Emiliana Torrini
 
Date : 14 August 2001
Location : The Hollywood Troubadour

We arrived as Emiliana and her band were in the midst
of a sound check. It was amazing to watch her at work,
the perfectionist within remarking on all aspects of the
bands sound. After the sound check concluded we were
ushered into the Troubadourís bar section where we had
the chance to speak with Emilana. Though time was short,
and the crowd began to enter the venue as we spoke, she
was as delightful and kind as one could ever expect. Each
word or phrase was carefully thought out. Not so much
as a cautionary measure, but to make sure that it
matched the true feeling she had within.

 

Emiliana: Iíve got spinach in my teeth, Iíve got to know. Do I?

Charles: No, youíre fine.

Emiliana: sorry:

Charles: I actually had a ton of questions but it seems weíre short
of time.

Emiliana: Weíll do them very quickly!

Charles: And just shoot them right off, yeah? So how is the tour going?

Emiliana: (spoken very quickly) Really well! ďdwingĒ

Charles: This is the first night of doing a show by yourself?

Emiliana: Yes, and our last also.

Charles: Are you coming back at all?

Emiliana: Weíre coming to New York in September, playing with
Coldplay. Itís been a three month tour so weíre happy to go home.
But I want to keep on going.

Charles: Does it just feel good?

Emiliana: I love touring. I love playing live. I think itís much better
than anything else.

Charles: So you donít like to just sit at home and watch tv?

Emiliana: No! Not at all. Iím too lazy even for television. I like
going to the park and going for walks and stuff. Reading books.

Charles: So youíre an outdoors person?

Emiliana: Yeah.

Jeremy: How are you enjoying the west coast?

Emiliana: Itís brilliant. I have nothing to compare it to. Itís the first time
Iíve been to the east and west coast. Thereís some really funny things for
me that weíre not quite used to.

Jeremy: Such as?

Emiliana: The muscle mania on the beaches where some people go to
practice their legs. And some rules that we donít know and you have to
follow them. Everything is I.D and very strict with booze, yet you can
have a gun. Itís very funny and doesnít make any sense to me. Itís almost
half fascist in some things.

Charles: Much like our sexual mores. Where the country is so free but
than weíre like Puritans and canít talk about it or show it on tv.

Emiliana: Yes, very funny. But I love it. We met some complete magic
people that we put our claws into. (at this point she acts a bit embarrassed,
as though she had betrayed some personal secret)

Charles: You sure you want to stop?

Emiliana: Yes.

Charles: It must be strange, as youíve been touring as an opening band
for Tricky, Travis, Dido and Sting for a while.

Emiliana: Lou Reed. One gig. It was an outdoors blues festival. There
were a few bands and than him. We were in Florence, and than him, and
it was beautiful. It was very funny, but it was great.

Charles: Was it hard to not be a fan?

Emiliana: I was a fan of the Velvet Underground. Itís always brilliant
to be able to watch somebody in a really small venue.

Charles: Was it hard to walk up to him and say ďI was a fan, but now
weíre on a similar level, as musicians.Ē

Emiliana: No, I never had a feeling like that. First of all I donít think
I would walk up to him at all. For me itís always like, people do music
and you canít go deeper than knowing a person through music really.

Charles: What would your music tell us about you?

Emiliana: You would have to perceive that in your way! Some people
probably hate it and see me as a complete asshole. I donít know. I like
things in-between reality and non-reality. Thatís how I live my life.

Charles: On the fringes?

Emiliana: A little bit, but not like a mad person. I create my life how
I want to have it, and my world how I want to have it, how I want to
live in it. Everyone is invited, but itís very important that you have your
own opinions on things and beliefs.

Charles: With that mind frame, what would happen if you had a huge
hit and you had to do tv along with all the responsibilities with being
extremely popular. Would that be hard to do?

Emiliana: I have no idea. I think people are living harder lives than that
in normal lives. I donít really want anything hysterical and I donít think
it would go there. And if it would, I guess you can take the things you
want to do and not do the other. You have to keep a little control of
what your doing.

Charles: Some people feel as though they have no choice. Like Radiohead,
where they felt as though they had to talk to everybody and were puppets.
I can imagine that would be difficult, especially with the level of freedom
you hold dear.

Emiliana: I think you can also get yourself out of it. It might happen to
you for a while than you can at least choose if you want to stay there or not.

Charles: But itís all in the music?

Emiliana: Yes, itís all in the music. I donít think you should stop creating
or doing but you need to also know what you want and be very careful
what you wish for. I donít think it will effect you if youíre doing everything
for the right reason and you believe in it. I think it would be very, very hard
and give you lots of insecurities if youíre doing it for the wrong reason and
doing it because you wish to be thereÖ.and only that. That will just crowd
you with insecurities.

Charles: So itís all about holding on to yourself, being true to yourself?

Emiliana: Yes, nothing else. When someone writes about you, if your shit
or not. It doesnít really matter if youíre sincere with it and it doesnít effect
you at all. But if you came into it and it wasnít right, than you read something
bad about it, it effects you. You knew you shouldnít have done it.
You betrayed yourself.

Jeremy: You talked about creating. Whatís the outlook for a new album
or recording again?

Emiliana: Iím going to start writing when I get off this tour. In New York
we do one more show than home. Last year was a living hell. My personal
life was down the drain and I didnít have time to do it.

Charles: Does the music help you be strong.

Emiliana: I donít know, I think itís both ways. The fear is always there.
The worst part is so much fear of doing music. Itís a lot of work and
you have to express yourself.

By this time the nights crowd had begun to fill the surrounding rooms.
Thus it was time to let Emiliana prepare for the showÖ.

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