Interview: Sharleen Spiteri
With the Texas European Tour in full swing, we chat to their lovely leading lady
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Sharleen! How are you, lovely? You've been touring in Berlin, yes?
Yeah, I feel great! I had one of those magnesium shots in my bum! I had appointment at this clinic and this lady looked at my tongue and said, 'you're tired because you've got digestion problems'. So I took a friend and she had a shot as well. The two of us were just lying there and I was like, 'Oh my God, we’re like Beverly Hills housewives, lying here with our intravenous drips hanging from a fucking wall. In Berlin!" Outrageous. Then a guy comes in and he’s like, 'Do you want some acupuncture while you sit there?' and I was like, “Fuck! This place is brilliant!” [laughs].
Amazing, I speak to Sharleen Spiteri straight after a shot in the arse...
[In an American accent] Don’t you just love a little bit of magnesium in your ass every now and again? I’ll tell you though, it fucking hurt. I felt like a horse had booted me.
So you're feeling great, physically. How's the tour going?
We’ve been on it for like two months now. It’s been great. We did Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany. I fucking love Berlin! It’s got a real energy about it. It’s very like New York; it’s got that real artistic flair to it.
So, what are you playing on the tour? Have you got a range of Texas tracks, or is it mostly new album material?
We’re doing, I would say, six or seven tracks from the new album and then you mix that in with all the other stuff. I think it would be a bit mad for us not to do the hits as well. But the really good thing is that the new stuff sits so well with the old stuff. There’s not any point where you kind of go, ‘oh that’s a new song, it doesn’t sound as good as the big hits'. The songs are standing up against the hits, which is great. I mean, The Conversation is a massive hit in Europe anyway.
You’ve always done well on mainland Europe, haven’t you?
Yeah, really well. It’s amazing because, it’s one of those things when, after an eight year break, you really don’t have any idea how it’s going to work. You don’t know how it's going to happen, or how it’s going to come across, but I think the break has been really good. I think people just shutting their ears off to Texas for a bit has almost sort of ignited the memory of what was.
They remember why they fell in love with you in the first place.
Yeah, it’s a really nice feeling. And then suddenly we’ve also this young audience as well. We’d experienced a little bit of it in the UK, doing the festivals and stuff, but I didn’t know it would spread over. Suddenly you’ve got like 20-year-olds jumping at the front and singing all the songs and I’m thinking, 'what the hell?'
You certainly had a 'back to basics' approach to this latest album and it seems to have worked...
Yeah, it's weird cause I didn't realise we had such a distinctive sound until now. After we had that break, a lot of people we first played our new record to said 'yeah, this is a Texas record'. I didn't know what that meant, but you don’t really know; you're not really aware what you sound like.
You did slightly deviate from the 'Texas sound' back in 2003 with your album 'Careful What You Wish For', however...
Yes, I think there's definitely a moment as a band when you go through a period where you think you should be more 'relevant' and more 'up-to-date'. Then you realise, actually that's not what your natural sound is, like every bone is your body is not going that way. I think every band fights against it in their career, certainly a band that's lucky enough to have a long career.
Is there a style or genre of music that you haven’t done yet but have always wanted to do?
Always. I go through mad periods. At one point I was into fucking Transylvanian gypsy music. It just depends on my mood. I go through moments – one moment I think I’m Barbra Streisand and the next I think I’m fucking Julie Ramone. It just really depends on the day of the week you get me [laughs].
We also love that you've never really gone down the 'tits and ass' route that so many female artists seem to fall into. Miley Cyrus is certainly rocking that right now...
You understand why they do it, but for me, my way always worked differently. I want to be sexy as well, but what I find sexy is obviously very different to what they find sexy. I find what you don’t see sexy rather than what you do see. I understand where someone like Miley Cyrus is coming from, the whole Disney thing, being a child star and having that goody two shoes imagery. That whole thing just makes you just want to get away from that. Surely she has some good people around her that can say, 'fine, but why not do it in the smart way rather than the obvious way. To me it's just dead obvious and obvious doesn’t work for me. I must admit though, her body is off the charts! Please God, if ever I’m reincarnated, can I come back with that body?
We've spoken in previous interviews about your dislike for bullies and rude people. [Remember Sharleen's infamous spat with heir-head Paris Hilton?] So we have to ask... what made you tell Liz Hurley to 'fuck off'?
Oh, well basically she was just really rude. I was asked to come to this party and the organisers said, 'Even if you just show up for dessert, we really need the support at this party, please come. So I turned up at something I didn't want to go to, where I was just supporting a friend. I was sitting having a conversation with David Collins and Liz Hurley walks up, interrupts the conversation for one, but that’s fine. She goes, 'David, darling, la la la la' chatting away to him and I'm just sitting there talking to no one. So, Liz Hurley had already introduced me on stage, she's been in my company for numerous things, such as Elton John's charity work, and I don’t give a shit if she doesn’t know who I am, that's fine. But she turned and looked at me watching this conversation with my friend. I smiled, said hello and she went, 'And you are?' I just fucking lost it while she stood there shocked. But that's what happens if you're a rude bitch.
Love it! Sharleen, never stop calling people out on their bullshit!
Rudeness is just not on, I don’t give a shit if you’re a waitress, a doorman, a fucking king, a queen, I don’t give a shit. Everybody should be treated the exact same unless your rude and when you're rude, this is the other side of me.
Indeed. Well, can we end on a positive/political note? Your home country, Scotland, is finally looking to introduce equal marriage. About time?
Yes, I think if people love each other and want to be together for all the right reasons then that’s more important than anything else. if people want to be together for a long time - man, woman or whatever - then surely we should be applauding that.
Texas appear at Hammersmith Apollo in London on Thursday 14 November. To book tickets, visit the Hammersmith Apollo website. To find out the rest of their European tour dates, visit the official Texas website..
Words: Lee Dalloway (@Leeroydalvin)