing) Goody goody it's dinner time (laughing again)
MRL: Oh (laughing). Now, you were in the ballet?
LC: Yeah, that's what I wanted to do but I fairly quickly got out of that because my best friend's father at school was Tony Hatch, who wrote "Down town" for Petula Clark, "Dancing in the subway, darling" and all that stuff. And when I kind of got to see what he was doing and I could play the piano, I was always been able to play the piano since I was 2 years old or something, I just thought wow, that's what I want to do and the ballet became kind of side thing for me and I just went full steam ahead to be a songwriter. I new that's really what I wanted to do and be an artist, be a performer. So I started writing songs when I was 12.
MRL: You had a publishing deal when you were 18.
LC: Yeah, I mean thanks to Tony Hatch actually because what happened was, Michele his daughter they actually immigrated to Australia and came back when I was 16 and he heard from demo's I've been doing,cause I managed to get enough 4 track demo's together and he actually gave me my first break.
MRL: That's wild I mean that's pretty interesting because at that age to be focused exactly what you want to do because certainly people at that age don't know what to do, let alone...
LC: Yeah, I know I kind I feel I was lucky to know what to do.
MRL: What is the first song you ever wrote?
LC: Hmm, that dreadful song "Don't mess with my lipstick".
MRL: Oh really, could you give us some of it?
LC: No, I'm not giving you any of it (laughing ashamed), it was so bad I tell you that people might be listening (laughing).
MRL: Just give me one line of the lyrics.
LC: Ok, "don't mess with my lipstick" (laughing) I'm not giving you anything more than that. It was so bad.
MRL: Oh that's great. We could save that for the Lauren Christy box set.
LC: Yeah, oh actually I got all my original demo's hidden, there in a vault somewhere.
MRL: How many songs could you write at a time at that age?
LC: Well in fact you know what funny is when I was young I used to just write tons of songs I mean maybe like 4 a day and the older I've got the less I write but I hope I got better.
MRL: You have, I promise you have. (Lauren laughing)
LC: Judging by that song, Yeah I think I definitely have.
MRL: How do you discipline yourself to write?
LC: Well, you know I used to think that it was like you like I wait for some divine inspiration you just sit there and plea something come to me and I work with a man called Charlie Midnight who wrote "Living in America" for James Brown and he really really taught me about really working hard on lyrics and literally sitting there and really really working. Obviously I have to find something I'm really interested in, I don't sit down at the piano and go "here's a nice tune", I have to find something to get to the bottom of a subject like kind of therapy on myself and he taught me the art of really really focusing on something and not stopping, you know carrying on for 3 hours and just like going going going till you get it right and then making a song better, you know, I'm one of those people often a week after the demo I say it's not right, better go back and fix it.
MRL: Are you hard on yourself when it comes to that?
LC: Yes, I'm very very very hard on myself and I drive people crazy actually.
MRL: Who do you trust I mean as far as you know when you write a song and record it, who do you trust to play it for and know, and go really say this is great, not this bull Hollywood insincere crap?
LC: My husband, a couple of my producers, Andy Scott, who is playing guitar with me tonight, Gary Clark who was one of the producers on this record, Charlie Midnight, a couple of my guardian angels who were involved in my career as I like to call them that, there is probably very few but most of all myself, you know, I really do think I know if it is not cutting the mustard or whatever the expression is, I thin I know.
MRL: The video of "Breed" is pretty amazing, you definitely have an edge to it in the video, do you like doing that kind of thing?
LC: Yes I do, I mean it's an interesting process because it's something, you know, I'm actually not that vain and you have to be vain to be on film. You know, you have to look good, it's all the clothes, the make-up and all that kind of stuff and it does kind of irritate me a bit, but I'm sure back in the days like, you know, Janis Joplin that wasn't really an issue then, nowadays it is and so I just kind of work with the best people and try and have as much fun and try and keep it kind of light and not get too serious about what I'm doing.
MRL: Yes, I mean, it get's to the point you got to separate that this is suppose to be fun and not driving you nuts.
LC: Not trying to make a Felini movie.
MRL: Oh, you probably could someday judging by that video ..... pushing the envelope. I had the chance to hear you sound check before the show, you want to talk about the guitar player you have with you tonight?
LC: Ye, Andy, he is from Scotland, from Aberdeen, and he is one of the producers on the record, he co-wrote the first song that we're gonna sing tonight called "Magazine" and he is a great guy. I have a little interesting story about his recording studio where we recorded some of the album actually. I don't know if I can tell this on the air, Andy went, this is how he got his studio where we recorded some of the album, he went into hospital to have an operation, and to cut a long story short when he woke up he had a bandage around the end of his penis which wasn't the area they were meant to be operating on. He was kind of confused by it, but it turned out there were 2 Andy Scott's in the hospital. But anyway, the settlement is how he bought the studio where we did half the album.
MRL: Oh my, well we got a good tip, is he fine now?
LC: He's fine, he says he feels great.
MRL: Now let's listen to Lauren Christy's brand new single, as Andy is laughing back there, it's called "Breed" on Modern Rock Live.
Single version of 'Breed'
MRL: Our first phone call comes from Rick,Rick thanks for calling Modern Rock Live, you're on with Lauren Christy.
Rick: What's your favourite song on your new album and secondly do you pay attention to criticsreviews?
LC: Well first my favourite song would be "I want what I want" which will be the 2nd single, so that's a good thing, and yeah it is really difficult not to listen to what the critics say. I try to ignore it and I try to definitely not ... the kind of industry papers. So far everybody has been quite nice.
MRL: Ye, actually everything has been well received, I mean eh, you get an opportunity where people, friends call you and go: You've got to read this and don't read this, don't pick up this magazine. Did this ever happened?
LC: I think the only time I got one really really bad review some girl said she liked, it was with my first album, this girl said she was so bored she had to get of the tube, the subway, and go to the record store to buy another album (Lauren laughing) I loved it.
MRL: It might have been that lipstick song.
LC: So I had her killed, I did it the American way.
MRL: Ye sure. Steven your next.
Steve: Since you didn't see Batman,what was the latest movie you saw and how did you get involved with the Batman soundtrack?
LC: You know, I hate to say this but I haven't seen the Batman movie just because I have been on the road but I have seen uhm Howard .... private parts ... (?). I've rented it because you can get in on video now and eh and I was really surprised that how sweet he is.
MRL: It's a great movie.
LC: Yeah I think he is really sweet and what was the first question you said? Oh have I seen the Batman movie ... No I haven't had a change.
MRL: ... sure it will be. ... .Todd you're next on MRL.
Todd: Hi, what was your favourite childhood memory?
LC: Uhmmm, my favourite childhood memory was when my parents bought me a hamster and ehm I went out to find it dead in the box and eh and then I like buried it and stuff and then I you know found out .... 6 months that they hibernate. That's probably gotta be ..... it's the most .... of my childhood. There you go.
MRL: Lauren Christy for P... P.... Uhmm did when you were growing up, did you have the opportunity at least to when you were in boarding school whatever to at least meet different people that maybe influenced you down the road, did you keep in touch with anybody that might have influenced you along the way?
LC: Oh God, I'm sure, my older brother's best friend had a record deal and that was a really big deal for me. And he had a studio, a four track studio so that was you know I mean a huge deal for me and yeah you know other, other people who ....... Jane Leaves who is in Frassier.
MRL: Friend of yours?
LC: Yeah, she was on school with me. She's wonderful, in fact she's great, she got me tickets to go down the studio and hang with everyone.
MRL: We love her, it's a great show.
LC: That was great and uhm Holly Walker (?) also, I just met up with her after years of not seeing her. She's in tons of films like ..... I can't remember, she's a really well known actress. But yeah there's
MRL: So you got some h.... friends, including one who is sitting across from us, Andy, sorry to hear about the operation.
Andy & LC : (laughing)
Andy: I've got a ..... (?)
MRL: Oh good that seems so .. eh when you see Andy on tour you know, make sure to give him a special hello. What are we gonna hear know?
LC: We gonna do 'Magazine' which is about my obsession with women's magazine's. I have them piled high in the house. I'm addicted to them but I don't know what they are talking about. So this is what the song is about.
Live version of 'Magazine' (90 Kb)
MRL: Great job, excellent Lauren Christy. And if there is any magazine that you like to be on the cover of those female magazine's, which one would it be and what would the headline be?
LC: Well, on the female magazine's ooh God, you really asked me(?). I'd say I like to be on George magazine but that's not a female magazine.
MRL: Let's talk to Bob, he Bob
Bob: .... if there are any good luck rituals that you would do before you go on stage to perform?
LC: Good luck rituals, uhm yeah, I have to say white rabbit 9 times, turn around 3 times, bent down and touch me tows and sneeze. No, anything, I can't think of anything but then you know why not? No I just like to really quietly throw up, that's usually what is my good luck ritual. It's like I get so nervous, I really do. The other day I had to do a gig for my record label and it completely freaked me out.
MRL: Is it the audience or?
LC: Small audiences, it's really funny you know like if it was 2000 people I think I would be fine. Well, I've done a few gigs for a lot of people but it's when you know you're in a room and you can see the people faces and this actually is really fine for me performing on the radio, because I'm sure there's lot's of people out there, if I even think about it I'm gonna freak myself out.
MRL: At least Holly is listening, he Holly.
Holly: Do you think people in America are very open to you or do you find most of your support coming from British fans?
LC: Oh, well considering I live in America and I've been here for 6 years and I was signed in America and I had never anything released in England I would say definitely all my support is in America. The records have never come out there ..... yet. I hope this one is gonna ... but usually if you signed in America it has to come out here first, but so far everyone in America has been just wonderful.
MRL: Kenny, you're next on MRL, you're on with Lauren Christy.
Kenny: If you could play with anybody, who would it be?
LC: Beck, yeah (laughing).
MRL: He's been on the show a couple of times and he's a great guest, I mean it's a great show you know. Take the time out and go see him, you'll enjoy it. Have you ever seen him at all?
LC: No, but I've heard so much about him live and I'm just a huge fan, he is wonderful.
MRL: Kenny, good question, thanks for calling and we get another live performance ... hear next?
LC: We are going to hear a song called 'Boomerang bang'.
Live version of 'Boomerang bang'
MRL: So great, great job, amazing.
LC: Thank you very much.
MRL: Lauren Christy on MRL the new CD is called 'Breed' on Mercury Records. It's in stores now. We are talking now with Ryan, he Ryan.
Ryan: He, Uhm Lauren what were some of the latest CD's you've picked up for ..... (?) listening pleasure?
LC: Oh, uhm, I've just got the, eh, how are they called "I'm a fire starter"?
MRL: Oh, Prodigy, that's pretty weird (?)
LC: Yeah, I love that, and .. trying to think what else I've got, uhm, you know, I haven't bought any records recently but I tell you what I'm really into listening to, uhm, I really love listening to Bjork, eh I love the remix album she did recently. I really like the Fiona Apple CD, I listen to that a lot, uhm, trying to think who else I am listening to at the moment. Uhm, I like the Wall Flowers, I haven't bought it yet but I do love that, all the singles I'm hearing.
MRL: Yeah, we talked of the air about this whole female singer/songwriter thing. You get ..., not upset, but does it bothers you that you get lumped in sometimes with that or is that a positive thing?
LC: I think it's a good thing, I'm .. people always say, you know, Alanis Morissette comparisons, I'm first of all very flattered by that .... (?) that anyone who sold that many records. I'm flattered to be lumped in with them and you know, I think it's a bit of a shame sometimes ... (?) radio where they used to, you know, they would play one female song to every 5 male songs. I think it is changing, isn't it? females are just getting stronger and stronger.
MRL: Taking over the world.
LC: Let's hope.
MRL: If there's ever an opportunity that you met with Fiona Apple, would you participate maybe in a concert or a songwriting project, or any other female singer/songwriter?
LC: I love to yeah. You know, I would love to perform with Kate Bush, you know being British (?)
MRL: Oh, that would sound pretty cool.
LC: Or Debbie Harry. These are the people that are my idols.
MRL: He Beth are you there, how are you doing?
Beth: He good, I just wanted to know what you like to do in your free time?
LC: Well, I'm one of those people who made my career out of my hobby literally. I mean I really was lucky that music is what I like to do. When I'm hanging out is like you know singing, writing songs but I go to the beach cause I live in California, I run along the beach, I eh
MRL: You have a nice tan.
LC: Do I really? No actually I'm completely like lily white (?), I have like factor 50 sun block all the time. I play tennis, my live is pretty boring, most of the time I'm working you know, thinking about music, writing songs, having fun of course you know I'm English so we do a lot of drinking being English you know.
MRL: So that you carried over moving to America?
LC: Ye, definitely ye, go out a lot you know, what I do is like I have one day in, maybe 2 days actually when I'm kind of detoxing, and then go out and I just slam it again and get completely wrecked and spent de next 2 days feeling really really sorry for myself again. But uhm you can't do that on the road, that's the only problem.
MRL: Andy, do you watch over her to make sure she calms down?
Andy: No, ....
MRL: Ok, you let her go alright. This guy is just worrying about his own things. Thanks Beth for your phone call, we appreciate it. Lauren Christy is with us on Modern Rock Live and eh we do another song? What are we gonna hear now?
LC: Sure, this is the second single, it's called "I want what I want".
MRL: And this is your favourite song?
LC: Yes, my wish list of everything I want in live.
MRL: Ok, let's listen to it and see what it is all about.
Live version of 'I want what I want' (180 Kb)
MRL: Frank, what do you think?
Frank: Yeh, it was good,uhm, I wanted to know how stressful is it for you to create an album?
LC: Yes, it is quit stressful, actually, you know it takes a long time, it's a lot of fun. This time I actually decided I wanted to collaborate because my first record was like kind of sad and lonely and depressive, I was a very sad, lonely and depressive girl at that point. And now this album is a reflection of my live now, this is much more fun, I'm happy. A lot of friends are on it, so in that way it made it a lot easier, but the tricky thing is, as a songwriter I wrote about 50 songs for this record probably, and we record like 10 and then I write another one. Just as we thought the record was finished, we write another one and went back to the record and then we go "that sound like a hit, let's go back to the studio and do it again". So in a way it was really great because you keep giving them more material .... that everybody thinks you know more like more of a hit I hope and eh but in that way it's hard to finally go "it's done" and actually I .... Danny ... who is the president of the label, who is really supportive, he was the one who said to me "Ok Lauren, you're done now relax, it's very good Lauren, relax".
MRL: It will drive you nuts after a while.
LC: Exactly, so in that way it is stressful.
MRL: Matt, you're next.
Matt: Hi, what where you're hobbies as a child?
LC: Oh, my hobbies as a child, ballet ...... ballet, ballet, ballet, tap dancing, which actually went back and forth when I was about 17 years old before I got lucky with my publishing deal. We were talking about this tonight, weren't we, being a musician unfortunately you sometimes end up completely broke and eh that was one of the things I went back and did to make some money uhm killing small animals, by accident, uhm (laughing).
MRL: That's enough, I think, that's enough for a childhood, James.
James: How long did it take to make the new album "Breed"?
LC: Nice voice, I like that voice, uhm it took I would say a good year, maybe even a little longer. The writing process you know I mean I wrote one of the songs "25 back then" in January 1995.
MRL: Did you actually put another spin on that song or is it basically as you intended it to be a few years later?
LC: No, it's actually pretty much, it was kind of template for what I wanted the record to be.
MRL: Gracy, you're next on Modern Rock Live.
Gracy: He, what's your advice for young and upcoming bands because I have one?
MRL: What's the name of the band and where are you located?
Gracy: It's called Residue and we are in Milwaukee.
LC: I would say like you know concentrate on the songwriting and you know I mean maybe that was probably a criticism I had of myself, I didn't really know anybody else his songs, you know when a lot of my friends where in other bands who were playing cover tunes of other people I was sitting at home writing my own songs. I think that probably helped me to get taken seriously enough to get a record deal. But I just really really concentrated ..................... you never make any money in this business, so if you just go for it saying I'm just going to have fun and it's not about the money, then probably things will come to you easier then if you trying be really calculating about 'I'm going to write this hit and I'm going to take it to this record company ... when I ever thought like that it never happened for me. When I just relaxed and said I'm committed to doing this for the rest of my live, I don't care about the money then it started to fall in place for me. That would be my advice.
MRL: And if you're not talented to write a song or sing you can do what Andy did and just call a hospital get part of your member taking of and buy a recording studio. So there you go, there's inspiration for everybody, here you go.
LC: Poor Andy.
MRL: Lauren, thanks so much for spending time with us.
LC: Oh thanks, it was a pleasure.
MRL:We love the record and eh is there going to be a tour?
LC: Yeh, we are planning it right now, I'm not gonna say any names because, you know everything is up in the air, October.
MRL: Lauren Christy, Andy thank you so much for joining us.
[ Home ] [ Previous: Reviews ] [ Next: Promo video ]