Wherry is a music critic at The National Post.
Pop Divas, Pantydom and 3-Chord Ditties,
appeared in Arts & Opinion, Vol. 2, No. 4, 2003.
For more on Aaron, check out his blog at:
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Krall talks about her new album, The
Girl in the Other Room
which includes songs written with her husband and collaborator,
DIANA: I'll be ready on Sunday to hit the bandstand. That's the
best way for people to decide for themselves what they like and
what they don't like.
then though, there's still time for questions -- like whether
the qualities she admires in Joni Mitchell's music, the "personal,
confidential, honest and real" as she notes in the latest
issue of Word magazine, are things she looks for in
I always have. I've always done what was right for me artistically
at the time. I've always had tremendous control over my music.
or not I would do the same thing now -- in retrospect, yes I would.
But I don't feel the same way about some songs that I did. Some
songs you just don't want to go back to -- [they] represent a
time, an honest time, and place and you're just not feeling that
way. But I think everything I've done has been honest, even if
in retrospect one or two choices I wish I hadn't found. I would
say there's one piece that I've never performed in public that
I kinda don't feel is right for me.
Popsicle Toes, a Michael Franks tune I recorded for 1998 (When
I Look in Your Eye). I just don't feel it. I knew it right after
the record came out. But I have nothing against Michael Franks.
The song was right for me at the time. I don't regret it, it wasn't
words like "personal" and "confidential"
are what we'd like to draw her attention to. Krall is an artist
with a well-worn reputation for privacy -- someone who keeps
her much speculated-about life beyond music, including that
rather famous hubby, to herself. What of such qualities then?
I've had to learn how to do this. It's been fairly difficult for
me, because I care so deeply about what I do, to the point where
someone has taken advantage of that recently. I care about my
family first, I care about my husband and I care about my privacy.
I chose what to say on my terms on this record. And I'm learning
or have learned better now than in the past, what I have to reveal.
Or if I really can't explain it because it's all there on the
album, that's all I really have to say. I've said it. And it's
pretty confidential, so what else am I going to say?"
Who was the person who took advantage of you?
I think you can probably figure that out.
Yeah. So then you shut the door again . . . Everything's new.
Everything's learning. You don't go out of the gate and say, 'I
know what I'm doing' because why . . . what would . . . how .
. . you know . . . would I be able to look at you with a script
and have like publicists say, 'she's not going to talk about this,
she's not going to talk about this' and just give you sound bites?
so much care into what I do, if it comes out sometimes where I
run into a wall where I just kinda go, 'I don't really know' .
. . that's why I choose to express it through words and music.
her credit, there was no such list from her publicist. Not that
such a move ever works for the privacy-seeking artist.
People have suggested that I do that. And that's not really going
to do me any good either. Because then they'll just make the piece
she takes her cues from Woody Allen. Seriously.
I love the style of Woody's films. They're very improvisational
and they are wonderfully neurotic and funny and serious too.
your films, especially the early funny ones,' right? That's what
I'm going to get. 'I love your albums, especially the earlier
sultry ones. You have to be able to take the piss out of yourself.
It's serious stuff. This is real life. This isn't a game. These
are serious things that we talk about. But it doesn't mean that
there's not some kind of dark humour in things. Because there
always is. Otherwise you'd go crazy. And I love my life too much.
I have a lot of fun.
she had the day before, playing in a train station in front
of a couple of thousand people, clad in the type of coat that's
likely visible from space.
That's why I wore a green jacket. It keeps your sense of humour
intact. I have a pair of green lame snake boots that sometimes
I keep travelling with and I wear them occasionally because if
I'm doing a long press day, I just look down and go, 'Yup, I haven't
lost my sense of humour.'
real fun awaits. But first one more question. This time from
What do you think of the record?
I like it. I was really happy to see the Joni Mitchell and Tom
Waits stuff. And I think the song writing was the best thing you
DIANA: I've always known that. Throughout the whole process. It
was really good. It was good to be closed and not have any other
opinions or anything except for your own. And it's all about music.
And then you do what you're supposed to do. You want to play music,
you want to tour and this is a different record so you have to
go out and talk about it. That's part of the process that's the
most traumatic definitely, the most difficult. But then getting
to play it, that's the most rewarding because the music is going
to change again. And that's what I'm going to enjoy. I'm already
singing Girl in the Other Room differently than I sang
it on the record. Being jazz musicians, that's what we do. Change
'em, stretch 'em, play 'em, write more things. But getting out
on the road now, I'll be so glad to do it.